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It can be difficult to ascertain whether your dog is pregnant until the last few weeks of her nine-week pregnancy when her belly has increased in size and is difficult to not notice. The best way to find out is to take it to a veterinarian, but familiarity with the physical and behavioral changes that are taking place helps.
Pay attention to physical changes
1- Watch for nipple discoloration.
One of the early signs of possible pregnancy is a pinkish-colored nipple. This indicates a change in the color of the nipple, which makes it appear pinker than normal, slightly swollen, and more prominent. This sign can appear within 2-3 weeks of pregnancy.
2- Be aware of body changes.
A pregnant dog does not change the body shape until the second half of her pregnancy. From 4-5 weeks, her midsection begins to thicken and fills her stomach.
3- Do not increase her food ration prematurely.
A pregnant dog should be given more food in the last third of her pregnancy, but most owners tend to increase their dog’s food ration too early. The extra calories lead to fat accumulating in the belly, which may be mistaken for pregnancy. The average person can’t distinguish whether her enlarged abdomen is the result of an increase in the size of the fetuses inside him, or because of fat.
4- Watch for ongoing body changes.
In the last trimester (6-9 weeks) of pregnancy, the dog’s belly will roll and expand. Her mammary glands begin to grow and visibly swell as they prepare to secrete milk.
5- Find the movement of the puppy and try to feel it.
In the first trimester, you can see the dog’s flanks move as the puppies squirm in her womb. If you put your hand facing the twisting side, you can feel the movement.
Don’t be disappointed if you can’t feel it. Puppies are deep in their belly and every puppy floats in a sac of liquid, so it is not possible to feel the puppy’s true limits.
Noticing behavioral changes
1- Don’t expect drastic changes.
All dogs react to pregnancy in different ways. Some can become calmer and more tired in the early stages, but sick dogs are also calm, so this signal is not reliable for predicting pregnancy. A normal bitch behaves in the usual way until the last trimester of pregnancy.
During the last trimester, the dog becomes more difficult to move around and may be more likely to sleep.
2- Expect changes in appetite.
As the end of pregnancy approaches, the bitch’s uterus will grow in size and take up more space in its abdomen. You will not be able to accommodate large meals, so you will tend toward light meals, eating small quantities at a time, and for shorter periods.
|How to confirm if a dog is pregnant or not|
3- Pay attention to the nesting process.
When the puppies’ due date approaches, the dog begins to prepare the proper shelter for them. She will collect blankets or clothes in an isolated place where she prepares an appropriate, safe, and warm environment for her impending baby.
The deadline for preparing a pup ranges from two or three weeks to two or three days before the due date.
Get a professional medical diagnosis
1- Visit the vet. If you suspect your dog
is pregnant, it is worth seeing the vet confirm your suspicion. There are many different methods a vet can use to definitively confirm a pregnancy
2- Get a physical exam.
The vet will examine the dog and take particular care of gently feeling its abdomen
The doctor can feel her womb and the puppy’s boundaries inside by palpation (feel her stomach on the outside). However, this is much more difficult than it sounds because it is easy to misdiagnose pup feces in the intestine and back. The ideal time to feel pregnant is between days 28-35 from the start of conception. Before that, there is not enough difference for her to feel and tell the doctor about her pregnancy. After that, puppies can be misdiagnosed as something else like food in the stomach.
3- Check the heartbeat.
In the later stages of pregnancy (starting at the sixth week), a vet can hear the heartbeat of the fetus by placing a stethoscope on the dog’s abdomen. However, this process is much more difficult than diagnosing pregnancy in the case of a human fetus due to the rustling sound produced by the fur that covers the dog’s body and the fact that dogs have rounded, not flat bellies.
4- Get a blood test.
The vet will do a blood test to look for the hormone relaxin.
The hormone is reliably present in the blood after the 28th day of pregnancy. If the examination is performed before that date, a negative pregnancy test result can be obtained, although this is not correct, as it is mistakenly assumed that the dog is not pregnant.
Any positive test result, even before the 28th day, confirms the validity of the pregnancy.
5- Make the ultrasound image.
Ultrasound is the earliest way to confirm pregnancy. A skilled specialist can find puppies on display starting from the 16th day.
In the case of an obedient bitch, the examination may be performed without anesthesia.
The specialist will need to trim the fur on the belly of the furry dogs so that the probe can make good contact with their skin.
6- Ask about the possibility of an x-ray.
With the widespread use of ultrasound, the need for x-rays in pregnancy has decreased. The primary need for an x-ray of a late-stage pregnant dog is to count the puppies in the womb.
This information will help the owner know if all puppies were safely born. It can alert the owner when the birth has stopped while one of the pups is still in the womb.
Diagnosing early signs of pregnancy
1- be patient. It is possible that the dog
will not show any signs of pregnancy in the first 2-3 weeks (that is, in the first trimester). Her appetite should still be normal.
Pregnant female dogs suffer from morning fatigue the way humans do, although this does not happen until around the 21st day after the mating. Also on the 21st, you can take a look at your dog’s gums. If mating occurs, her gums will turn white instead of the natural pink. This occurs because the embryos are in her womb and blood collects from parts of her body in this area, so for a day or two, the gums appear white. Do not worry. If it lasts for more than two days, contact a vet.
2- Note any mood swings.
Some people initially doubt the possibility of a dog being pregnant because of her extra calmness than usual, but this observation is more tentative than fact. Pregnancy causes a change in hormone levels and it affects each dog differently.
Some dogs may become calmer than before, others may become more loving and attached, while others may prefer withdrawal and isolation.
3- Watch for other signs of fatigue.
While a change in a dog’s mood or behavior could indicate pregnancy, it is an unclear sign that it may be ill. Therefore, you should monitor her closely for any symptoms of fatigue such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, or vaginal discharge.
If your dog has a mate and then is reluctant to eat in the following days or weeks, this is unlikely to be related to pregnancy and should be taken to a veterinarian. This is also what you should do if you notice vaginal secretions (this is not normal in pregnancy) or if they vomit regularly.
Make sure to handle your dog’s stomach gently, even if you aren’t sure she’s pregnant yet. You don’t want to risk harming the puppies.
Some dogs develop “morning fatigue.” It results from the fluctuation of hormones. And mucus flow during pregnancy is very normal. If the smell is foul, see a veterinarian.
Dogs who are not accustomed to handling and handling humans are likely to be stung during childbirth, so be careful. Keep children and strangers away from their “hate” or area of abuse.
It is common to have false pregnancies in dogs. After several weeks of exposure to heat, signs of pregnancy begin to appear on the dog, such as enlarged nipples and increased appetite. Without an actual pregnancy, contact the vet to confirm whether your dog is pregnant or not.