Are you looking to breed your female dog? Or is she already pregnant, and you aren’t sure how to see her safely through her gestation? Much like pregnancy in humans, when it comes to animals having babies, especially dogs, there are many benefits for the owners to learn about what is happening in their pets’ tummies.
Ultrasound imaging is the best option and is a powerful tool used to detect and monitor pregnancy in dogs, cats, horses, and other domesticated pets. This non-invasive technique uses sound waves to create images of the developing fetus and the surrounding tissues. As mentioned before, an ultrasound can provide valuable information about the health and viability of a pregnancy, allowing breeders and veterinarians to make informed decisions about the care and management of the mother and her litter.
So, with that in mind, what can an ultrasound of your dog’s tummy tell you about her pregnancy and her puppies?
- How Many There Are
A dog’s pregnancy ultrasound can detect several vital features, including the presence of fetal sacs, the number of fetuses, their size, and their position within the uterus.
In a normal dog pregnancy, there will be an average of around 5 or 6 puppies, varying based on the dog’s breed, size, and age. But learning how many there are can help with planning and even with the potential selling of the puppies at a later date. As any vet clinic in Normandy Park can offer an ultrasound, it is well worth having one solely to know how many pups are due!
- Viability of The Pregnancy
One of the primary uses of ultrasound in dog pregnancy is to confirm that the pregnancy is viable. This is typically done around the 28th day of gestation when fetal sacs are first visible on the ultrasound. If no sacs are present, it may indicate that the pregnancy is not developing typically, and further diagnostic tests may be needed to determine the cause.
The ultrasound can also help identify abnormalities in the number or placement of fetuses, which can indicate a higher risk of complications during delivery, leading vets towards opting for a c-section over a vaginal delivery.
- Size and Position of Pups
An ultrasound scan will also provide information about their size and position. This information is vital for monitoring the health and development of the fetuses and can help identify potential problems early on. For example, if a fetus appears abnormally tiny, it may indicate poor fetal growth, which could be a sign of nutritional deficiencies or other health problems in the mother.
- Placental Issues
Much like humans, sometimes the placentas may not develop correctly, which can lead to secondary issues. The ultrasound can also detect potential complications in the pregnancy, such as placental abnormalities or signs of fetal distress. Placental problems can include conditions such as placenta previa or placental abruption, which can lead to significant health risks for both the mother and the fetus.
- Fetal Distress
Signs of fetal distress, such as a low heart rate or poor movement, can also be identified using ultrasound, allowing for a prompt intervention to protect the health of the fetuses. Depending on how far along your dog’s pregnancy is, the options will vary from delivering the puppies early to offering supplements and medications to stabilize the issue or, sadly, terminating the pregnancy.