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Many who are engaged in dog breeding, want to know about the possible pregnancy of their pet. For this, there is a dog pregnancy test.
How The Test Determines Pregnancy in Dogs
In a pregnant bitch, after 3 weeks, a special hormone called relaxin is released into the blood. The developing placenta of a dog that becomes pregnant produces this hormone and it enters the animal’s blood. The pregnancy test detects the presence of relaxin in the female’s blood sample and gives us the answer to the question: “Is the dog pregnant or not?“
Pseudo-Pregnancy and Pregnancy Blood Test
Like a human, a dog can also experience a false pregnancy, called pseudo-pregnancy. In an animal, it is expressed in a special behavior after mating (usually after 7-10 weeks.) Even experienced dog owners can be misled by these signs. However, in pseudo-pregnancy, the above-mentioned hormone relaxin is NOT produced. Therefore, a pregnancy test that reacts to relaxin in the blood will give a reliable result.
Is a Negative Pregnancy Test in Bitches Reliable?
There are some nuances here. First, you need to know the exact date (+/- 1-2 days) of your female’s mating. Since the relaxin test is performed after 22 days after mating. Otherwise, even if the dog is pregnant, the relaxin has not yet started to get into the blood (or just started and its amount is not enough) and the pregnancy test will give a negative result.
Second, you should not limit yourself to one test and it should be repeated in a week. In more than 81% of cases, if the results of your bitch’s pregnancy test match (we are talking about a dog), the answer can be trusted.
Also, owners of small decorative breeds of dogs should know that relaxin in females is produced in insufficient quantities and can give a false-negative result, according to aetapet.com. This is known by veterinarians when conducting tests, so in most cases it is most accurate to say that the bitch is not pregnant after 3 tests.
Other Methods for Determining Pregnancy in Dogs
Of course, you can determine pregnancy in other ways.
The most popular, but with low accuracy, is palpation of the belly of your female dog for 4-5 weeks after mating. Here much depends on the morphology of the dog, the number of fetuses in the uterus, and, of course, on the experience of the person who performs the palpation. During pregnancy, it is possible to find small tangles of developing puppies in the womb. It is worth noting that neither a pregnancy test nor palpation gives an answer to the question whether healthy or just live puppies will be born.
In the last trimester of the dog’s pregnancy, when the fetuses have formed a skeleton (bones appeared), they can be detected by X-rays. By timing – this is about the last 3 weeks before delivery. But, of course, by this time the owners already know about the pregnancy of their bitch.
The most effective and accurate method is ultrasound of the female’s abdominal cavity. Within 3 weeks after mating, you can detect the embryos of future puppies. In addition, periodic examinations through ultrasound help to monitor whether the puppies are alive or died in the womb (through their motor reflexes.)
Veterinarians call ultrasound the best way to determine a dog’s pregnancy. In addition, it is an effective method of controlling the development of fetuses in the uterus in a dog throughout gestation. Well, just like in humans.