How To Test Pregnancy In Dogs

Yes. By checking the levels of the hormone relaxin, a blood test can identify pregnancy in a pregnant dog. This hormone can be found in the blood of the majority of pregnant women as early as 22–27 days after conception. It is created by the developing placenta after the embryo has been implanted. While pregnant, relaxin levels are increased, and they quickly fall after the pregnancy is over.

Can the relaxin test tell the difference between pregnancy and pseudopregnancy?

A natural trick of nature called pseudopregnancy (pseudo = false) makes a female dog appear and act pregnant even when she is not. Following a heat period, the symptoms last for roughly two months.

The relaxin test can accurately distinguish between pregnancy and fake pregnancy.

During a pseudopregnancy, the placenta does not actually grow, and relaxin is never created. The relaxin test consistently returns a negative result in canines that are artificially pregnant, making it a reliable tool to distinguish between real and artificial pregnancy.

Does a single negative relaxin test mean a female dog is not pregnant?

Any unfavorable outcome can suggest that a female dog is not carrying puppies. If the test is conducted too early in pregnancy, before the placenta has begun to produce relaxin, a false negative result could result. A week after the initial test, which is done around 22–27 days after breeding, if a dog tests negative for relaxin, a second test should be done to confirm the results. It’s crucial to perform several tests, especially early in pregnancy and anytime the breeding dates are uncertain.

It’s crucial to perform several tests, especially early in pregnancy and anytime the breeding dates are uncertain.

A dog is usually ruled out of being pregnant (80% of the time) after two consecutively negative relaxin tests that are spaced a week apart and begin 22–27 days after breeding. Rarely, if mating took place relatively early in the heat season, a third test at 31–34 days after breeding may be necessary. There is evidence that small and toy breed dogs may not produce enough relaxin to cause a positive test result, particularly if they are only carrying one or two puppies. Alternative testing is conducted on these females to check for the presence of puppies (see below).

Does a positive relaxin test mean a dog is pregnant?

A positive relaxin test results in a dog that is now pregnant, meaning that conception has taken place, an embryo has been implanted, and a placenta is growing.

Does a positive relaxin test mean that live puppies will be born?

No, not always. Only a pregnant dog will test positive for relaxin at the time of the test. It makes no predictions regarding whether the pregnancy will result in the delivery of living puppies.

Pregnancies can unfortunately fail for a variety of causes, and fetuses can be lost at any point after conception, up to and including whelping. On occasion, a dog will test positive for relaxin in the initial test but turn out to be negative in the subsequent test. Even though the dog may not have displayed any symptoms, this suggests that the pregnancy has failed.

Are there other ways of detecting pregnancy in the dog?

In order to find uterine swellings that indicate the existence of growing puppies, the traditional method of identifying pregnancy in dogs involves meticulous abdominal palpation (gently pushing on the surface of the belly with the fingers). This technique is dependent on the temperament, size, and physical condition of the dog, as well as the number of fetuses present, the timing of the palpation (the ideal time is between three and a half and five weeks of pregnancy), the timing of the palpation, and the palpator’s experience. Palpation cannot be trusted to determine whether the fetuses are viable.

When the skeletal structures of the puppies are seen during the last trimester of pregnancy (three weeks prior to whelping), abdominal X-rays are helpful in identifying pregnancies. Although there are some circumstances where it would be challenging, it is typically possible to establish whether the puppies are viable. For instance, it would be challenging to notice the abrupt death of a fully developed puppy in the uterus on an X-ray.

Abdominal ultrasound is the most reliable method of identifying and keeping track of pregnancy. The viability of the fetuses can be assessed throughout the pregnancy, and developing embryos can be found as early as three weeks after breeding. The “gold standard” for determining pregnancy and the viability of the fetuses is ultrasound.

How can I check the pregnancy of my dog at home?

The first early detection quick dog pregnancy test for use at home is Bellylabs Pregnancy Test. The test kit comes with everything a breeder or owner needs to conduct the test at home. Within 10 to 15 minutes, you can read the outcome, which has an accuracy rate of 96% across all dog breeds.

Can a dog be tested for pregnancy?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or HCG, is a particular hormone that is produced by humans during pregnancy. Observe the term, “human. Pregnancy tests performed at home particularly check for this hormone in human urine. Humans are able to get outcomes quickly and precisely in this way.

Dogs cannot be screened for pregnancy via urine testing since they do not produce this hormone. In actuality, dogs often don’t manufacture a particular “pregnancy hormone in a human-like manner. While this is true, many dog owners are confused by the fact that dogs produce more progesterone.

Without a veterinarian, how can you know whether your dog is pregnant?

Because dogs are unable to purchase a pregnancy test kit from the drugstore, we must rely on other techniques to establish whether a dog is pregnant. Diagnostic testing is the most reliable method of determining whether a dog is pregnant.

  • Palpation Your veterinarian can perform an abdominal palpation starting at about the 28–30-day mark if you are aware of the date your dog was bred. The puppies feel like tiny grapes or golf balls at this point in the pregnancy, depending on the size of the dog. These “balls” are the fetus’s protective fluid-filled sacks. Without a veterinarian’s help, abdominal palpation should not be performed since it could harm the pups. The timing of this test is crucial since the sacks lose their distinctive structure after a month.
  • Ultrasound As an alternative, between 25 and 35 days of gestation, your veterinarian can perform an ultrasound. You may usually determine the number of puppies the bitch is carrying by using an ultrasound to find fetal heartbeats. The heartbeats of the puppies are 2- to 3-times faster than those of the mother.
  • hormone analysis Your dog’s hormone levels can be measured with a blood test at around 25 to 30 days of pregnancy to determine whether the dog is releasing the hormone relaxin. Because relaxin is only made during pregnancy, the test’s accuracy is fair.
  • X-ray One of the best ways to tell if a bitch is pregnant is via X-rays. The puppies’ skeletal systems don’t appear on an x-ray until they are 55 days old or older, therefore it is advisable to conduct this at that point. You can accurately count the number of puppies at this stage using an x-ray, which will enable you to predict when your dog will be completed giving birth.

Signs of Dog Pregnancy

Although it is the most accurate method, diagnostic testing is not the only one available to establish whether a dog is pregnant. There are several indicators of dog pregnancy that you should be aware of:

  • elevated appetite
  • gaining weight
  • enlargement of the nipples
  • bloated abdomen
  • more easily tire
  • Nesting habits
  • Added affection
  • Irritability

Additionally, due to hormonal fluctuations in the first several weeks, some dogs may vomit and have a drop in appetite for a few days.” According to Dr. Klein, some dogs who display these sighs may possibly be having a fake pregnancy. ” There are additional disorders that might alter appetite, result in weight gain, and enlarge the abdomen. Take your dog to the vet for a checkup to rule out anything more serious.

What do the nipples of a pregnant dog look like?

One of the most evident indicators that your dog is pregnant is the appearance of pregnant dog nipples. Nipples on female dogs are often smaller than those on males or females who have undergone spaying, although they can still be more apparent. However, a dog’s nipples will naturally increase in size during pregnancy and become more prominent. In addition, because more blood is flowing to the area, it’s likely that the nipples would darken more than they typically would.

Usually, two to four weeks after breeding, you’ll start to see these changes, and they’ll keep getting bigger until your dog gives birth. Do not be alarmed; these changes are very natural. The body of your dog is just getting ready to start producing milk. It’s typical for a dog’s nipples to periodically leak milk later in the pregnancy.

What are a dog’s initial pregnancy symptoms?

Bringing new puppies into the world can be exciting. However, when caring for your dog while she is pregnant, you will have a lot of new duties. Here, our Ypsilanti veterinarians explain how to care for your dog during pregnancy, including the indicators of pregnancy, how long the pregnancy will last, and how to get ready for the delivery of puppies.

Sign Your Dog is Pregnant

It may be challenging to see any changes in your dog’s behavior or physical appearance during the early weeks of pregnancy. However, during this time they can throw up or become less hungry. The length of a dog’s pregnancy can range from 62 to 64 days on average, but the precise dates will depend on your dog’s breed and other circumstances. Here are a few indications that your dog might be expecting:

  • stomach swells
  • fatigues more quickly
  • Vomiting (in the first few weeks)
  • reduction in appetite (first few weeks)

What To Do If You Think Your Dog is Pregnant

Calling your veterinarian is the first action you should take if you think your dog is pregnant. An ultrasound can be used by your veterinarian to confirm pregnancy after your dog has been expecting for around 4 weeks. They could also be able to draw blood after 35 days have passed. When the pregnancy of your dog is confirmed, there are a number of things you must do to maintain their health.

Feed Your Dog Proper Nutrition

Put your dog on a high-calorie food with the nutrients it needs to be healthy after she has been pregnant for about four weeks. There are certain premium dog food brands specifically made for pregnant animals, and your veterinarian can suggest the brand that will work best for you and your pet. Avoid giving your dog large breed puppy diets since they frequently lack many of the minerals that your pup needs during pregnancy, like calcium and phosphorus.

Feeding your dog smaller meals more regularly is typically advised because their stomachs won’t have as much room.

Take Your Dog to The Vet

You should take your dog to the vet to ensure that she is in good health and free of any diseases that could affect her puppies. A fecal examination is part of this to look for intestinal parasites. Giving your dog any over-the-counter dewormers could harm her and the puppies, so avoid doing so.

Make sure your dog is up to date on their vaccines and parasite prevention before becoming pregnant if the pregnancy is intended.

Give Them a Comfortable Nesting Place

Make your dog a cozy, warm nest for the latter stages of her pregnancy that is far from noise and other animals. Additionally, you must guarantee that there is sufficient room for them to enter and exit as needed.

Keep Them Away From Other Dogs

Make sure your dog stays separate and away from other animals for three weeks prior to and three weeks following delivery to protect them from catching the herpes virus. For older dogs, this infection is less hazardous, but for puppies, it can be fatal or life-threatening.

Monitor Their Temperature

By measuring your dog’s rectal temperature, you can determine if she will give birth within the next 24 hours. Their temperature will drop below 100 degrees Fahrenheit during this time.

When Your Dog is Giving Birth

For about 6 to 12 hours after giving birth, your dog will experience light contractions. They might become restless at this point. Your dog can start digging, panting, and throwing up inside of its nesting spot. The contractions will then become stronger and more frequent, resulting in the delivery of puppies.

Before beginning to give birth to their babies, your dog will struggle for ten to fifteen minutes. Although they should have a puppy every 45 to 60 minutes, they occasionally take a break and go up to 4 hours between litters. It’s typical for them to deliver puppies either head first or tail first.

Fetal membranes, which are greenish-black lumps, will pass after each youngster is born by your dog.

Make sure your dog is not overexerting themselves or taking breaks longer than four hours by keeping an eye on them. You must take them to the veterinarian right away if this is the situation.

Health Signs to Watch For

You should keep an eye out for the following indicators after your dog has given birth:

  • Fever
  • Uterine Discharge
  • not generating milk
  • Breast tissue that is inflamed or diseased
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • a diminished appetite

Call your veterinarian as soon as you can and let them know your dog is nursing so they can give drugs or treatments that are safe if your dog isn’t feeling well or you observe any of the above indicators.

Taking Care of New Puppies

Puppies are born with a protective fetal membrane that their mother removes when they are born. You will have to remove this sack yourself if the mother doesn’t if you want the puppy to be able to breathe. You can accomplish this by shattering the sac, removing any liquid from the puppy’s nostrils, turning the puppy’s head so that their mouth is open, and massaging their body while cleaning away any remaining fluids with a cloth.

You could also see that neither the mother nor the baby cut the umbilical chord. If so, you’ll need to shatter it by hand. You must be careful not to pull on the cord as doing so could harm the puppy’s internal organs. Using your thumb and first two fingers, slowly peel it away from the puppy’s body by about an inch.

Call your veterinarian as soon as the puppies are born. They will advise you on the next actions you should take and let you know when you can start taking the puppies to the doctor. If the birth went smoothly and the puppies don’t have any issues like umbilical hernias or cleft palates, they can also urge you to bring them in immediately soon. They could advise delaying the puppies’ initial veterinary visits till they are a little older.

During the Puppies First Couple of Weeks

It’s important to avoid becoming involved with the mother and her puppies too much during the first few weeks, despite how tempting it may be to hug and cuddle these brand-new gorgeous furballs. The mother and the children may feel anxious as a result. Puppies who have just been born are likewise prone to sickness. Because they are so protective, the mother may also act aggressively toward any person or animal that approaches them.

Puppies don’t have the ability to control their own body temperature until they are about 3 to 4 weeks old. To keep them cozy and warm, you must give them with a nice, clean box or bed that they can share (the area should be 97oF). Additionally, you must make sure that if they become too hot, they have a place to go that is cooler.

If the mother agrees, you can gradually begin introducing the puppies to other household animals and people. They may integrate better into the household if this is introduced to them at a young age.

You can start weaning the puppies off of their mother’s milk and introduce hard puppy food when they are 3 to 4 weeks old. To make the hard food simpler for them to eat, you may also combine it with water or soft puppy food. Place the food nearby so they can get to it easily. Their mother will have them primarily depending on solid puppy food by the time they are 5 to 6 weeks old.

As The Puppies Get Older

The mother will begin to roam away from the puppies as they become bigger in order to take a break and connect with other animals and humans in your home. Make sure the mother returns frequently to see how her puppies are doing.

Call your veterinarian if you observe any runts in the litter since they may have an underlying health concern (slower growth or less energy).

Puppies shouldn’t be relocated until they are at least 10 weeks old. They get ample time with their mother, brothers, and sisters as a result.