Pseudopregnancy in Dogs

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Pseudopregnancy is a common phenomenon that occurs in the intact female dog that is not pregnant during the diestrus or anestrus time of their estrous cycle. Pseudopregnancy can be characterized by swelling of the mammary glands, swelling of the abdomen, milk production and a change in the female’s behavior such as mothering of objects or other animals, restlessness, aggression, nesting and anorexia, (Hermo, 631). For the subordinate female gray wolf this phenomenon is a typical behavior to take care of the young pups while the alpha female, and only female to mate and give birth to young, is out hunting for food for the pack. This process has been evolved through the gray wolf being a very social animal with a monogamous alpha male and female that will be the only mating pair in the pack to produce offspring; they are also the leaders of the pack that lead all hunting expeditions, (ASA, 251-259). The domestic dog that a majority of the citizens living in the United States of America now have as house pets and that many people consider to be a part of the family are descendants of the wolf. Though there are many different breeds of dogs in the world all of them share the wolf as a common ancestor, but they live a very different life style than that of their ancestors (Ehresman, 1). What kind of effects might their shared phenomenon of pseudo pregnancy have on the dogs we all know and love that undergo this syndrome without the need to care for any pups? Domestic dogs are not like gray wolves in many ways. A major difference between domestic dogs that live as peoples’ pets and wolves that live in packs is that dogs are not on a restricted diet like their distant relative the wolf. Wolves do not always have enough food and are forc... ... middle of paper ... ...rus, Pregnancy and Pseudopregnancy in the Labrador Bitch." Theriogenology 27.6 (1987): 827-40. UW Libraries Proxy Service. Research Division, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD, June 1987. Web. 05 Nov. 2013. Ehresman, Dan. "Gray Wolf." Econews 42.1 (2012): 1. Proquest. Northcoast Environmental Center, Feb.-Mar. 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. Hermo, G., PG Gerez, AM Dragonetti, and C. Gobello. "Effect of Short-Term Restricted Food Intake on Canine Pseudopregnancy." Reproduction in Domestic Animals 44.4 (2009): 631-33. Ebscohost. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. Tsutsui, T., N. Kirihara, T. Hori, and P.W. Concannon. "Plasma Progesterone and Prolactin Concentrations in Overtly Pseudopregnant Bitches: A Clinical Study." Theriogenology 67.5 (2007): 1032-038. UW Libraries Proxy Service. 15 Mar. 2007. Web. 06 Nov. 2013.

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