For owners who are looking for safe options to either prevent an unwanted pregnancy or terminate a possible pregnancy, there are several medical alternatives to consider. To permanently prevent pregnancy in dogs, spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is the best option. For pregnancy termination, these are the most common medical options:
Injectable Estrogens- A medical professional can administer these to prevent a pregnancy. The estrogen must be injected shortly following copulation to be effective. However, there are several potential side effects to take into consideration, including bone marrow suppression and pyometra (i.e., infection of the uterus).
Oral Estrogens - These are not recommended because they are ineffective and may cause pyometra in animals.
Prostaglandin F2 alpha - This is a natural hormone that has shown to induce a safe abortion for pets when monitored by a health professional. Most side effects are often mild, if present at all. Some of the drug's known side effects include panting, trembling, nausea and diarrhea.
Dexamethasone - This is also a viable option to induce an abortion for pets. The injection is usually followed by such side effects as panting, excessive drinking (polydispia) and urination (polyuria).
It is important to note that despite the myths surrounding the method, postcoital douches do not effectively terminate an unwanted pregnancy in pets. Following both a planned and spontaneous abortion, there can be a great deal of discomfort and/or some vaginal bleeding or abnormal discharge. Pet owners should carefully observe the behavior of their animals to ensure more serious problems do not develop as a result.
The hollow bodily organ that holds the embryo and fetus and provides nourishment; only found in female animals.
The presence of pus in the uterus
The type of female hormone produced in the ovaries that contributes to sex drive and female characteristics