Do Veterinarians Know How Many Puppies a Dog Has When She Is Pregnant?

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Your dog is expecting her first litter of puppies. Whether it was a planned breeding or a happy accident, it's natural that you’re curious how many puppies she may be carrying. Knowing how many to expect helps you prepare. Take mama to your vet for a checkup and an answer.

Palpation, Ultrasound and X-Ray

An experienced vet can palpate a pregnancy at around 28 days; however, getting an accurate count of pups is difficult. The size and weight of the dog, and how high the uterus is resting, play key factors. In order to give you a more accurate count, your veterinarian will most likely recommend an ultrasound or X-ray. An abdominal ultrasound can see gestational sacs around 20 days and heartbeats usually around 25 to 30 days. Many vets prefer X-ray for better detail after 45 days. Radiographs give a clear skeletal count, and can potentially show deformities.


About the Author

Slone Wayking worked as a professional in the veterinary field for 20 years. Though her interest in animal health led to this path, Wayking initially studied creative arts. She has been article writing for more than a year and is currently working towards her degree in multimedia. Her certifications include business writing and basic web design.

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