Retained Placenta in Dogs
A retained placenta, or retained afterbirth, occurs when the placenta (the sac surrounding an unborn puppy) is not passed out of the mother’s uterus along with the puppy.
Symptoms and Types
- Green discharge from vulva that continues
- Fever (in some cases)
- Systemic disease (in some cases)
The placenta is retained in the uterus rather than being expelled with or shortly after the birth of the puppy.
History of a recent birth with a physical examination finding of a green discharge from the vulva is supportive of a diagnosis of retained placenta. Your veterinarian may recommend routine blood testing, though these results may be normal. Vaginal cytology may also be recommended. Your veterinarian may need to take X-rays and/or perform an ultrasound of the uterus. In some cases, exploratory surgery may be necessary.