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NancyH
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Hello, my female chihuahua is 4 weeks pregnant today. I am ...

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Hello, my female chihuahua is 4 weeks pregnant today. I am very worried about her health, she is not eating, she''s not growing. I read a Chihuahua book that told me to give her pieces of baked ham and/or a scoop of peanut butter to open up her appetite. Now, that''s the only thing she wants to eat. We took her to the vet and have an appt for the ultrasound this weekend. But the vet gave us this prescription food, she ate it the first day and won''t eat it. She is just not eating and we''re very worried, what could we give her to make her eat. We feel she is putting her puppies in danger. Please HELP!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  NancyH replied 6 years ago.
She is not putting the pups in danger but the unbalanced diet might.
Dogs do not normally get a lot bigger until the last 3 weeks of pregnancy. They often don't eat much more until week 5-6. Some really go off eating between week 3-4 due to hormonal changes causing 'morning sickness'.
I'd get her off the treat foods and onto a good quality dog food. You want one that is reasonably high calorie per moutful as the little guys don't have as much room to hold food as a bigger dog does.
You might see if the local pet supply store will let you have a sample of Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Innova Evo etc to see if she likes any of those.
Or you can buy a can of any of those in canned variety to try.
If need be mix some peanutbutter and warm water into some flavoring for the dry food you choose.
Dogs are pregnant for about 58-65 days, or about 9 weeks counting from the first mating.
You can read more about pregnancy and whelping in dogs here
http://lowchensaustralia.com/breeding/pregnancy.htm
This site goes over signs your dog is pregnant
http://www.debbiejensen.com/signs_of_pregnant.html
And these about feeding your dog while pregnant and later when lactating
http://www.akc.org/breeders/resp_breeding/Articles/careandfeeding.cfm
http://www.akc.org/breeders/resp_breeding/Articles/careandfeeding2.cfm
And these sites go over the whelping process including pictures
http://www.chihuahualoving.com/Delivery.html
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/whelping.htm      
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/whelpingsecondstage.htm
http://www.worldwideboxer.com/birth.html
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to NancyH's Post: So her not eating this entire week is fairly normal? The vet really scared us, he thinks there is complications and that the puppies could be dead. I've gotten second and third opinions saying that it's too early to tell and that I wouldn't hear anything in an ultrasound now anyways, not until the 40th day. If she doesn't eat or change her appetite in 10 days, I should be worried?
Expert:  NancyH replied 6 years ago.
I would not have ultrasounded at this stage for one of my own girls though I might have asked the vet to run a relaxin blood test if I was really anxious about the pregnancy.
Usually you can tell a dog is pregnant as you see a clear sticky discharge from the vulva starting around weeks 4-6.
She has been eating the dog version of 'candy' with highly tasty meat and high fat peanut butter from what you said.
Both of those could cause her pancreas to overproduce enzymes making her uncomfortable so its better to feed a good dog food.
As you have the prescription food on hand (and Science Diet is not a favorite of any of my dogs either if that is the one). Try a little peanut butter 'sauce' for flavoring and see if she likes it that way.
The way mother nature works is the pups get everything nutritionally first so if mom isn't eating the pups will still get nutrition and mom might lose any fat she has on her body.
But up to this stage they really have only been dividing cells and becoming more complicated without getting a lot bigger.
Bear in mind when consulting with your vet that, unless they are a specialist in reproduction, pregnancy really isn't anything they study much in school though they do train in c-sections.
I usually x-ray around day 54 to see how many pups are coming and to ensure none are too big to be delivered without vet help.
On this page if you put in the date of the first breeding you should get little buttons to one side that you can hover the pointer over to see what goes on in that week of pregnancy
http://www.schaferhund.com/gsd_pregnancy.aspx
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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