The Morning After Pills For Dogs- Explained

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure a box full of puppies is the most cutest thing in the world.

a basket of puppies

Puppies require a lot of attention and tons of care – care that not many people can provide them with. So it’s our duty to take care of our pet’s reproductive health.

Accidents can happen, so can your dog mate independently from your wishes. Almost every pawparent faces this problem once in a while. But what can be the solution to it?

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can do to prevent your dog from bringing any unplanned puppies into the world. Here we’ll discuss the best birth control options for dogs and unfold the various pros and cons of each.

mating in dogs
Mating in dogs

When to worry about an undesired pregnancy?

Being a paw parent, just as you can easily distinguish between a Dachshund and a Rottweiler, similarly you should have an information regarding mating in dogs. The fact that your dog won’t be impregnated if she disappears from your sight for five minutes is a case in point.

A proper mating process usually lasts for atleast thirty minutes or even longer.

Immediately visit your vet if you have doubts of any unwanted pregnancy. The sooner you act the better chances you have to take control of the situation and balance your options.

All you need to do is to take your dog to the vet. Your vet will perform vaginal cytology – a test confirming or infirming a pregnancy. This process includes making vaginal smears, either hour after the mating took place or a day later tops. The more the delay for the vaginal cytology, the treatment and the procedures will significantly be different.

According to specialists in the mismating field, a vaginal smear is considered positive if the vet finds sperm traces in it.

You can think about pregnancy termination and its medication only after the vet confirms that she was bred. Just as humans, never give any medication to your dog without the supervision of your vet.

Contraception For Dogs: Key Takeaways

Hormonal procedures (injections and tablets) – A pregnancy can be prevented with the help of hormones only during the initial stages and no operation is needed. It is possible for the female to become pregnant again at a later point once hormone therapy ceases. Hence, hormonal treatments are a more attractive option than neutering.

Operative procedures (spaying and sterilization) – If you want to categorically rule out the possibility of your female having puppies, surgical intervention is a permanent contraceptive method.

Do morning after pills exist for dogs?

morning after pills

The correct answer to this question is anomalous. It all depends upon your veterinarian, the place you live in and the drugs available in your area. Just like the morning-after pill for humans differs from one place to another. Similarly, the morning after pills for dogs are available in different composition and with different names all around the world.

The most common composition of morning-after pills of dogs is diethylstilbestrol (DES) or estradiol cypionate (ECP). They both depend on Estrogen Therapy as estrogens usually prevent fertilised eggs from migrating and implanting in the uterus. They are the medications, we commonly call as the morning after pills for dogs.

What are the birth control drugs for dogs?

According to Researches, there are evidences that prove estrogen therapy as safe for terminating the pregnancy in dogs. Conversely, some surveys show the health risks associated with this therapy in dogs.

birth control drugs for dogs

However, in order to have all the facts, we have to take a closer look at the possible morning-after pills for dogs.

1. DIETHYLSTILBESTROL (DES)

  • This drug is available in the form of tablets and are to be taken right after an unplanned mating. This medication come as a 5-day course and are proved to be successful in terminating the pregnancy.
  • If taken beyond 5 days of the mating, they are given after an ECP (estradiol cypionate), the estrogen mismate injection for successful effects of the drug.
DES as morning after pill
Diethylstilbestrol tablets

2. ESTRADIOL CYPIONATE (ECP)

  • It is commonly available in the form of injections and is used to prevent the implantation of embryo in the uterus.
  • It is effective, if administered within 72 hours of the mating.
ECP as morning after pill
Estradiol Cypionate injection

3. RU486 

  • It is not used commonly as it is an expensive drug and also not labelled for dogs.

4. Dexamethasone

  • This drug is available as tablets and causes abortion in dogs in later pregnancy.
  • Side effects— excessive thirst and urination during treatment. No known permanent side effects.
Never give any medication to your dog without discussing it with your vet as they can lead to severe health issues and can be fatal to your dog.

Morning after Pills – side effects and complications

side effects of morning after pills

As we read about a few birth control methods in dogs, but none of them are completely perfect or without drawbacks. Always consult your vet before using any of such drugs.

Hormone therapy should usually be taken with precautions. Estrogens have their own share of side effects which can lead to long-term health effects.

In short, you need to be aware of:

  • DES: it causes blood problems like blood circulation issues, behavioural problems.
  • ECP: it causes pyometra, bone marrow suppression and severe anaemia.
  • Dexamethasone: it causes skin problems, gastrointestinal problems.
  • Infertility: rare and not fully explained, morning pills in some cases cause infertility.
  • Other problems: canine urinary infections, uterus infection, mammary gland cancer and/or enlargement, weight gain

As a responsible parent, you need to take into account all data before making any decision regarding your pets. Their health is also important and you need to be aware that a pregnancy (planned, terminated or carried to term) leads to a myriad of issues that you need to tackle one at a time.

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