If My Dog Is Leaking Milk, How Far Along in Her Pregnancy Is She?

by Betty Lewis
Most dogs don't produce milk until a day or so before giving birth.

Most dogs don't produce milk until a day or so before giving birth.

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The average dog pregnancy lasts around 63 days. During the first five weeks, you may not see much different about your pooch. After the five-week mark, however, you'll notice changes in Maisie. She'll gain weight, her mammary glands will grow, and she'll begin to leak milk as she nears delivery.

Lactation

Maisie's first month of pregnancy might have seemed pretty uneventful. If she's like most dogs, she experienced a bit of weight gain, and perhaps a little morning sickness. Otherwise, it might be business as usual for her. Things begin to change quickly for the pregnant dog around the fifth week of pregnancy. Her nipples begin to enlarge and darken, though they aren't expressing milk quite yet. Normally a dog will begin producing milk about a day or two before she delivers, though some dogs begin leaking milk as much as seven to nine days before the big day. Occasionally an unspayed dog will produce milk though she's not pregnant. Female dogs who go into heat without mating will often display symptoms of false pregnancy; other symptoms include lethargy, fluid retention and vomiting. Symptoms typically disappear after two or three weeks, but if you're concerned, contact your vet.

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About the Author

Betty Lewis is a writer and editor specializing in pet care, animals, careers and emergency management. She previously ran an animal shelter, where she also served as a kennel attendant and dog trainer. Lewis holds a bachelor's degree in journalism, an M.B.A. and a master's degree in professional studies.

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