The dams may become pregnant and then resorb her fetuses a not uncommon phenomenon. To be able to distinguish between a case of this sort and pseudo pregnancy, it is helpful to know how to tell at an early stage if the dam is pregnant.
Pregnancy in dogs can be discovered by palpation or feeling. Note how the lumps in the uterus lie. Unless your bitch is overly fat, you can feel these solid lumps along her uterus. If you have a keen sense of feeling, you can tell almost to the day how old they are. These lumps grow rapidly. In a forty-pound dog, they feel as large as a pea at twenty-two days, as large as an English walnut at twenty-eight days, and as large as a small hen’s egg at thirty-three days. After that, they become so soft that palpation is difficult. When you are sure you are not mistaking a lump that consists of the fetus, fetal membranes, placenta, uterine walls, abdominal walls, and skin for a piece of feces, you can be certain that the hitch is pregnant. As you follow the development of the lumps by making these gentle and frequent examinations, you may one day note that they are smaller. If so, the dam is resorbing them; the uterus is virtually digesting them back into circulation.
Unless the litter is small, after thirty-five days there will be sufficient distension of the abdomen so that palpation will not be necessary; the condition will be obvious.
The time from fertilization of the ova until birth is sixty-three days. The day before the dam whelps, her temperature usually drops one degree or thereabouts. Her actions, too, indicate that she is soon to whelp. She becomes restless, and somewhat apprehensive, makes a nest, or seems to be searching for a place to make one, and often stops eating.
The pre-labor period may present a confusing set of signs to the inexperienced owner. All too often, due to hormonal changes, the prospective mother becomes restless, refuses food, and scratches a rug or the cushions of an overstuffed piece of furniture. Anticipating an imminent delivery, the humans involved may spend three or four sleepless days and nights during their vigil. Veterinarians should be contacted if a puppy has not been delivered within two hours from the onset of true labor, although some suggest three hours.
Early Signs of Dog Pregnancy
- Though not common in all dogs it is seen that often dogs eat less during the first few weeks of their pregnancy; the time of the initial gestation of the fetus.
- You bitch may feel exhausted and run out of energy. You may find your bitch to be moving less as most of the hormones are being used for the development of the embryo.
- A very significant sign of pregnancy in your dog is the development of nipples. Generally, a bitch has small nipples and a flat area below them. During pregnancy, you will find the nipples are gradually growing in size with a swollen area below them.
You would also find a change in behavior of your bitch as well. Either she would be always in want of affection from her owner or prefer to be left alone.
See more: Dog Spaying
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