How to Dry up a Dog’s Milk
August 2, 2016
Most female dogs slowly wean as the puppies move to solid food, and the glands respond to the back pressure by producing less milk. Taking the female away is not an issue – she dries up and the glands suck up against the body again. However, in heavy milkers, it can sometimes be difficult for the glands to dry up.
Dry Up Dog’s Breast Milk: Medical Treatment
Glands that won’t stop producing become painful and if we are not careful, mastitis sets in. In severe cases, prescription drug therapy (Cabergoline 1.5-5.0 µg/kg/day divided BID) may be indicated to reduce lactation. Cabergoline will block prolactin in order to stop milk production.
How to Help a Mom Dog Dry Up Milk: Homeopathic Treatment
A topical mustard plaster can also be successful. Mustard plaster is an old remedy used in humans, and it works well for dogs too.
- 1 Tbsp. flour
- 2 tsp. oil
- 1 Tbsp. dry mustard
Cover the area with a thin coat of Vaseline jelly before applying the mustard plaster. Mix the ingredients with lukewarm water to form a paste. Spread on a thin clean cloth and cover the mammary glands. Place on the gland area for 20 minutes, or a shorter time if needed. Be careful not to burn the skin – check the application every five minutes. Remove the plaster and cover the area with camphorated oil or tincture of camphor. Then cover with warm fabric such as flannel or a towel. Repeat in four hours.
At the same time you’re using the mustard plaster, take the female off food and limit her water for the first 24 hours. Then give her ½ the amount of her regular food for the next two days before returning to a full diet. You may need to milk her out by hand, but only when it’s needed to prevent infection from setting in. It’s also wise to put them on an antibiotic, such as sulfamethoxazole trimethoprim, to prevent mastitis during this process. Three treatments should dry them up, but I have gone as many as five since it is soothing to the female.
If you have more questions on how to dry up dogs breast milk, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.