Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
If you noticed nipple discharge in your dog, you might be concerned because you may have heard that this can be cancer. While cancer is always a possibility, there are several other causes for nipple discharge in dogs.
You will therefore need to see your vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. This article is only meant to give an idea of what can cause nipple discharge in dogs as only your vet can determine exactly what your dog has.
Remember the openings we talked about where milk is secreted for the pups when they suckle? While these openings have an important purpose, one must consider that these same openings may also allow bacteria to enter.
Its a good idea to keep an eye on the mother dogs nipples. Its not uncommon for the mother dog to develop mastitis, the medical term for an infection of the dogs milk-producing glands. Its often caused by the puppys nails scratching the nipples or unsanitary conditions.
Symptoms include hot, painful mammary glands, and a pus/bloody discharge from nipples. Mother dog may also become reluctant to nurse.
If you suspect your nursing dog has mastitis, see your vet and make sure the puppies dont nurse from the affected nipple as in severe infections the milk can cause serious illness and even death of the puppies. Left untreated, mother dog may develop a fever, loss of appetite, and lethargy.
In this case, we are talking about an abscess that could have developed as a result of an injury or intrusion of a foreign body. For instance, an abscess may form as a result of a foreign body such as a thorn or small stick that may have introduced bacteria into the skin by the dogs nipple/mammary gland. Then, the puncture closes over, trapping the bacteria inside. This causes local swelling, warmth, and sometimes discharge.
Why Does My Dog Have Nipple Discharge?
Nipple discharge is more commonly seen in intact female dogs, but spayed female dogs and male dogs may also develop conditions that may cause discharge.
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