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Find out more about your dogs
So you think your little girl might be about to become a proud parent? How exciting! But before you can brag about being a grandparent, there are a few important things you need to know. If you suspect your dog could be pregnant, your veterinarian can run tests to confirm.
From time of ovulation (which isn't always the same day as breeding), pregnancy ranges from 56 – 66 days, with an average of 63 days.
During the first few weeks:
Weeks four to six:
Developing puppies lie inside the horns of their mother's uterus. A veterinarian can tell whether a dog is pregnant by the 28th day after the last breeding. By palpating the abdomen, they can feel swelling embryos about the size of walnuts.
Abdominal palpation requires experience and a gentle hand. This should only be done by your veterinarian or an experienced breeder. If you would like to learn how to palpate for puppies, ask your veterinarian to teach you. After day 35, the fetuses are floating in capsules of fluid and can't be detected by palpation.
X-rays are used as an alternative to an ultrasound. They can distinguish between pregnancy, false pregnancy, and pyometra, as well as estimate the size of the litter. Because the radiation could harm the developing embryos, they should be done 45 days after conception.
Schedule the first check-up two to three weeks after breeding and your veterinarian will advise you about any further necessary check-ups. Your veterinarian will want to talk to you about:
In case it's needed, be sure to find out where you can get emergency service after hours.
The Pet Health Library: Pregnant Dog Care
Dr. Wendy C. Brooks, DVM, Dip ABVP