How do I or my Vet Know if my Dog is Pregnant?

I am wondering if my dog is pregnant. She got away from the house (escaped the yard) and now I'm afraid she might have found a boyfriend. So how do I tell if my girl is going to have puppies? Will she look pregnant?

Is there any kind of test for dog pregnancy, you know like a "dog pregnancy test" or a urine test or anything like that? Can you feel puppies growing?

Do I need to go to the veterinarian?

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Yes, there are ways to test. Not early on though. Best approach if some pet intact bitch got out while in season, is for owner to realize they're not doing their job of keeping her safe, so schedule to have her spayed as soon as she's out of season. If she was supposedly pregnant she won't be by the time they pick her up.

Otherwise, when you intentionally breed a dog, there is a blood test. My vet doesn't use it though. We wait 4-5 weeks? (been a while - you have to wait almost that long to do the blood test anyway and you can get a false negative if only one puppy, for instance) and do an ultrasound. Pretty cool. My vet even printed out a couple of pics for me. I should dig them out and scan and share. One of the puplets in the making was visibly "spinning - though you can't see that on a still obviously. Nothing can convince me it wasn't my first look at Sybil, though ;-)

You don't rely on an ultrasound to count puppies since even an experienced vet will tell you she may have missed a few (mine saw 4 puppies, we got 8 ) Then, too, typically you x-ray much, much closer to the due date. That can be used to count puppies. Unless it's a large litter or a sneaky bitch. My vet confirmed 6 (at least) on x-ray. She was suspicious there might be one or two more tucked out of sight, carried high - performance bitch, very fit - and she was right.

Of course, you don't have to do any of this. You can just wait and if dog gets fat and bags up etc, yeah, probably pregnant. An experienced breeder and some vets can palpate which is the old way they used to check for pregnancy and count puppies. Person doing it has to know what they're doing though.

As for the general public, most people figure it out eventually. If nothing else when the puppies start popping out... 8O :roll: :lol:

I got to thinking, trying to remember why canine pregnancy tests aren't as sophisticated as humans. Came across this explanation
[Female dogs] do not produce a pregnancy-specific hormone similar to human chorionic gonadotropin
progesterone is not a useful indicator of pregnancy
relaxin concentrations are increased in pregnant bitches three or four weeks after breeding
[Goes on to explain there is a test for relaxin and why the test isn't preferred because it only works after three or four weeks (that's nearly half way through the pregnancy!!) and doesn't give as much info as an ultrasound]

Probably more than some of us need to know, but I thought it was really interesting.

First signs are increased appetite and maybe weight gain. (weight gain is most noticable after day 30 until delivery) By day 21 the vet (or experienced owner) may be able to palpate the tiny puppies as a string of lumps in the uterus......bitch willing. Some won't tolerate such manipulation. If your vet has ultrasound, this is possible beginning about day 21. Xrays are best left until later in pregnancy, say day 45 on so a good skeleton will show up. There are no chemical or biological tests to determine pregnancy....the home test kits for humans won't work. :lol:
If your bitch is cooperative, an experienced vet or breeder might be able to palpate puppies as early as day 21.....they feel like a string of pearls in the uterus. Few bitches are relaxed enough to allow all that manipulation. Ultra sound before day 21 probably won't show up much. Xrays should wait until at least day 45 so you have good skeletal formation and can count backbones.......but as said above, nothing is perfect as puppies have a funny way of hiding inside the uterus.

Sybil indeed was probably the strange twirling puppy who's head rotated 360 degrees.

The major weight gain doesn't come until the second month....though some girls will almost immediately develop an appetite.

Thanks for the info on the chemical tests.......I knew they weren't reliable, now I know why.
Ultrasound, then you sort of have an idea there might be buns in the oven but not an accurate number inside.

Xray later in the pregnacy also but after a certain date from the matings if an ultrasound shows up nothing or you are wanting to know roughly exact numbers to look for while your bitch is whelping or after the ultrasound may show nothing, you might still suspect they might be as one or two could possibly be tucked up higher in the womb and not detectable on Ultrasound.

Hard to detmine by weight gain, nipple enlargement or nesting behaviour as some bitches at that time can not be in whelp and just Phantoming. When I mated Kelsy I would of sworn she was in whelp, blew out, nipples were later on colostrum seepage from them, enlargement there as well, ultra sound showed nothing at 4 weeks then again at 5 weeks, toward the end I had an xray done to make 100% sure no pups in there.

Had a friend who's bitch was confirmed nothing, she did both tests, they were at a show and her bitch went into labour, one pup and she was taken by surprise at that after all the tests confirmed she was not in whelp, even her demeanor and body shape did not change. All turned out OK there but no test is 100% accurate. :wink:
Dogs don't get pregnant, silly! Bitches do :-)

another April Fool, Ron?

Okay, you said said "she". When did Mulligan get a sister???

Trying to start another Tubes Tied thread, huh?
I think Mulligan's babies will be lovely :lol: :lol: :lol:
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