Agalactia (lack of milk) is the impossibility of milk secretion at the required time (after giving birth), during breastfeeding. Normally, production of milk starts shortly before the female gives birth and continues after the birth, with milk secretion stimulated by the suckling of the litter.
For offspring, lack of milk is a major problem. For them, milk is a necessary source of nutrients in the first days of life.
The cause of agalactia can be congenital. Congenital agalactia means that the problem lies in a defect of the mammary gland and, in this case, therapy does not help. Females with this problem should not be bred.
Other reasons for agalactia may include hormonal, stress, pain, fear, infection, irregular or bad nutrition of female. If the lack of milk is hormonal, your veterinarian can help by giving the animal appropriate hormones. Also, in the case of mammary gland infection, the problem can be resolved with adequate therapy. Often first pregnancies or nervousness in young females can lead to agalactia. In these cases, the veterinarian can help by administering some drugs to help the mother to relax. After this medical intervention, if there is still a lack of milk, the offspring will need to be fed by hand. If the owners experience problems feeding or the newborns cry all the time, they must consult their veterinarian.
Some mothers who have problems with milk secretion at their first whelping may not have the same problem with their second litter. This can happen if the mammary gland was not developed before the first delivery.
It is important that the owners consult with a veterinarian about nutrition before and after whelping in order to avoid lack of milk. After whelping, for adequate milk production (lactation), it is important to know that energy and nutrient requirements for female increase 2 or 4 times in first three weeks. The mother’s food intake is associated with milk production which is directly related to the number of newborns. If the owners notice that the mother doesn’t have enough milk and that the offspring are hungry, be sure to contact your vet.
Fresh and clean water should always be available. If the mother is drinking too little water, the owners can add some salt to it. Once she starts to drink normally, do not add salt any longer.
After giving birth, normal physical activity is recommended for mother.