Pregnancies can be safely detected on ultrasound. This is usually best done between days 28 to 35 after the first breeding. Ultrasound can also be used to estimate puppy count and monitor heart beats.
Pregnancy Confirmation and Monitoring
Ultrasound – Confirmation of pregnancy is extremely important. Our veterinarians recommended scheduling an appointment for ultrasound 28 to 35 days from the first breeding. Ultrasounds cannot accurately count the number of pups a bitch is carrying but can confirm pregnancy and monitor heartbeats. At this appointment you can discuss with the veterinarian any diet changes or supplements recommended for pregnant bitches.
Digital X-Ray – If expecting a natural delivery our veterinarians recommend scheduling an X-Ray appointment. We recommend scheduling this appointment between days 56 – 60 from the 1st breeding. This allows for a better count of puppies due to the amount of calcification. Although with a large litter it is difficult to give an accurate count. Another advantage to a pre-whelp x-ray is giving the veterinarian the opportunity to compare the skull size to the width of the dam’s pelvis. If the doctor determines the dam is not a suitable candidate for a natural whelp the doctor will discuss c-section options.
Ultrasound for Pregnancy – Pregnancies can be safely detected on ultrasound. This is usually best done between days 28 to 35 after the first breeding. Ultrasound can also be used to estimate puppy count and monitor heart beats.
X-Ray for Puppies – During the last week of pregnancy, x-rays are often used for a more accurate count of puppies. It can be used to determine the safest birth route. X-ray can also be used to determine if there are any more puppies post-whelping.