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Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Please have her seen by a veterinarian. Enlarged teats can be a sign of mastitis or mammary tumors. Your veterinarian will be able to examine the glands and possibly aspirate them to determine the cause of the swelling.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Mastitis. Mastitis is inflammation and infection in a mammary gland. It`s a very painful condition that causes swelling, redness, and often discharge from the nipple. Mastitis is most common in lactating dogs, and those having a phantom pregnancy.
It is normal for a dog`s nipples to remain enlarged for a couple of weeks following the heat cycle. It is a result of hormonal changes that occur during the cycle. The increased levels of estrogen and progesterone can cause the mammary glands to remain enlarged during this period.
Swollen nipples in dogs is a common sign seen in mastitis. Mastitis occurs when there is an infection of the mammary glands. Mastitis can occur in female dogs who are in the process of nursing. In mastitis, the dog`s mammary glands become swollen and painful.
The fall of progesterone triggers a rise in prolactin, a mammary-stimulating hormone. It`s normal for dogs at this stage to have swollen nipples, even when there is no pregnancy.
Mastitis is a term used to describe inflammation of a mammary gland (breast). In most cases, mastitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Trauma to the nipple or teat canal can allow bacteria to enter, traveling up into the mammary gland and creating a bacterial infection.
If your dog is diagnosed with mastitis, oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications will most likely be prescribed. Mastitis does not typically require hospitalization unless your dog has become septic or requires surgical removal of severely affected glands.
Dogs, females and males, can develop mastitis when not pregnant or nursing pups. If this is the case, your dog will need to see your veterinarian immediately. Mastitis that is occurring in a dog that is not nursing puppies can be caused by cancer of the mammary glands and needs urgent attention.
The mammary glands swell up on female dogs during heat or when they are lactating. Dog nipples are usually larger and more pronounced than the small bumps you find on spayed females.
This leads to illness and poor quality of life, with survival times usually less than one year. Dogs with inflammatory mammary carcinoma and mammary sarcomas have a poor prognosis, on the order of weeks to months. Early detection of tumors is key for long-term survival.
The more common signs of pseudo-pregnancy include mammary gland enlargement with or without the production of milk, lethargy, periodic vomiting, and fluid retention. Dogs with false pregnancy often have a decreased appetite but seldom appears to lose weight, likely due to the amount of excess fluid retained.
A dog who is not pregnant will have very small nipples without any swelling present. Your dog`s nipples` appearance will differ from dog to dog, even in the same breed, to some degree. It is the same for any mammal, even humans.
Signs a Female Is in Heat

Swollen nipples – Sometimes, but not always, the nipples and breasts will swell slightly. This can also be a sign of a phantom pregnancy, when a female may begin to show signs of being pregnant even if she`s not.

In these early stages, the dam may not show any overt signs of illness and may show only minimal discomfort. As mastitis progresses, the affected mammary glands become increasingly swollen and inflamed, discolored (frequently red or purple), and very painful. In severe cases, the dam can become very ill.
The causes range from harmless to serious. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one common cause of breast swelling. Before the start of each period, your estrogen production increases. Along with other changes in your body, this hormonal shift can cause your breast ducts and milk glands to become enlarged.
Home remedies for mastitis include cabbage leaves and hand milking. Cabbage leaves help to reduce pain and inflammation. Your veterinarian will advise you to wrap two cabbage leaves together and apply them to the affected breasts like a compress, changing them every few hours.
If the infection is mild, early treatment at home will help reduce pain. For example, you can apply warm compresses to the mammary glands. For warm compresses, you can use cabbage leaves or towels. When your dog lactates, the teats flush out bacteria with the milk.
Typically it takes 6-10 weeks for a dog`s nipples to recede after pregnancy. This gives enough time for the puppies to wean from the mother dog. However, this only happens in some dogs. Some dogs` nipples may take longer to recede after pregnancy, and some dogs` nipples may not recede even after pregnancy.
A nursing mother will have more pronounced nipples than a female without a littler or a male dog, but in general, nipples are small, round bumps that appear in a line from your dog`s sheath up his stomach. Nipples can be pigmented or the color of your dog`s skin –- both are considered normal.
Inflammatory mammary carcinoma is red, firm and very painful. This is unusual for a mammary tumor. Unfortunately, there is no good treatment for inflammatory carcinoma. Radiation therapy, pain medications and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be used to control pain.
Carcinomas generally develop rapidly, and they are detected by the owner in 2–6 months. If, following diagnosis, the mammary tumor is not removed, tumor growth lasts for a longer time before the dog`s death. Carcinomas may develop over a period of 3 months to 6 years.
Mastitis usually only affects 1 breast, and symptoms often come on quickly. They include: a swollen area on your breast that may feel hot and painful to touch – the area may become red but this can be harder to see if you have black or brown skin. a wedge-shaped breast lump or a hard area on your breast.
Most dogs recover completely from this type of surgery and can continue nursing their pups on the other glands. Pro Tip: Depending on the severity of the disease, diagnostics and treatment for mastitis in dogs can cost $300 to $800. More severe cases requiring surgery or hospitalization will incur extra costs.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My female lab has had swollen teats for the past 2 months. The two back ones are pretty enlarged. Her last cycle was in September. She has not been
ANSWER : A. Please have her seen by a veterinarian. Enlarged teats can be a sign of mastitis or mammary tumors. Your veterinarian will be able to examine the glands and possibly aspirate them to determine the cause of the swelling.

Read Full Q/A … : Signs Your Dog Is Pregnant

Q. My cat is excessively scrstching herself., to the point she has sores. She is strictly an indoor cat. Did have flees been treated for 2 months
ANSWER : A. For every flea you see on your pet, there are 100 more in the environment. Get your pet on a good topical or oral flea control through your vet. In flea control, you get what you pay for. Consider asking your vet for a dose of Capstar. It helps get the problem under control by killing the fleas on the pet starting in five minutes but only lasts for 24 hours.

You need to treat your home environment. If you use a pest control service, tell them you are having a flea problem and they can adjust their treatment. Use a premise spray that also contains an IGR, insect growth regulator. This keeps eggs and larvae from maturing into adults and helps break the life cycle. Also, vacuum EVERY DAY, throwing out the bag or emptying the canister every time into an outside receptacle and spraying the contents with insecticide to kill the fleas you’ve vacuumed up.

Treat your yard too, since fleas are opportunistic and will hop a ride into your home on your pant leg without you knowing it. Concentrate on areas under bushes, in the shade. Fleas are less likely to be located in open sunny areas where it gets hot.

If chemicals are a problem, you can use borax. Sprinkle it into rugs, into corners and under furniture, use a broom to work it into the fibers and let it sit for hours, days even. It won’t hurt you or your pet to have it present. Then vacuum it up, reapply as needed. Food grade diatomaceous earth can be gotten from a health food store and worked into the rugs and corners in the same way as borax. These treatments aren’t as fast and effective as chemical insecticides but they can help.

You might want to consider boarding your pet for the day at your vet, to give you the opportunity to flea bomb your house without having to worry about your pet being exposed. They can bathe your pet and give a dose of Capstar while you treat your home.

Be patient, you may have to repeat these steps multiple times 10-14 days apart to help break the flea life cycle.

Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

If there is no relief or not enough, consider getting your pet checked by a veterinary dermatologist and having allergy testing done.

Q. Post-op Spay of a female Siberian husky at 6 months, it’s been 3 days since the operation. What are my limits with her? In detail.
ANSWER : A. Two weeks after surgery you will want to keep exercise to a minimum. Take the dog outside to go potty on a leash to make sure she isn’t running too much. You won’t need to do anything to the wound, unless the doctor used staples then you will need to have a re-check to remove them. Most doctors do not use staples anymore so if you do not have an appointment schedule you are probably fine. IF you have any issues at ALL don’t be afraid to call your vet. Your veterinarian should have given you an E-collar, use that for the entire two weeks. That will help keep your dog from lick and chewing at the incision which is very important. after two weeks your dog should be fully healed. Your dog doesn’t always have to use the e-collar if you’re able to watch the dog. You can take the e-collar off for feeding times as well. Think of the E-collar as your insurance that your dog will not ruin their incision site. If you did not get one and your dog is licking the site please go back to your vet and ask for an e-collar or purchase one at a pet store.

Q. My dog was neutered 6 months ago, but he still humps pillows till full climax. Is this normal?
ANSWER : A. Humping behavior in dogs can be a non-sexual behaviorally related issue in addition to a sexual reproductive one. If your dog was neutered 6 months prior, it is likely that the hormones in his body have reduced already and are not the cause of his behavior. HOWEVER dogs that have previously been bred or had sexual activity prior to neutering may still exhibit interest in and sexual behavior toward in-heat females.

In most cases, the humping behavior is not sexually related and can actually be a sign of “dominance” in dogs. While this term is largely outdated in behavior, it is one that is done usually on one dog to another to show “hey I’m the boss, i wanna be in charge”. Dogs can sometimes take turns doing various similar behaviors during play, or one dog may want to take charge and only allow him or herself to do it. (Yes females can do this too!). If your dog is humping a pillow or toys, he may just be trying to tell his toys he’s the boss! If you feel uncomfortable with this behavior, then stopping him in the act and distracting him with a different game is best.

Q. 2 month old Bulldog. While playing gets TOO rough:gripping hand REALLY tight/growling/shaking to the point of drawing blood. Aggresive?Normal?HELP!!
ANSWER : A. For the most part, this sounds pretty normal to me. English Bulldogs can be like this. What you can do is teach him bite inhibition. He needs to know that biting gets him nothing. Each and every time he nips, even gently, you immediately yelp like a puppy would, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore your puppy. Once he is ignoring you, go back to calmly playing with him WITH A TOY. Remember to always use a toy when playing with/petting/interacting with puppies. They will be teething very soon, and they don’t understand that biting you is inappropriate, so using a toy to redirect their attention is important. He needs SOMETHING to bite, or else he will choose your hand. Give him more options.

Another thing you can do is have a toy that YOU OWN. This can be a soft braided rope toy or something of the like. Dot not allow your dog to have this toy whenever he wants. This toy disappears when you are done playing with him with it, and reappears when you want to play. Never allow him to “win” games with this toy. Eventually, the toy will hold so much meaning, when he sees it, he will be instantly interested in the toy instead of your hands.

It also helps to have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/rope toys/soft toys/etc. It comes out for one week, and then disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys in it. This will keep the toys feeling like “new” to your pup and make him less likely to chew on you during play!

Q. For the past few months my dog has slowly licked most all of his hair off his legs and lower belly. The skin is now dotted with red sore spots.
ANSWER : A. Skin problems can have a variety of causes, sometimes more than one. It is important to have the problem checked by your vet to determine if there is a medical cause for your pet’s skin issues and treat accordingly.

In pets of all ages, fleas, food allergies and exposure to chemical irritants such as cleaners and soaps can be a cause. Any one of these may not be enough to trigger the breakouts, depending on how sensitive your pet is, but a combination can be enough to start the itch-scratch cycle. Finding out the cause and eliminating it is the best course of action. With flea allergies, if your pet is sensitive enough, a single bite can cause them to break out scratch enough to tear their skin.

Check for fleas with a flea comb. Look for fleas and/or tiny black granules, like coarse black pepper. This is flea feces, consisting of digested, dried blood. You may find tiny white particles, like salt, which are the flea eggs. Applying a good topical monthly flea treatment and aggressively treating your house and yard will help break the flea life cycle.

If you use plastic bowls, this is a possible cause for hair loss, though this tends to be on the chin, where their skin touches the bowl while they eat. If you suspect this to be the culprit, try changing the bowls to glass, metal or ceramic.

Food allergies are often caused by sensitivity to a protein in the food. Hill’s Science Diet offers some non-prescription options for sensitive skin as well as prescription hypoallergenic foods for more severe cases. Royal Canin carries limited protein diets that may also offer some relief. Your vet can recommend a specific diet that will help.

Q. What is the disease that affects vertebra on Boxer dogs?
ANSWER : A. There are lots of problems with the back that can go wrong , however one common one is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVD). This involves a gradual degeneration of the pads between vertebrae that are used to help pad impact and protect the nerves inside the spinal cord. This can cause pain, trouble walking, paralysis and more. Many other back problems can include Wobbler’s Syndrome- a problem where the neck and back meet, or even just plain injury to the back itself. Boxers that have docked tails may also have nerve issues in the cauda equina- a group of nerves that meet at the base of the back and tail and are important in proper function of the lower organs, tail and legs.

Q. My 3 month puppy eats his own poop and is also biting what can I do to prevent this
ANSWER : A. When it comes to poop eating, you want to consider a few things. First off, what is his diet like? Maybe something is lacking in his diet that is causing him to want to eat his own poop. This is the most common reason why dogs eat THEIR OWN poop. Try a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Ziwipeak, Orijen.. and try feeding three meals per day, instead of the more common two meals per day. Remember to gradually switch his kibble. Add a little bit of the new kibble and reduce the old kibble very slowly.. little by little every couple of days until the bowl is mostly new kibble! You should also be cleaning up his poops IMMEDIATELY after he does them.. I mean like, you have a bag in your hand, and you are low enough to scoop it up RIGHT when he finished so he doesn’t have a chance to eat his poop.

When it comes to nipping there are a few things you can do. First, you should yelp as soon as the teeth touch your skin, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore the puppy until he is ignoring you. Once he is off doing his own thing, swoop down and calmly reward him by playing with him WITH A TOY so he doesn’t nip your hands. Whenever you pet him, or interact with him, you should always have a toy on-hand so you can give it to him. This toy should be a soft braided rope toy that YOU own. This means, your puppy is never allowed to have this toy on the floor, and your pup can never “win” tug games with this toy. This is YOUR toy that disappears when you’re finished playing, and reappears when you want to play. If you keep this up, in a weeks time, your puppy will be so excited to see that toy, that as soon as you bring it out, he stops nipping you because he wants to play with the toy. Another thing you can do is have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/soft toys/squeaky toys/etc. After one week, Bag#1 disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys as Bag#1, and it only stays out for one week. This keeps the toys feeling like new to your pup!