If your dog was in heat and had a tying event with a male dog in the week AFTER the bleeding stopped, than your dog CAN be pregnant. Your dog could also experience a "false" pregnancy that closely mimics all the signs of a real pregnancy....distended abdomen, breast development, nesting behaviors...etc.
Nonetheless, It is very wise of you to be an informed and knowledgeable pet owner . Learning about whelping and birthing BEFOREHAND is always better than feeling panicked and confused when your dog is in labor and you are not sure if all is well!
Dogs are pregnant for an average of 59-63 days from the time they were bred. Length depends on your pet's breed and environmental factors.
Common signs of pregnancy include weight gain and a noticeable thickening of the waistline. Increased appetite and thirst. Some pets can seem crankier or more mellow during their pregnancy...it depends on the pet!
Most vets can palpate fetuses as early as 3 weeks. Canine Blood Pregnancy tests can detect pregnancy at as early as day 28. Abdominal radiography can delineate fetal skeletons after day 41 of pregnancy.
In the last two weeks of your pet's term, if you start taking your dog's daily morning temperature with a rectal thermometer, it should stay relatively in the 100-102'8 range . In the day before or near birthing, most owners note a full degree DROP in body temperature and often report body temps of 99' or 98'.
In the last week of pregnancy, you can definitely expect that your pet's mammary glands should be getting more prominent, full, and swollen. If you gently express the nipples, you will be able get a milky white watery substance called Colostrum from the teats.
Most females show nesting signs and restlessness in the days prior to whelping. They will try to make a bed ( if you haven't already made them a nesting box!) and spend alot of time getting comfortable.
Your pet may pant alot more, go off it's food, or drink excessive amounts of water and whine as labor approaches.
It is important that your pet be allowed to birth in a QUIET, dry, draft free and warm environment. If possible, it is always a good idea to sit quietly and observe her for any signs of needed assistance. Birthing is a natural process and many pets instinctively do all the right things without us ever having to lift a finger. On the other hand, some new mom's may not know what to do, and you may have to assist her in removing the placental sacs, stimulating the pups and tying off the umbilical cords.
If you have several days before your pet is due to whelp, you may want to call your vet and see if he/she has a video on whelping that can be previewed by you and your family this week. Many practices also have detailed labor and delivery sheets that walk you through the birthing process step by step!
It is important after labor and delivery that you have both the mom and her pups checked by the veterinarian to be sure the mom does not have any retained pups or placental remnants, is making milk, and that the pups do not have any congenital defects that can be immediately identified. Many vets will give your pet a "cleanup" injection of drug called Oxytocin that will help the uterus contract and expel any remaining uterine contents and encourage the letdown of milk in the first few days after birthing.
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