How do I know how many puppies my dog will give birth to? - The Waggin Train Veterinary Clinic
You’ll know the number of pups due to the x-rays. Ultrasound is another test that you can do leading up to it that might tell you about the viability of the puppies and how vigorous they were. It'll check their heart rate, and that's kind of neat to see, but it's very, very difficult. I would argue almost impossible to give an accurate puppy count on ultrasound. X-rays anytime after day 50 will be when the skeletons are visible on an x-ray, so that will be the best information you can have to know the number.
How do I know how many puppies my dog will give birth to? - Animal Hospital Of Statesville
So ultrasound is only about 30% accurate for determining the number of puppies that she'll have. So when you ultrasound, it's more to determine if she's pregnant and if you need to start changing plans. And if you only see a couple, it might put on your radar that there may be fewer, and that can cause problems down the road. But the proper way to count puppies is to do an x-ray around the last week of her pregnancy when all the puppies’ bones have formed so they'll show up on the x-ray. And that's the best way to count all the tiny skeletons and see how many puppies to expect.
With smaller litters, the signal for the body to go and start delivering puppies depends on something produced by the puppies. And so, when there aren't as many puppies, they may not produce enough. And so, the mom might not start labor on her own. So that's more something to watch out for. But, it's something we just keep on our radar. It's not guaranteed there'll be issues.