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Dog Pregnancy Symptoms and Diagnosis

Updated on April 2, 2014

Birth of a Dalmatian Puppy with Great Music!

Is My Dog Pregnant?

Your dog may not show many obvious symptoms that she is pregnant during the first three weeks that she's become pregnant. Maybe she is more affectionate with you and a little hungrier.

If that doesn't tune you in, perhaps, when her nipples slightly enlarge, you'll get 'it'. When a clear mucus vaginal discharge starts four to five weeks into pregnancy, you'd really have to be inattentive not to notice! Btw, the discharge continues until the dog gives birth.

Generally, you should be able to tell whether your dog is pregnant at around the one month mark after she has mated. However, you must see a vet for a proper diagnosis and care recommendations.

Proper Diagnosis

Your veterinarian can perform a blood test, which checks for the hormone relaxin, which is produced when the fertilized egg implants. However, this cannot be done until 28 – 30 days into the suspected pregnancy. Keep in mind that false negative results are known to occur with small litters. Small litters are considered less than three puppies.

Pregnancy Detector for Dogs

In addition to a blood test, a vet can perform an ultrasound which is the most common method. The ultrasound would pick up any fetal heartbeats and allows the vet to estimate how many puppies your dog will have. Around this time, your vet may be able to palpate the uterus and feel the fetuses. However, this is not always possible with large dogs or dogs carrying puppies under her rib cage.

X-rays can then be taken about two months in. This will verify the number of puppies your dog is carrying, as well as make sure that they can fit through her birth canal, size-wise. It is not recommended to perform any x-rays earlier than 60 days since the radiation exposure can be potentially harmful to developing fetuses. Many veterinarians prefer not to use x-rays at all for this reason.


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      mamadonna 4 years ago

      Add Your Comment My dalmatian is 3wks pregnant and I would like to document it via blog and video....

    • Ponderize profile image

      Ponderize 9 years ago from California

      Thanks Decrescedo, yeah...pregnancy for dogs isn't as simple as some might think.

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      Luke 9 years ago

      Space Odyssey - love that song!