Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay?

Does spaying cause changes in your dog’s nipples? Will dogs nipples shrink after spaying? We answer some more common questions about spaying and neutering.

There are no reliable studies to prove that a dog’s nipples would shrink after spaying. 

However, if the enlarged nipples are due to a female dog going through a heat cycle, then spaying can result in the nipples going back to their regular size. Another possible reason for a dog having swollen nipples can be mammary tumors. 

Dogs are by far the most affected animals with mammary tumors, which is about three times more than the mammary tumors affecting human women. If you find swollen nipples in a dog, it is best to get them checked. 

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay

While both male and female dogs are prone to mammary tumors, a late spayed or non spayed female is more likely to develop a mammary tumor. Read on to find out how to diagnose a mammary tumor in a dog and its possible treatments.

Do Dog Nipples Become Smaller After Spaying?

There is anecdotal evidence to support this, but no scientific reason has been given by vets.

If a female dog has puppies and her nipples are enlarged due to the puppies nursing her, once the puppies stop nursing, her nipples will shrink back to their regular size in a few months. 

Another reason for a dog’s nipple to enlarge if it is going through its heat cycle. Once the heat cycle ends, which is usually three weeks long, the dog’s nipple will go down to its regular size in a few weeks. 

Spaying can help return the nipples to their regular size; however other factors like age and hormones also play a role in the size of the nipples in dogs.

How To Shrink Dog Teats?

There is no possible way to shrink dog teats smaller than their actual size. 

But if you have a dog who has puppies or is going through her heat cycle, it can have bigger-sized nipples compared to other female dogs. Once the puppies stop nursing the dog, her nipples should shrink to their regular size. 

If a female dog is not spayed and is in heat, then hormonal changes in her body will result in her nipples getting enlarged and swollen. A heat cycle in a female dog can last up to three weeks; once the heat cycle passes without the dog getting pregnant, then her nipples should reduce to their regular size on their own in a couple of weeks. Spaying a female dog in heat also helps reduce the size of the nipples.

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay

Why Are My Dogs Breast Sagging?

It might be pregnant or lactating.

A dog’s breast sag is mainly because it might be pregnant. As the dog’s due date to give birth nears, milk production starts in its breast, which can cause them to sag with all the weight. 

Another reason for sagging breasts would be the puppies nursing from the mother. They suck on the nipples to get milk, resulting in the breast sagging. 

However, in either of the cases, once the puppies stop nursing the mother, her breast would shrink back to its regular size in a few months.

Why Does My Dog Have 7 Nipples?

Dogs can have anywhere between eight to ten nipples.

Dogs can have eight  to ten nipples on average, with most of them having an even pair of nipples in symmetry. However, having an odd number of nipples in dogs is also common, with some having seven or nine nipples. 

When a female dog gives birth, the litter can range from one to ten puppies, sometimes even more. Every puppy needs to be nurtured by its mother. That is why dogs have a large set of nipples. 

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay?

Swollen nipples can have many causes, spaying may not be able to do much.

The reason for your dog to have swollen nipples can be a medical condition like mastitis or a mammary gland tumor which is most common in dogs, approx three times more than in women. 

Mammary gland tumors

Mammary gland tumors in dogs appear primarily in the last two sets of the mammary gland, which are the closest to their hind legs. If you found abnormally swollen nipples in your dogs, then it is best to get them checked at a vet. 

Mastitis is a condition in which there is an infection in the mammary gland. It happens when bacteria somehow infects the mammary gland and can result in the dog becoming septic. An unclean environment and scratches made by puppies are some of the most common easy bacteria to enter the mammary gland.

Mammary gland tumor in dogs is common and even more so in female dogs. There is no specific cause why this tumor occurs, but hormones are an essential factor. 

Female dogs who are not spayed or spayed after their first heat cycle or even late are more prone to developing mammary gland tumors. A female dog who gets spayed before its first heat cycle has a meager chance of getting a mammary gland tumor.

How To Diagnose Mastitis In A Dog?

In case of mastitis, milk samples of the dog will be taken from the swollen nipple and tested to find bacteria or pus presence in it. To determine how severe the mastitis is, a vet will complete the dog’s blood test. An ultrasound is also done if there are additional tumors hidden from plain sight.

In acute septic mastitis, vets will prescribe antibiotics to the dog. One can also apply compressions to the swollen nipples to reduce inflammation.

If it is galactostasis, then a vet would keep the dog in observation and prevent food intake for 24 hours and water intake for 12 hours for the dog. Doing this without the vet’s supervision can be very dangerous for the dog.

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay

How To Diagnose A Mammary Gland Tumor In A Dog

Your vet will perform a simple physical exam or a biopsy.

A physical examination can help diagnose a mammary gland tumor in a dog. A vet will also perform a biopsy to confirm cancer and find its type, whether or not it is malignant.

A vet may perform additional tests like x-rays and ultrasound to determine how far the tumor has spread or whether there is any other hidden tumor. If the tumor is benign, it won’t cause any issue to the dog and can be left as such.

If the tumor is malignant, the best possible treatment is surgery on the dog to remove the tumor. Depending upon the spread and severity of the tumor, a vet can remove only the mass, the nipple with the tumor, or the nipple with the tumor and other surrounding nipples. 

In extreme cases, a vet might remove all the nipples in a dog. Hormonal, radiation, and medications don’t usually work with this type of tumor. 

However, in case of cancer has spread and it is not possible to perform surgery, chemotherapy can be recommended.

In inflammatory mammary gland carcinoma, the treatment procedure involves medication as it is impossible to treat this type of tumor with surgery.

The best possible solution to this tumor is to get a female dog spayed before going through her first heat cycle.

Will Dogs Nipples Shrink After Spay

Do Dog Nipples Go Down Once Spayed?

If it was happening because of the heat cycle, then yes.

Yes, if the reason why your dog’s nipples are enlarged is due to it going through its heat cycle, then after spaying, its nipples will go down to their regular size. 

The nipples usually reduce back to their normal size a few weeks after the heat cycle passes. However, make sure to consult a vet if your dog’s nipples are swollen or appear enlarged even when it is not in its heat cycle. 

Several medical conditions like mastitis and mammary gland tumor in dogs also result in swollen nipples. If diagnosed in the earliest stage, it is possible to treat the disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do female dog nipples shrink after spaying?

If they had swollen due to the dog’s heat cycle then yes.

If a female dog’s nipple gets enlarged due to going through a heat cycle, then after the heat cycle has passed or if the dog is spayed, her nipples will return to their regular size in a few weeks. 

If a female dog already has puppies or is aged, then spaying her may or may not reduce the size of her nipples. Also, if a female dog has puppies nursing from her, the nipple size will only start to subside after the puppies stop nursing from her and go back to their regular size.

Why are my spayed dogs’ nipples enlarged?

It could be a mammary tumor. Please get it checked from a vet.

If your spayed dog’s nipples are enlarged, it might be a cause of concern. It is very common for female dogs to develop mammary tumors. If you find that the nipples of your dog are abnormally swollen, then it is best to consult a vet right away. 

Of all the mammary tumors in dogs, 45% are cancerous, so it is better to get them checked by a vet to determine the cause of the tumor and whether or not it is malignant.

Mastitis can be another possible reason for your dog’s enlarged nipples.

Final Words

If a female dog has enlarged nipples due to undergoing heat or having puppies, then after spaying, its nipples would shrink and go back to their regular size. However, several other factors can affect the shrinking process, like the dog’s age and how many times it had puppies. If a spayed dog has enlarged or swollen nipples, then a medical issue might be the reason behind it. It is better to get the dog checked by a vet.

Thank  you for reading the article and we hope we were able to answer the questions that you had in mind. If you have more, please write to us in the comments.

Do read other articles that help you understand the effects of spaying such as: Does It Hurt A Dog To Poop After Being Spayed? Or When Will My Pet Dog Pee After Being Neutered?