Abortion of the female dog: methods and risks

In case of unwanted pregnancy of the female dog, it is possible to abort her. What methods can be used and their side effects?

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Induced abortion in female dogs

When a pregnancy is not desired by the owner of a bitch and/or this pregnancy may endanger the life of the mother, it is possible to have recourse to a medical abortion of the bitch. bitch, which is the equivalent of a voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) with medication.

There are several protocols for medical abortion in bitches that use different abortive molecules detailed below: aglepristrone, prostaglandins and dopaminergics.

It is the veterinarian who will choose the most suitable protocol for the female dog, depending on when we are in her gestation.Beforehand, he can carry out a pregnancy diagnosis to ensure that the female dog is indeed carrying young. In fact, all mating does not systematically lead to pregnancy and it is therefore preferable to ensure that the bitch is pregnant before having her undergo a medical abortion because this act can cause side effects.

Aglepristrone injections

What is aglepristone?

Aglepristone is a synthetic steroid with antiprogestin action. It acts by competition with progesterone at its receptors, the hormone that supports pregnancy.

It is the most frequently used abortive molecule because it is considered very effective and quite easy to use for the veterinarian. It can be used from 0 to 45 days of gestation.

The process

To perform the abortion, the veterinarian injects aglepristone subcutaneously twice, 24 hours apart, into the pregnant dog.

If the injection is done after 20 to 30 days of gestation, the female dog will be able to expel the abortions. On the other hand, if the medical abortion is performed earlier, the abortion may go unnoticed by the owner because the fetuses will resorb in the bitch's genital tract.

Ten days after the injection, the veterinarian may carry out a clinical examination of the bitch to check the effectiveness of the abortion.

The side effects of aglepristone

The side effects of an aglepristone injection may consist of an earlier return of heat in the female dog.

Very rarely, the injection may be followed by cardiorespiratory disorders, hypersalivation, vomiting and neurological signs.

Prostaglandin injection

What are prostaglandins?

Prostaglandins are locally acting hormones and mediators involved in many physiological and pathological processes.In the female dog, they have the particular property of lysing (destroying) the corpus luteum, which remains of the follicle after the release of the egg. During the bitch's gestation, the maintenance of the corpus luteum normally ensures the production of progesterone necessary to maintain the pregnancy.

The process

There are several natural or synthetic prostaglandins that can be used in female dogs. Several subcutaneous or intramuscular injections, performed by the veterinarian, are then necessary.

These prostaglandins can be used for abortions after 25 days after the bitch ovulates.

The side effects of prostaglandins

The administration of abortive prostaglandins can cause hypersalivation, vomiting, defecation and slow heart rate in the bitch within one hour of injection.

Administering other medications before the injection generally reduces these side effects.

The complexity of the protocol and its side effects may justify hospitalization of the dog for its entire duration.

The administration of dopaminergics

What are dopaminergics?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that has the effect of inhibiting the bitch's secretion of prolactin, a hormone that plays an important role in maintaining the corpus luteum (and therefore gestation) after 30 days of gestation . Dopamine abortifacient drugs therefore work by stimulating these inhibitory dopamine receptors.

The process

Dopaminergics are generally used after the 30 days following the bitch's ovulation and ideally after 40 days. They are administered to the female dog orally for 5 to 6 days.

They can be used alone or combined with prostaglandins to make abortion faster and reduce the side effects associated with the administration of prostaglandins.

The side effects of dopaminergics

Side effects are rare, transient and not very marked. They may consist of ataxia, anorexia and vomiting.

The termination of pregnancy in the female dog

Unfortunately, abortions in bitches can also be spontaneous. This is called termination of pregnancy or miscarriage.

These "natural" abortions can have infectious, hormonal, traumatic, nutritional or uterine origins.

We invite you to read our article dedicated to this subject to find out more.

Read also: Miscarriage in dogs

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