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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18951
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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She is pregnant by surgical AI and I took her to have an XR

Customer Question

She is pregnant by surgical AI and I took her to have an XR done at day 42 and the vet said she couldn't quite see how many were there but thought maybe two. She said usually Great Danes don't have big litters that maybe 4 is good. But I've been breeding for a while and what she said seems to be the exact opposite most large dogs have big litters.
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: I don't think so.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
This is her first litter and she will be 3 in April.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We had ultrasound confirmation at day 30. The vet also said "these dogs don't have like 10 puppies" but I thought also surgical AI increased the chances of having larger litters?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

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.

Great danes have a large range in the number of pups they have. Four pups is not that unusual, but often they have much larger litters and I know personally of a couple of 12-14 pup litters. Now with a surgical AI and fresh semen, I would expect a good litter size if it was performed with fresh semen and your female was at the right stage per testing. She is a first time breeder though and many factors during the first month of pregnancy can affect litter size such as vaccinations, deworming, extreme heat or extreme cold, even too little resources such as food or shelter can lead to the absorption of pups.

I breed rotties and my females typically have between 7 and 13 puppies in each litter. However, over the years, I have had one female that never produced more than 4 pups. My point is that some females do have smaller litters than normal. In your case, perhaps your vet sees a lot of danes from the same breeder and that line doesn't produce dogs with large litter sizes. You might call the breeder you bought your dog from and ask what size litters the mom generally produces to give you an idea of whether it may be the line or not.

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.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
We don't have many Great Danes around here (small town in Georgia) and we imported her from Germany. She did have prior testing before being inseminated.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Is 42 days too early to see the calcified bones on a X-ray?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

I did figure she was tested since doing a surgical AI is worthless without the testing. With her being imported, then her litter size might be smaller. I've seen a few overseas breeders send pups from small litters to the US and keep pups from mothers who produce large litters for their own breeding program. Not all overseas breeders do this though.

42 days is a little early. I would have waited until at least 50 days myself as it can be hard to see earlier than that and calcification can take until 45-49 days. The closer to the due date you are the more accurate the count will be.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 25 days ago.

Hi again. Just checking to see if you have had more testing done to determine pregnancy. Did you find my answer helpful?