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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18795
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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how can i tell if my mini dachshund is pregnant

Customer Question

She doesnt look pregnant because she is still active, but her nipples are getting bigger and some of them are actually looking like they're starting to sag. She likes to lay around when I'm just watching or doing stuff around the t.v.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 years ago.
Hi Hyphy,

During the first and second week of pregnancy your female may experience morning sickness and possible personality changes. Not much goes on the third week of pregnancy though the embryos implant in the uterus during this time.

The fourth week, mom may have a clear discharge, and mammary glands start to swell. It may be possible to feel for puppies at this point. And during the fifth week, the swelling of her belly becomes noticeable and she will start to gain weight.

Mom continues to gain weight and her nipples darken and swell during the sixth week. The seventh week, you will see the shedding of abdomenal hair and she really starts to look pregnant.

Now at the eighth week, you can now feel the puppies moving around inside mom when she is at rest. The puppies can be born safely now. Milk may be expressed from mom's nipples. Mom will be extremely large.

And at the Ninth week, mom will start exhibiting nesting behavior, pant, and act uncomfortable. She will experience a temperature drop approximately 24 hours before labor starts. She will probably lose her appetite, as labor grows closer.

Pregnancy in dogs is difficult to determine in the early stages. Dogs have a heat cycle during which she ovulates and "ties" with a male in order to become pregnant. If you witnessed a tie, most likely she is pregnant. One sign is a vulva that does not completely shrink down--it stays soft and a bit more swollen than what is normally seen after a heat cycle. You may also begin to see a discharge that is sticky and dries quickly on the hair around the vulva. Around week four of the pregnancy you might notice a thickening and the start of weight gain and some swelling of the breasts.

Your Vet has a few different ways to determine if your dog is pregnant. They can run a blood test to confirm pregnancy based on hormonal levels. You can read about this test here:

They can also gently palpate the abdomen at about a month after breeding to feel for puppy bumps. They can perform an x-ray during the final week of pregnancy (8th week) and look for puppy skeletons. This method can give you a good idea of how many puppies your dog may have. Ultrasound may also be available at your vet and can help determine pregnancy in a dog. Once a dog reaches the 8th week of pregnancy, you can frequently feel the puppies moving around inside of mom. I find it best to have the dog on their side and feel between the rib cage and hindquarters above the breast area.

Puppies are born approximately 57 to 64 days after breeding with the average being 63 days depending on when ovulation occurred.

False pregnancy does occur in dogs and the symptoms are the same as if they were indeed pregnant. If in the fifth week following mating your dog is experiencing these symptoms, she may be pregnant and should be fed a high quality puppy food. I feed any female that has mated a high quality puppy food until it is determined they did not conceive.

I know you were looking for a sure-fire answer but it really is difficult.

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