Last stages of dog pregnancy

It can be difficult to tell whether a dog is pregnant until the last few weeks of her nine-week gestation, when her belly's increase in size is hard to miss. In the final third of pregnancy, the dog’s size makes it more difficult for her to move around, and she may want to sleep more. The operator will need to clip fur on the tummy of very furry dogs so that the probe can make good contact with her skin. Pregnant female dogs absolutely do suffer from morning sickness like people do, however not until approximately day 21 after being mated.
Some dogs may become quieter than usual, others may become more affectionate and clingy, and still others could withdraw and want to be left alone. If your dog has been mated but subsequently goes off her food in the next few days or weeks, this is unlikely to be related to pregnancy and she should be checked by a veterinarian. Make sure that you are gentle with your dog’s belly even if you are not sure if she is pregnant yet. This version of How to Tell if a Dog Is Pregnant was reviewed by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS on March 19, 2015.
One of the earliest hints that a dog might be pregnant is if she “pinks up.” This refers to a change in her nipples which makes them appear a rosier color than normal, slightly swollen and more prominent.
A pregnant dog should be given increased food in the final third of pregnancy, but many owners tend to increase their bitch's food ration too early.

In the final third (weeks 6-9) of pregnancy, the dog’s belly becomes rounded and distended.
In the final third of gestation, you may be able to see the dog’s flanks moving as the puppies wriggle around in her womb. Towards the end of pregnancy, the dog’s will womb grow larger and take up more space in her belly. If you suspect that your dog is pregnant, it is worthwhile to visit the vet to confirm your suspicion.
In late pregnancy (week 6 onwards), the vet can sometimes hear fetal heartbeats by holding a stethoscope to the dog’s belly. The gold standard to test for pregnancy is for your vet to run a blood test that looks for the presence of a pregnancy hormone called Relaxin. If the test is run before this date it is possible to get falsely negative results, where you believe the bitch isn't pregnant when she is. A dog may not show any signs of pregnancy in the first 2-3 weeks (which is the first third of the pregnancy).
Some people first suspect their bitch might be pregnant because she is a bit quieter than usual, but this is more anecdotal observation than proven fact.
Whilst a change in a dog’s apparent mood or behavior can indicate pregnancy, this is a vague sign that could also indicate that she is unwell.

This is also the case if you see a vaginal discharge (not normal during pregnancy) or if she is vomiting regularly.
A few weeks after going into heat, a dog can exhibit signs of pregnancy, such as enlarged nipples and increased appetite, without actually being pregnant.[14] Check with your vet to make absolutely sure whether your dog is pregnant.
Pregnant dogs show some signs of being pregnant in the early, middle, and late stages of pregnancy. The additional calories lead to fat being laid down in the abdomen, which is often mistaken for a sign of pregnancy. Some may be quieter and more tired early on, but a dog who is unwell may also be quiet, so this sign is an unreliable predictor of pregnancy. However, this is much more difficult than for human babies because of the rustling of the dog's fur coat and the fact that dogs have round, not flat, tummies.
The main reason to x-ray a pregnant bitch is in late pregnancy, to count how many puppies are present in the womb.

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