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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19676
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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I think my 8 month old maltipoo may be pregnant. we were

Customer Question

Customer: Hi Dr. Smith, my name is Kat. i think my 8 month old maltipoo may be pregnant. we were planning to have her neutered but i had major surgery in october and having her spayed was at the end of our to do list
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: she went into heat a few weeks ago as we noticed some spotting on our sheets but she mostly licked herself prior to that we noticed her being a little more playful with other pups in our neighborhood and at her daycare. her nipples and vulva are quite swollen and she seems to have what i would describe as breast tissue the bleeding stopped about a week ago and we kept her away once we noticed what was happening
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Kat,

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.

Let me explain the heat cycle first. During the first part of a dogs heat period you will notice swelling of the vulva, possibly an increase in urination and bleeding. If there are male dogs around you will notice them hanging around her. This stage generally last about 7 days and she will not allow males to mate with her during this period

The second part of the heat cycle is when she will accept a male and breed. Usually a female will lift her tail out of the way. Usually bleeding has stopped or become straw colored at this point. This can last from 4 to 21 days though the average is 7 days. Many expert say the 9-10th day of heat is the optimum day for breeding. It is during this period of time that you will want to allow mating. Most breeders allow the dogs to mate every other day during this period. During this stage, her vulva will become very swollen.

Then during the last stage of heat she will be less willing to breed as she is going out of heat. This stage can again last from 4 to 21 days as well but averages 7 days. Each dog is different so some evaluation by the owner is necessary. The whole heat period should be approximately 21 days but as stated can be longer or shorter depending on the dog. Here is an excellent website with pictures to illustrate a female in different stages of heat.

From your description, it sounds like she has been in the second stage of heat for about a week or so. If you have kept her away from intact male dogs, then she wouldn't be pregnant. I would also suspect that the day care would keep an eye on the dogs all the time and thus they would have noticed and hopefully told you if your dog had achieved a tie with a male dog. A tie is when dogs achieve a successful mating and become "stuck" together when the males gland swells inside the female. That is simplified a little. While a tie isn't always necessary for pregnancy to occur, normally a tie is achieved for pregnancy to occur.

A dog will often experience some breast development and nipple enlargement with the heat cycle so that isn't a fool proof way of knowing if she is pregnant. Even your vet can't tell you for about 21-30 days. At about 21 days, an ultrasound can be done to check for pregnancy and around 30 days a blood test can determine if she is pregnant. Waiting a little longer will allow an x-ray to not only determine pregnancy but also allow an accurate count of how many to expect.

If she was around intact male dogs during her heat cycle which has been a few weeks it seems, then there is the possibility that she may have already mated. If she wasn't, then keep her away from intact male dogs until her vulva is pretty much back to normal size. At this point, you probably have at least several weeks to wait until you can have your vet confirm pregnancy. I usually just start a female on a high quality puppy food so if she is pregnant, she will have the necessary nutrients to support both herself and her pups.

I wished I could tell you for sure if she was pregnant or not, but she will need to be kept away from males for a while longer if she hasn't yet mated.

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 so I am compensated for my time.

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Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

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