If you notice your dog’s nipples have started to sag, this could cause you quite a lot of worry. In the majority of cases, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about. However, there are some rare instances that may be a cause for concern.
Why Are My Dog’s Nipples Sagging?
Your dog’s nipples sagging could be due to a number of reasons, including mastitis, pregnancy, being overweight, age, poor nutrition, and hormones.
Why Are My Dog’s Nipples Sagging?
Dog Is In Heat
A dog that hasn’t been spayed or neutered will go through heat and this will cause their nipples to be bigger than dogs who don’t go through this, however, their nipples will go back to normal when not in heat.
Dog Is Pregnant
Your dog being pregnant is likely to cause their nipples to sag and swell due to the change in hormones. This will continue until after the lactation period has finished.
This is the most common reason for your dogs nipples starting to sag. The nipples sag due to all of the milk your dog is producing, however, once her puppies have drank all the milk, they will start to return back to their normal size.
Mastitis is what occurs when your dog has an infection in their mammary glands and is most likely to occur when a female dog is nursing. You should also look for signs of dehydration, discoloured milk/blood in milk and refusing to nurse puppies as a sign of mastitis.
A mammary gland tumor will most commonly affect female dogs and will either be hard or soft. It can potentially turn into an abscess if it has gone untreated, can turn the nipples red or purple, and if there is blood coming from the nipples, this could be a sign of advanced cancer.
If your dog hasn’t been spayed/neutered, the older they get, the more heat cycles they will go through and the more sagged their nipples will be. You can spay her as an older dog to reduce the swelling, but due to her age, there will still be a little bit of sagging.
Just like us, dogs are likely to experience hormonal changes. This is most likely to happen during heat, as estrogen and progesterone are released and this is what causes the nipples to swell.
Whenever dogs gain weight, it’s normal for various areas of their body to look bigger and this isn’t just restricted to their body. Your dogs nipples might also get bigger if they have gained weight, which will explain the sagging nipples.
When your dog is on the bigger side, it won’t just be their stomach that is big. It can also be other areas of their body, such as their nipples, that will get bigger and will give the appearance of them sagging.
Skin allergies are fairly common in dogs and this can cause various areas of the skin to flare up, including the nipples. Sometimes this can be solved by bathing your dog in oatmeal, however, if this doesn’t solve it, you may need to get a vet to prescribe antibiotics to help clear the skin up.
If the nipples have been through any sort of trauma, this is what can lead to infection, such as mastitis, which is then what causes the nipples to sag.
Just like us, your dog’s genetics will affect how they look. In some cases, your dog will have the type of genetics that will cause their nipples to sag. In this case, it’s completely normal and nothing to worry about.
Injuries Or Surgeries
Injuries can happen in dogs, for example, her puppies may have been trying to get at her milk and then may have scratched her in the process. However, these wounds can also happen if there is another underlying problem, such as mastitis, false pregnancy or a lump.
Diet is very important for dogs and it is having a poor diet that can cause a whole host of problems, including sagging nipples. If your dog isn’t getting the best nutrition, try and change the food they have and speak to a vet to see what to include in their diet to prevent the sagging.
Medications can cause a whole load of side effects, including sagging nipples. If this isn’t outlined in the medication packaging, it may be necessary to take your dog to the vet to see if there’s another cause behind this.
This is similar to genetics as there will be some dogs who’s breed will already be predisposed to having saggy nipples without any other environmental factors. This shouldn’t be a cause for concern, however, if you are concerned, talk to a vet and they will put your mind at ease.
Is It Normal For A Female Dog’s Nipples To Sag?
It is relatively normal for a female dog’s nipples to sag, particularly if the reason is due to her producing milk for her puppies. However, there are obviously cases where this isn’t normal and in these cases, you should take your dog to the vet.
What To Do About My Dog’s Nipples Sagging (How To Get Them Back In Shape)?
Exercising Your Dog Regularly
If the reason for your dog’s sagging nipples is due to having recently given birth or because they’re overweight, giving them regular exercise can help to tighten the muscles below the breast, which will make the nipples tighter in appearance.
Feeding A Balanced Diet
Diet also plays a key part in changing the shape of nipples. If you can recognise that your dog needs to lose weight, they will need a good diet of vegetables and lean meat alongside plenty of exercise. A good diet will soon stop the nipples from sagging.
Using Topical Creams Or Oils To Help Improve Skin Elasticity.
Sagging nipples can sometimes be the result of the skin losing it’s elasticity. In this case, your vet should be able to recommend some creams or oils that can help improve the skin’s firmness and stop nipples from sagging.
Exercises That Can Help Firm Up My Dog’s Nipples?
Walking tends to be the best form of exercise but you can do others as well; such as playing fetch. Essentially, any form of exercise should help stop your dog’s nipples sagging. If you’re still unsure, ask your vet for advice.
Can I Massage My Dog’s Nipples To Help Firm Them Up?
Massaging your dog’s nipples is one way that may help them firm up, particularly if your dog has mastitis. However, you should also try other methods alongside it, such as exercise and a good diet, to speed up the process.
Are There Any Supplements Or Vitamins That Can Help Improve My Dog’s Nipple Health?
Your vet might prescribe your dog some hormonal supplements if the issue is down to hormones to get their hormones back under control so the issue doesn’t occur again.
Is There Surgery To Help Correct Sagging Nipples In Dogs?
The main surgery that might be suggested is to have your dog spayed or neutered as this helps stop the hormones associated with sagging nipples occur. However, you can also canine breast surgery that can help put this right.
Keep Your Dog At A Healthy Weight
If the reason behind your dog having sagging nipples is due to weight gain or obesity, try and get them on a healthy diet and give them plenty of exercise so they can lose this weight and maintain a healthy one.
Can Spaying Or Neutering Prevent Sagging Nipples?
Spaying/neutering is one way to prevent sagging nipples. One reason behind dogs nipples sagging is due to them being in heat and if you know this is the reason behind this, spaying/neutering will irradicate the problem.
Is It Necessary To Get My Dog’s Nipples Surgically Corrected If They Are Sagging?
It’s not completely necessary to get your dogs nipples corrected. However, if they are causing your dog any discomfort and is something your vet recommends, it might be best for you to look into it.
Are There Any Home Remedies For Sagging Nipples In Dogs?
The best thing you can do is to bathe the dog’s nipples and put a warm, wet flannel over them to help with the swelling and get it down.
When Should I Take My Dog To The Vet For Sagging Nipples?
You should take your dog to the vet if you notice any signs of infection, such as mastitis, or lumps, such as a mammary gland tumor. These will require treatment and if left untreated, they could be fatal.
Can A Dog’s Nipples Swell Before They Are In Heat?
Sometimes it’s possible for dog’s nipples to swell before they go into heat; just like humans will experience PMS prior to going on their period.
Do Female Dogs Get Swollen Nipples When In Heat?
Yes, female dogs nipples do become swollen when they are in heat. However, they will go down when they’re not in heat and you can always have them spayed/neutered to prevent this from happening.
Do Female Dogs Nipples Go Down After Heat?
Yes, your female dog’s nipples should go down once their heat stage is over and if they don’t, it may be the sign that there is something else causing your dog’s nipples to sag.
Why Are My Dog’s Nipples Enlarged After Heat?
Your dog’s nipples will become enlarged after heat due to the release of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; which are what cause the nipples to sag.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog’s Nipples To Stop Sagging After Being In Heat?
The time for a dog’s nipples to stop sagging after being in heat can typically take three to four weeks, however, in some dogs this can take up to four months.
If you believe something to be wrong with your dog, such as the sagging still being there, take them to the vet to get them checked out.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog’s Nipples To Stop Sagging After Being Pregnant?
Once your dog has given birth to her litter her nipples will only stop sagging once her puppies have drank all of her milk.
Are Sagging Nipples A Sure Sign Of False Pregnancy In Dogs?
They’re not necessarily a sure sign of false pregnancy in dogs, but if this is combined with them producing milk, which should only be happening if your dog is actually pregnant or nursing, then this could be an indicator of false pregnancy.
Can A Female Dog’s Nipples Swell If Not Pregnant?
Yes, there are multiple causes behind your female dog’s nipples swelling if they’re not pregnant. This includes being in heat, lactating, mastitis, or a tumor.
How Do Dog Nipples Look When Pregnant?
Dogs nipples will swell up when pregnant and will get quite large, but this is just in preparation for the milk coming in and so that when the puppies are born, it’s easier for them to get the milk out.
How Soon Does A Pregnant Dog’s Nipples Change?
The gestation period for dogs is between 58 to 68 days and during this time, the nipples will gradually start to get bigger.
How Far Along Pregnancy My Dog If Her Nipples Are Swollen?
It will be around the seventh week that you may start to notice your dog’s nipples are swollen, so if you’re unsure how far along in pregnancy your dog is, this should give you a good indicator.
What Does Mastitis Look And Feel Like In Dogs?
The first sign of mastitis in dogs is swollen and sagging nipples. You might also notice that the milk is discoloured or has blood in it and that your dog is refusing to feed her puppies. You may then also notice your dog crying, being dehydrated, and lethargy.
What Can Be Mistaken For Mastitis?
Inflammatory memory carcinoma can be very easily mistaken for mastitis. This is more likely in middle aged and older dogs and if your dog doesn’t respond to treatment, this could be a sign of this.
What Are Warning Signs Of Mastitis?
The warning signs of mastitis includes not wanting to feed the puppies and their being discoloured milk or blood in the milk. You will also notice the sagging nipples and crying, dehydration and lethargy.
Is Mastitis Fatal In Dogs?
Mastitis can only become fatal in dogs if it is left untreated; so make sure you get your dog to the vets to receive treatment as soon as you notice the signs of mastitis.
Will My Dog’s Nipples Ever Go Back To Their Normal Size?
Your dog’s nipples should go back to their normal size at some point. However, this will depend on the cause behind the sagging nipples and whether or not they require treatment.
When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Nipples?
You will only need to be concerned about your dog’s nipples if they show any signs of infection or any other signs of serious illness, such as tumors. In this case, you will need to get your dog to the vet immediately.
What Should Healthy Female Dog’s Nipples Look Like?
Depending on the breed of dog, your dog’s nipples will range in colour from pink to black and should look and feel like little bumps. It’s essentially what looks normal for your dog.
Can Sagging Nipples Be A Sign Of Cushing’s Disease In My Dog?
Cushing’s Disease can cause a loss of elasticity, which may extend to your dog’s nipples and causing them to sag.
What Does A Mammary Tumor Look And Feel Like On A Dog?
You will notice either a hard or soft lump near the nipples and you may also notice that the nipples might change in color to either red or purple.
Do Male Dogs Have Nipples, Too?
Male dogs do have nipples, however, they serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever; unlike female dog’s, who are used for producing milk to feed their litter with.
Can Male Dogs Have Sagging Nipples?
Even though female dogs are more likely to have sagging nipples, male dogs can also have sagging nipples, although this is much more rare.
Are My Dogs Nipples Infected?
If your dog’s nipples are sagging, there is a chance that they are infected. If you suspect this, you should take your dog to the vet to get them checked over and treated as leaving an infection could become fatal.
Can Dogs Lose Nipples?
It’s unlikely your dog will lose their nipples, but they may appear much smaller when the sagging stops.
Sagging Nipples Vs Enlarged Nipples In Dogs
Sagging nipples may be more due to issues with weight; whereas enlarged nipples are more likely due to infection, such as mastitis.
Are Sagging Nipples A Sign Of Addison’s Disease In Dogs?
Sagging nipples are unlikely to be a sign of Addison’s Disease as this is mostly an accidental diagnosis from a routine blood test.
Addison’s Disease Vs Cushing Disease In Dogs
These are both opposite to one another. Cushing’s Disease involves the body producing too much cortisol; whereas Addison’s Disease is where the body doesn’t produce enough cortisol.
What Do Dog Nipples Do?
In male dogs, their nipples do nothing. In female dogs, their nipples produce milk for their puppies to drink.
How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have?
Typically, dogs will have between eight and ten nipples; but some may have more or less depending on the breed.
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