Does anyone know if anything can be done when milk hardens in a nursing dog? It's only in 1 or 2 of her nips but it seems to be hurting her when we touch them. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know.
Mastitis (Inflammation of the Breasts) Normal nursing glands are soft and enlarged. Diseased glands are red, hard, and painful. In general, the bitch does not act sick; the disease is confined to the mammary tissue. The bitch may be sore and discourage the pups from nursing; however, it is important to keep the pups nursing the affected glands. This is not harmful to the puppies and helps flush out the infected material. Hot packing may be helpful.
Mastitis can be fatal. My vet has told me of the only time that he has had to personally feed orphaned pups. The mother died because of mastitis. However, it is perfectly treatable with antibiotics. I would be certain to get her to the vet in the morning.
If you catch it early on a wet hot pack 10 minutes 3 times a day and put the puppies on it frequently. I did have one who had hers abscess and it had to be lacerated and drained. It dried up on it's own.
Boxers must be fairly prone to it because I battle it frequently. When ever I have taken one to the vet for it, they give her 500mg of amoxicillin 2xper day. So that is what I do, plus try to draw the infection out as others have suggested.
I have had a couple of nasty cases for front nipples that are 'odd' shaped and the puppies don't like to use. I have never personally heard of a bitch dying from mastitis (sp) but I am sure anything is possible. I have heard of people losing puppies though from drinking the infected milk.
It is important to realize that the bitch MAY not produce adaquate milk for furture litters ever again. You may think the puppies are getting enough, until you realize you have small or runty puppies at a few weeks old.