Mastitis in Dogs (May 2019)

Mastitis occurs due to an infection in a dog’s mammary glands, so it most often happens in female dogs who are nursing a litter of puppies. Male dogs, however, can also go through this type of infection, though it’s not as common.

Types of Mastitis

Though mastitis is the general term, there are two different types that can occur in any dog, male or female.


This type of mastitis occurs during the late stages of a dog’s pregnancy and is known as caked breasts. The type comes from the dog being distended and the accumulation of milk in the teats.

However, this does not mean she carries the infection,  but mastitis is still present.

Acute Septic Mastitis

This is the type of mastitis that comes with the dangerous infection. Abscesses and/or infection grows in the mammary glands that cause the dog to become ill.

Symptoms of Mastitis in Dogs

Listed below are a wide variety of symptoms that could indicate your dog is suffering from mastitis:

  • Crying
  • Restlessness
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Blood in the milk and/or discolored milk
  • Aggression toward the puppies

You can check your dog’s teats for the following to see if mastitis is present:

  • Warm to the touch
  • Bruising
  • Painful to touch
  • Lumpy

If you spot any of the symptoms listed in the categories above, make sure you take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

What Causes Mastitis?

Bacteria getting into the nipples of dogs causes mastitis. Be it from a scratch or a nursing mom, the teats can become infected from next to nothing at all. Because of this, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s nipples, especially if she’s pregnant or has just had her litter of puppies.

Feeding Puppies and Mastitis

If the mother dog has mastitis and puppies who are currently feeding off the teat, do not let them feed from the mom.

The milk will be toxic to them while the infection is present.

Take Your Dog to the Vet

If left untreated, mastitis can be fatal in next to no time at all. If you suspect your dog has mastitis, bring them to the vet as soon as you can.


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