Q. Hi my bitch is 16 months old and after her first proper season early January she is always sleeping not eating a lot and recently swollen nipples

A. For pets that have recently gone into and come out of heat, there is risk of a condition called Pyometra that can occur. This will cause pets to become very sick and it can cause inappetance, vomiting, diarrhea.

Also there is chance your pet could be pregnant also. I would highly recommend that you have a veterinarian do a thorough examination of your pet to ensure of of the 2 is not occurring. Because both conditions warrant a vet visit to make sure your pet gets the care she needs. - Dr. H

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A. She could be having a false pregnancy. In a dog pack, usually, the alpha female is allowed to have puppies, and the other females have a false pregnancy, which enables them to lactate without having to give birth. This enables all the bitches in a pack to nurse the alpha female's puppies. This is a left over from when dogs were wild/wolves. If your dog has problems with the swollen nipples (pain, infection, etc) you should take her to the vet for an exam and possible treatment. Please monitor her for vaginal discharge and excessive drinking. This could point to a uterine infection, which can and often is life-threatening.

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A. If she didn't came in contact with a male for possible mating - then this is probably a phantom/false pregnancy. She will have symptoms of pregnancy but is actually not pregnant. This will resolve without treatment usually - but it's recommended to spay her as this will re-occur and might get worse every time.

if you think she might have come in contact with unneutered males, you should take her for an ultrasound and check her for pregnancy.

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