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Woof Wednesday: False Pregnancy & Zinc Neutering

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Everyone knows that pets get pregnant if precautions aren’t taken, but did you know they also can suffer false pregnancy? Today’s Ask Amy address this situation, but I’ve got a BONUS VIDEO for you as well.


The girls still require spay surgery and in most cases the boys are surgically neutered. But a new procedure that uses injections can neuter your boy dogs with very little muss or fuss. I’ve wanted to interview these folks for some time and we keep missing each other on schedule so hopefully sometime in the future you’ll hear a radio interview.

But in the meantime, check out the awesome video below of the procedure–fellows, I can see you crossing your legs now. Don’t be a weenie, this isn’t an ooky procedure at all and is a great paw-step forward.

At what age did you have your fur-kids neutered? Or have you decided not to sterilize them–could you share why? If it were available, would you elect to go with zinc neutering?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with excerpts from the forthcoming THRILLER, LOST & FOUND, and pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

4 responses »

  1. My friend with the rescued foxes had both of them spayed, and they always went through the “false pregnancy” thing every year. We figure it has to do with the wild genes. In any case it did allow for a rather interesting dynamic with the two of them. Apparently sometimes, though they are usually solitary, there will be a female from a previous litter hanging around for an extra year or so that ends up playing “nanny”… well, one of the foxes was older (now deceased as of about a year ago), and she would care for her “babies” well. The younger one (who we are quite determined is not convinced she is a fox, but rather a lap cat who deserves to be spoiled and pampered for eternity) always just sort of ignored hers. The older fox used to pass the “babies” over to the younger one’s side of the enclosure after a certain length of time… at which point the “babies” would be rather violently destroyed… jealous nanny I guess. Well, now that the older fox is gone, for the first time the young one is starting to actually show a maternal side, I suppose because she no longer has what she sees as competition for the top spot. It’s been kind of interesting to watch. I can’t imagine they ever acted 100% like wild foxes given they were born in captivity, but it’s still rather interesting to see, and something I am trying to learn more about since foxes are becoming a rather popular exotic pet, not being considered “dangerous” in most states, and a lot of folks get in over their heads not realizing how the fox is going to behave. I’m VERY curious now as someone I’m familiar with online has successfully contacted the Russian Institute of Cytology and Genetics and now has one of their domestic foxes. I am waiting to see more of how the behaviors are different with those generations of breeding, and honestly hoping she becomes successful in her venture to try and help bring more over for people, largely because that may reduce the demand for “tame” foxes bred here that aren’t really properly domesticated. If you can’t beat ’em, at least give them an option where the animal will be happier. Mind you, I am not 100% against private ownership of “exotics”, but I do not think it is something one should take on lightly. If you’re going to do it, expect to do a LOT of research on behavior and handling, volunteer someplace that has taken in unruly “pets” to make sure you see how it can go wrong, and expect to check the enclosures for weaknesses DAILY.

    …got more to add but I am being beckoned by offers of brownies next door so we shall make that a second installment when I get back. 😉

    • Okay, the next portion of my comment is nullified as both my questions were answered in the comments on the YouTube video. 🙂

    • Wow, I’d be interested to learn how the domesticated fox adoption goes. The Russian domestication project has gotten a lot of press, but just as you say, you must know a BUNCH to do this right. And we’ve already got so many “rare” dog breeds that are already domesticated that I fear this could potentially turn into a debacle–for the foxes.

      Karyl, you always have such great comments and info to add to the discussion, thanks!

      • Yeah, that’s much of my concern as well. But thankfully for the moment importing them is around $3000 all told from poking around and checking with others who managed to get in touch with the Institute. $1500 for the fox, then there’s the shipping, import fees, etc. So hopefully that at least will make people think a bit more first, and if I read correctly, they are ONLY exported already-spayed/neutered animals at this time, so that’s also a plus.

        I just haven’t met many behaviorists that work with exotics, short of those working for zoos and the like, so I figure it’s got to be useful to SOMEONE to try and learn more. But I’m keeping tabs on Anya the fox’s videos to see how things go. So far it seems she does indeed act VERY doglike, wags tail and all… and retained the digging instinct at least. Her outdoor enclosure that’s been shown in the videos thus far has a nice big den at the bottom. LOL


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