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Canine pregnancy testing refers to a series of medical check-ups performed on pregnant dogs to ensure the health of the mother and her fetuses.

by len king on May 21, 2024

Canine pregnancy testing refers to a series of medical check-ups performed on pregnant dogs to ensure the health of the mother and her fetuses.

Canine pregnancy testing refers to a series of medical check-ups performed on pregnant dogs to ensure the health of the mother and her fetuses. Here are some methods and considerations for canine pregnancy testing:

Methods of Pregnancy Testing:
Palpation: Veterinarians can feel the dog's uterus and fetuses inside by direct palpation, though the accuracy may not be high. The best time for this method is between the 28th and 35th day of pregnancy. Before this time, the fetuses are too small to be detected, and after this time, they can easily be confused with food or other contents in the intestine.

Ultrasound: Ultrasound is the earliest method that can diagnose pregnancy in dogs. Skilled ultrasound technicians can detect fetuses in a dog's womb from the 16th day of pregnancy.

Stethoscope: Starting from the sixth week of pregnancy, veterinarians can use a stethoscope to listen to the fetal heartbeat, but this is much more difficult than listening to a human baby's heartbeat because dogs have thick fur, and their bellies are rounded, making it difficult for the stethoscope to adhere fully.

Blood Test: Blood testing is arguably the most accurate diagnostic method. The purpose of the blood test is to check whether the dog's blood contains a pregnancy hormone called relaxin, thus confirming pregnancy.

Stages of Pregnancy Testing:
Initial Visit: Typically conducted around the third week of 
pregnancy, the veterinarian will conduct a comprehensive physical examination of the dog, including checking its temperature, heart rate, respiration, fur, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Additionally, the veterinarian will inquire about the dog's diet, bowel movements, urine output, and any possible discomfort symptoms.

Mid-Pregnancy Check-up: Performed during the mid-pregnancy stage (around 5-6 weeks), the purpose is to further assess the mother dog's physical condition and the fetuses' development. The veterinarian will examine the mother dog's uterus size, fetal position, and fetal heart rate using palpation and ultrasound. Additionally, mid-pregnancy check-ups may include blood tests to evaluate the mother dog's overall health status, such as hemoglobin and blood sugar levels.

Considerations:
A dog's pregnancy is divided into three stages, each with different considerations. During the first stage (the first 30 days), avoid rough play with the dog but frequently talk to it to keep it in a good mood. Maintain the usual feeding level, without adding too much meat, eggs, additional nutrients, or food quantity. In the second stage (30-45 days), the mother dog may experience frequent urination. Appropriately increase physical activity to. 
Gradually increase nutrition, but in moderation. In the third stage (45-60 days), the mother dog's abdomen will noticeably expand. Ensure the mother dog has sufficient physical activity by taking it for more walks. Control the feeding quantity (about 20-50% more than usual) and avoid overfeeding.

One of the earliest signs of pregnancy in dogs is when their nipples turn red. Starting from the second or third week of pregnancy, the mother dog's nipples will become pinker, more swollen, and more prominent than usual.

Please note that the information provided is for reference only. If needed, consult a professional veterinarian.

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