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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18814
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Just wondering if she's pregnant or not, No, its planned,

Customer Question

Just wondering if she's pregnant or not
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. We need to be extra careful with pregnancies, so we'll need to connect you with the Veterinarian ASAP. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: No, its planned, but I'm just not sure yet, as its pretty early
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 14 days ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I've also been breeding rottweilers for over 20 years as well so I am very familiar with pregnancy.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

What breed is she?

When was her last heat cycle? (when it started)

Was she alone with an intact male at any time?

Have you seen any physical changes in her body?

Have her nipples enlarged?

Are you seeing any mucousy discharge from the vulva?

Can you feel any movement in her abdomen?

Did her vulva go back to normal or did it stay slightly larger than before she was in heat?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
She is a pug, and she was in full heat just two weeks ago. Yes, I have and AKC registered male and female pug.She definitely has larger nipples, and her vulva is still pretty large. No movement yet, and she's not very fat yet, it has stayed large(vulva)
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 14 days ago.

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.

If you didn't witness a tie, then you might start the countdown about 9 days from the start of her heat cycle (show of blood and swelling vulva). That would be the most likely time for her to have become pregnant. If it has only been about 2 weeks since then, it is unlikely you would be able to tell anything quite yet.

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 around a month or 27 days. 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.

So at this point, even taking your girl into the vet will not give you a definite answer as to whether she is pregnant. So sit back and relax. Her vulva still being a little swollen might indicate she is still in the last stage of the heat cycle or indicate that there is a good possibility that she is indeed pregnant. You will know more after a few weeks. Usually at around 4 weeks or so you will start noticing some thickening of the body and the abdominal tuck is gone by that point. Now a false pregnancy can cause the same thing but if she was exposed to a male, odds are she is pregnant.

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

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 days ago.


I'm just following up to see how things are going and if you found my answer helpful? I know you still have a couple more weeks before your female will visibly be pregnant. I hope you will let me know how things go and if I have been helpful.