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How to End a Dog Pregnancy

By Edie Grace | Updated August 11, 2017

Labrador retriever litter image by crazy.nataly from Fotolia.com

An unwanted dog pregnancy (or "mismating," as it is called in veterinary practice) can be ended in a number of ways. A vet must verify the dog is pregnant before a termination is considered as many dogs who are brought in to end mismate pregnancies are not actually gestating. It is important to bring a dog to the vet as soon as possible to end the pregnancy as a dog's gestation period (length of pregnancy) is only nine weeks and late-term abortions are often unreliable and distressing for the dog and owners.

Get the dog spayed if you do not plan on breeding her in the future or if she is not healthy enough to give birth. Spaying (ovariohysterectomy) is one of the safest ways to terminate a dog pregnancy and is not likely to have long-term side effects. As the pregnancy advances, the risk to the dog's health becomes greater. During spaying, the developing fetuses are removed with the uterus. The ovaries are also removed.

Giving the dog prostaglandins to inhibit progesterone in the pregnancy. Progesterone is vital to maintaining pregnancy so blocking it will terminate the dog fetuses. Prostaglandin F2 alpha, which is commonly used in canine abortions, can cause bad side effects for the dog such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and trembling. Because of its side effects and because of the risk it poses to pregnant women and asthmatics, this treatment must be administered in a veterinary clinic. The drug has to be administered twice daily: for four days in the first half of pregnancy or until abortion occurs in the second half.

Injecting a dog with dexamethasone will also end a pregnancy. Dexamethasone is advantageous as it does not require hospitalization of the bitch and is completed over a course of 9 to 12 days. Depending on how far along the dog is in gestation, the unborn pups will be either reabsorbed or aborted. Because of the high doses used, side effects such as frequent urination, strong thirst and panting may occur.

Photo Credits

  • Labrador retriever litter image by crazy.nataly from Fotolia.com


Edie Grace has been writing and editing since 2008. Her work has been published in medical magazines and aired on radio. She has written about skin conditions, cardiovascular health and surgery. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and music and a Master of Arts in journalism.