Breeding, Nutrition

When Cats and Dogs Won’t Milk

November 29, 2022

When Cats and Dogs Won’t Milk

Last updated: August 02, 2016

When mother cat has no milk for kittens or a mother dog has no milk, it’s critical – but quick intervention can be the remedy.

What is Prolactin in Dogs?

Prolactin is the hormonal stimulant that initiates lactation at birth. Females who have plenty of glands but no milk lack the prolactin stimulation to start producing milk. This is common in moms who have C-sections, as there is no birthing process to stimulate prolactin release. Bulldogs in particular struggle with this, as the puppies’ large heads often preclude them from free whelping.

Medical Treatment

Reglan (Metoclopramide) causes the release of prolactin in the postpartum female or queen. 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 six hours, with Oxytocin every two 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. The empty gland asks mom for more milk production. Results usually occur within 12 hours.

How to Make Mom Dog Produce More Milk

Herbs are helpful and reliable when a mom dog or cat is not milking or not producing enough milk. Fenugreek and Chaste tree fruit are herbal products that reliably boost milk production. Both are in Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma and dosed according to label. With very little or no milk production, we will double the dose for three days to jump start lactation. It works and saves puppies and kittens.

Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma is a postnatal vitamin herb chew that contains Motherwort, Chaste tree fruit, and Fenugreek for dogs and cats in a form that quickly brings moms into milk. You can expect increased production within 72 hours. Use for seven days before birth for queens or females that have had milking issues in the past or before planned C-Sections to bring mom into milk. We don’t start before 14 days as milking before birth increases their risk of mastitis.

Mother Cat Has No Milk for Kittens: Prevent Kitten and Puppy Loss

When you’re dealing with milk production issues, keep in mind that the kittens and puppies still need nutrients! If you can’t bring the milk in within six hours, you have to bottle feed with a kitten or puppy milk replacer every two hours. As the queen or female produces more milk, you can transition the kittens or puppies back to their mother.

If you need more help with how to help mom dog produce milk or how to help a mother cat produce more milk, call us at 800.786.4751.

-Dr. Bramlage
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Former Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

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.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.