The use of carbetocin in the treatment of maternal cannibalism in dogs

Koçkaya M. , Demirbas Y. S.

Journal of Veterinary Behavior, vol.40, pp.98-102, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jveb.2020.10.004
  • Title of Journal : Journal of Veterinary Behavior
  • Page Numbers: pp.98-102


© 2020 Elsevier Inc.Maternal cannibalism is a serious condition, which negatively affects the well-being of the puppies and the mother as well as the owner. Although this condition has been found to be related to low oxytocin (OXT) levels and administration of OXT was found to be effective for decreasing postpartum anxiety in humans, no treatment procedure was recommended for dogs yet. In this study, carbetocin, a synthetic analog for OXT, was used in 19 Kangal dogs with a previous history of maternal cannibalism. The same treatment procedure, that is, administration of carbetocin every 6 hours, was applied to all dogs for 10 days after the birth. As a result, none of the dogs showed abnormal maternal behavior toward their puppies during and after the treatment. No adverse effect of carbetocin was detected in any of the dogs. This study is the first to provide an effective treatment protocol for dogs displaying maternal cannibalism.