For the Love of Vets

For the Love of Vets

When To Call The Vet For Your Pregnant Dog

Erin Steeves

When your dog is pregnant, it's normal to be excited. You probably can't wait to meet the little ones! However, during this exciting time, you also need to keep your dog's health and wellness in mind. Here are some signs that your pregnant dog should see a veterinarian.

Your dog seems to be having contractions before 55 days of pregnancy.

The normal length of gestation for dogs is between 58 and 68 days. Some dogs give birth a few days earlier than this, and it's usually not a problem. However, if your dog has been pregnant for less than 55 days and appears to be having contractions, you should take her to the vet. These could be false or "practice" contractions, but they could also be the start of a premature birth. And if the puppies are premature, having them delivered at the vet's office could save their lives.

Your dog becomes stiff and lethargic.

As dogs move further along in their pregnancy, it is normal for them to become less energetic. However, it is never normal for them to become stiff or lethargic. These can be signs of eclampsia, a serious disorder associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy. It is essential that your dog receive vet care promptly, including blood pressure medications and IV fluids. Otherwise, the lives of the puppies and of the mother could be in severe danger.

You've noticed strongly scented vaginal discharge.

It is normal for dogs to continue to have some vaginal discharge during pregnancy. However, this discharge should not have a noticeable odor. If it does smell unpleasant or strong, this could indicate an infection or even a coming miscarriage, so it is a good idea to have your vet take a look.

Your dog won't eat.

Dogs should have good, healthy appetites during pregnancy. Most are happy to eat far more than they should eat! If your dog goes off food, or in other words, seems not to be interested in eating, then this could be a sign of anything from a coming miscarriage to gestational diabetes. Your vet will want to run some blood tests and maybe do some imaging techniques to see what's amiss.

Most dogs go through pregnancy just fine and give birth to healthy litters of puppies. However, anything can happen, and it's important to keep the signs above in mind so you know when your vet's assistance may be needed.


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For the Love of Vets

Did you know that when a veterinarian graduates from veterinary school, they must take an oath before they are allowed to practice? This is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon graduating from medical school. The new vets promise that they will work to relieve animal suffering and promote the overall health of pets. They also promise to uphold their profession with dignity. If you have ever taken your pet to the vet, you've probably seen a vet live this oath firsthand. You can be confident your pet is in good hands. Learn more about vets and the wonderful work they do in the articles curated here.