Antibiotic medication treats mastitis in nursing dogs provided the infection is not severe, according to PetMD. If the bacterial infection has caused tissue death in the mammary glands or a systemic illness in the nursing mother, hospitalization and surgery are often required to remove the abscessed or gangrenous glands. Intravenous fluid therapy is administered to stabilize dogs experiencing septic shock or dehydration in order to treat the electrolyte imbalance and hypoglycemia.
If a bitch with mastitis is well enough to continue to nurse her puppies, this is the healthiest option for both mother and puppies, explains PetMD. A warm compress applied to the glands several times a day while expressing the milk helps to clear the ducts. Wrapping the glands in cabbage leaves may reduce swelling and soothe the mother. In cases in which the mother dog is too sick to nurse her puppies, hand raising is often required.
Mastitis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial infection in the milk-producing breast glands that typically occurs in mother dogs shortly after giving birth, notes PetMD. It can be caused by a scratch or bite to the gland from a puppy, an infection in another part of the body, or as a result of poor hygiene. Keeping the area surrounding the mammary glands clean-shaven and clipping the puppies’ nails can help prevent reinfection.