When a Dog Won't Milk

When mothers won't milk, it's critical – but quick intervention can be the remedy.


Prolactin is the hormonal stimulant to start lactation at birth. Females that have plenty of glands, but no milk are lacking the prolactin stimulation to start. This is common in planned C-Sections for Bulldog breeds.


Reglan (Metoclopramide) causes the release of prolactin in the postpartum bitch. It's reliable and quick to effect – within hours! Reglan is mostly used to stop vomiting, so it's readily available. You can give Reglan at 0.5 mg/kg every 6 hours for three days with Oxytocin every 2 hours to help get lactation started. Prolactin stimulates the gland to produce milk, and the Oxytocin lets the milk out of the gland into the duct, which allows for more milk production. Results are usually rewarding within 24 hours.


Not milking or not producing enough milk is one place in which herbs are reliable and effective. Fenugreek and Chaste tree fruit are herbal products that are used to boost milk production. We use about ½ the human dose on large dogs and size down for smaller.

Breeders' Edge® Oxy Momma is a postnatal vitamin herb chew that contains Fenugreek, Chaste tree fruit, and Motherwort in a form that quickly brings moms into milk. You can expect increased production within 72 hours. Use for 3-7 days before birth for queens or bitches that have had milking issues in the past, or use 7 days before planned C-Sections to bring into milk. We don’t start before 7 days as we do not want them milking before birth because of mastitis risk!

Bulldogs benefit from this treatment as there is not a birthing process to start glandular milk production. Oxy Momma use has been so effective in bulldogs that most will drip milk when they are taken off the table. This has been effective at increasing milk production, but if there is no milk, use Reglan as well for faster resolution.

Beer has long been the human treatment to bring a mother's milk in. The malt in the beer will bring a mother’s milk in quickly – usually within 24 hours. Use 100 cc twice a day on large dogs for best results. The herbal treatment is more effective and would be my choice.


When you're dealing with milk production issues, keep in mind that the puppies still need nutrients! If you can't bring the milk in within 6 hours, you have to bottle feed with milk replacer every 2 hours. As the bitch produces more milk, you can transition the puppies back to their mother.

If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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