Mastitis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Mastitis in dogs is an inflammatory process in the mammary gland. The disease is very dangerous, because without treatment, the animal can die. How to recognize the symptoms of the disease in time and how to cure your favorite pet?

Causes of mastitis

Mastitis can develop for several reasons.

  1. Most often, it occurs due to injury to the nipples (puppies gums or teeth while sucking milk bite the dog-mother, claws scratch). The resulting cracks become the gates of infection, and the bacteria that get through them will “be found”.
  2. If there are few or no puppies, then due to stagnation of milk (in scientific terms, lactostasis), mastitis can also develop in the dog. Also, lactostasis occurs if babies are too early or incorrectly weaned from their mother.
  3. Environmental conditions can cause inflammation of the mammary gland, even in a completely healthy pet. Heat, frost, lying on a cold floor, unsanitary conditions – these are all predisposing factors. As well as contact with the skin of the mammary glands of chemicals that lead to irritation. Hormonal imbalances and stress can also lead to mastitis.
  4. Not only bitches who have given birth can get mastitis. In false bitches, breast inflammation develops due to the fact that there is no one to eat the resulting milk. Dogs with a false pregnancy must be shown to veterinary specialists.

Predisposition to mastitis

As strange as it may sound, but the predisposition to mastitis in dogs can be inherited. Therefore, if a female develops breast inflammation after each birth, she is excluded from breeding.

Symptoms of mastitis

  • The first symptoms that a dog owner may notice are enlargement and redness of the mammary glands. They become very hot, extremely painful. And when you press on them, a strange secret is released from the nipples (milk with lumps or blood, pus). The animal may not even let you touch the inflamed lobes, may push away puppies that will try to eat from the gland with mastitis.
  • In a dog with mastitis, the overall body temperature rises. There is lethargy, appetite is noticeably reduced. The pet lies more, whines, and licks the diseased lobes.

The diagnosis should only be made by a veterinarian. But you can not delay visiting the clinic, because mastitis without therapy will quickly turn into an abscess, phlegmon, and there to sepsis is not far away.

Types of mastitis

There are several types of breast inflammation.


We can say that this is the initial stage. And only a specialist can detect it, the average owner is unlikely to notice that the dog’s milk has mucus. After all, the other symptoms have not yet developed. At this stage, it is best to start treatment, otherwise catarrhal mastitis will turn into serous or even purulent.


This type of mastitis is also not easy to detect without special skill. With this type of inflammation, exudate is released with milk.


If a little milk is drained from the patient’s dense hot lobe, white filaments of fibrin are visible.


Already from the name of the type of mastitis, it becomes clear that there are impurities of pus in milk (yellowish, greenish), unpleasant smell. the animal’s body temperature rises. With this type of inflammation, you can’t do without antibiotics. Warming up the patient’s lobes with this type of mastitis is strictly prohibited!


Phlegmon is an outpouring of pus into the subcutaneous tissue. Surprisingly, immediately there will be no pus in the milk, it will appear later, when microorganisms penetrate the mammary glands.


It is rarely diagnosed, but it still happens. In this type of mastitis, the pustules are encapsulated (in contrast to the phlegmon, which is spilled). Only surgery and antibiotic therapy can help.


The most severe type of inflammation, in which breast tissue necrotizes (dies). It is extremely difficult to treat, but it also develops extremely rarely.

Treatment of a dog with mastitis

If you start treating a dog with mastitis on the first day of the disease, you can only do with medication. Their veterinarian will appoint them only after a full-time examination of the dog. After all, in advanced cases, surgery will be required.

In the initial stages, you can do novocaine blockade. You will also need antibiotic therapy. But it is best to prescribe antibiotics for a reason, and after adjusting the milk for sensitivity to them. So you can find out which drugs are most sensitive to the microorganisms responsible for inflammation.

It is important to understand that milk from the mastitis lobe (even if there is no pus and blood) is a real breeding ground for bacteria. It is likely to contain cocci (staphylo-, strepto-), E. coli and many others.

And feed puppies with still “weak” intestines, and adult animals with such milk is strictly prohibited! Crumbs will have to be transferred to artificial feeding, since other parts may already contain bacteria, and milk from healthy parts will contain residual amounts of medications (antibiotics).

Prevention of mastitis at home

To prevent the development of breast inflammation in a dog you must follow some rules:

  1. Avoid injury to the mammary glands. In puppies, trim the claws. Monitor the condition of the mammary glands in the dog, if there are fresh wounds and abrasions, be sure to treat them to prevent infection.
  2. Make sure that the pregnant and nursing female is kept in a clean and dry room. The animal should not be overcooled or overheated.
  3. If the dog is kept in a doghouse, then you need to put materials on the bottom that are not sorry to throw away or easy to wash. Don’t forget to disinfect the floor. If the mother is in the apartment, give her a separate warm corner without drafts with a cozy bedding.