Getting ready for birth is a celebration of life, even when it's a dog giving birth. Boxers have large heads, even before birth. It's always a good idea to have your vet's number handy in case your dog has trouble. Boxers gestate for roughly 60 days, but the eggs aren't always fertilized the day of the mating. In addition, some bitches give birth early. Recognizing the signs of impending birth are key to a healthy birth for the bitch and the pups.
Take your dog to the veterinarian. Your vet is your best ally in a healthy birth. You should take the dog after mating to ensure that it is pregnant. Around 40 or 50 days after mating, your vet should order an x-ray of the developing pups. The vet will help you count the number of heads so that you know how many pups are in the litter.
Examine the puppies' scapula and tibia on the x-ray with the vet. As the puppy develops, it lays calcium in the bones. The more calcium in each bone, the clearer it shows up in the x-ray. According to Phi Vestavia, a U.K. dog breeding organization, when enough calcium is present in the scapula to see the bones clearly, the puppies are within 4 to 6 days of birth. If enough calcium is present in the legs to see the tibia, then the puppies may be born in 48 hours. These times are not hard and fast rules. The health of the bitch and puppies can alter the time frame.
Take the dog's temperature twice a day starting around 50 days after mating. The dog's temperature is normally around 101 degrees. However, 12 to 24 hours before going into labor, the bitch's temperature drops to between 97 and 99 degrees.
Measure the dogs food after eating. According to Belire Boxers, a U.K. boxer breeding organization, most pregnant boxers refuse the last meal before labor.
Watch the dog's behavior. Prior to going into labor, the boxer will become restless. It may go to the prepared whelping box, tear the paper or bedding material, and form a nest for the birth. The dog may shiver or pant as its body prepares for labor
Call the vet if the dog seems to be in distress, goes through all the signs of labor with no result or you have any questions.
Look at the x-ray with your vet. It is very difficult to determine individual bones when the dog is pregnant with several puppies. The vet will also look for any stillborn or stunted pups that may pose a birth risk for the mother or puppies.
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