All You Need To Know About Pitbull Pregnancy
A pet’s pregnancy is probably a joyful time in a life of every dog owner, but it may also cause some concern and worry especially for those who have never faced this situation before. To help you get through this, and to make sure that your beloved dog gets the best possible treatment during this time in its life, we have composed an informational guide that will equip you with all the necessary knowledge about pit bull pregnancy.
10 Things You Need To Know About Pitbull Pregnancy
As we all know, there is a great variety of dog breeds in the world today. However, despite this, most of these breeds have the same reproduction process. When it comes to fertility, female dogs usually have two fertile phases in a year.
The term that is used to describe this time is "heat." When they’re in heat, female pit bulls can be fertile for about 21 days, and this is when they have a chance to become pregnant. The first fertility periods start after the dog turns six months of age, and they will keep happening every six months of their life. The best way to know if your dog is in heat is to keep track.
Indicators of fertility:
- Swollen vulva
- Vaginal bleeding
- Distinct smell
- More noticeable nipples
Another thing to remember is that a dog should never be bred before their third head cycle because their eggs will not be entirely mature
2. Signs of Pit Bull pregnancy
One of the first things you might notice if your pit bull becomes pregnant is that the swollen vulva didn't shrink to its original size even after the fertility period has passed. Also, the nipples will swell up as well, and they might become slightly darker in color.
Similar to humans, the dog will display some signs of morning sickness and could possibly vomit from time to time. In addition to all this, her appetite might increase, and some mood swings could be noticeable too. All of the before mentioned symptoms should be visible within four weeks from conception; after that, you should even be able to detect heartbeats of the puppies. If you want to be certain about your pit bull’s pregnancy, an ultrasound scan at the veterinarian's clinic can give you the most reliable information.
3. Possible number of puppies
When it comes to the number of puppies that you can expect (the medical term is ‘litter size’), a female pit bull can give birth to anywhere from five to ten younglings.
Once again, the best way to know the exact number is to take the pregnant dog for an X-ray after the puppies have grown in her belly, so a veterinarian counts their skulls and spines.
4. Pregnant Pit Bull care
If you want the best possible outcome for the mother and its pups, then it is necessary to take proper care of her during all stages of pregnancy. To be clear, the way that you treated your dog before it got pregnant is the most important thing here.
It should have received all the necessary vaccinations and have gone through a preventive worming protocol. Speaking of the latter, worming mid-pregnancy is advisable to decrease the chance of puppies becoming infected with roundworm. However, make sure to consult an expert before doing this to ensure the animal's safety.
Diet is also a big part of the pit bull’s nurture. In the first three weeks, the dog can eat its usual food in usual amounts. Starting from week five, a slight increase in calories would be advisable, and feeding her at least twice a day is recommendable. Another thing to be careful about is not to overfeed her and make her gain weight because this might make the birth much harder.
As far as the food quality is concerned - go for the best dog food for pit bulls possible. A nutritious diet is very important during all stages of pregnancy, and if you are having doubts about this, consult a veterinarian regarding the supplements and foods that you should be feeding to your dog.
To strengthen and prepare the body for labor, it is highly recommended to take the dog for walks each day at least once. Make sure not to overdo it and exhaust her energy completely, since, after all, a fair amount of rest will also be necessary. This should go on until the last week or last two weeks of pregnancy.
7. The length of pit bull pregnancy
It is hard to pinpoint the exact number of days that your pit bull will be pregnant, but it can range anywhere from 54 to 72 days (7 to 10 weeks). There are a few indicators that will let you know when the bitch is in her final week of pregnancy. First, squeeze her nipples and check if a milky substance leaks from them, and after that, you can see if the vagina emits any fluids as well. If both of these occur, you can proceed and check the dog's rectal temperature. The normal temperature ranges from 99 F to 101 F, and if it drops to 97 F or 98 F, it means that she is ready for labor.
Sometimes, delivery will not occur within the 72 days. This is not normal and should be a small cause for alarm. If this happens, you will need to take your pet to a veterinarian for induced labor. The dog will be given a shot of oxytocin and calcium to stimulate contraction in the uterus. After this is done, the bitch should go into labor within the next 24 hours, as soon as the body temperature falls below 99 F.
Another possible method of birth is the c-section, and a good number of pit bull owners opt for this one. This is generally deemed as a safer way to deliver the pups compared to induced labor.
8. Labor and delivery
As we have already mentioned in the paragraph above, when the dog’s temperature drops below 99 F it means that it is going into labor, and the delivery might happen anywhere between the next 12 to 24 hours. The good news is that most pit bulls do not require any help during this process, and it would be ideal for you not to intervene.
Before starting to give birth, the bitch will get restless and might begin to pant. After emitting green discharge the first pups will start to come out, and the mother will eat their embryonic sacks and chew through the umbilical cord. This is entirely normal and is not a cause for worry. The pups will be born about 15-20 minutes apart, depending on how many of them are in the belly.
9. When to intervene
At times, delivery might go wrong, and this is where the dog might require your assistance or intervention from a professional. One of these cases is when you see that the bitch is straining very hard but not giving birth to any pups during a course of one hour. This would be a good time for you to call a veterinarian.
Another possible situation is that a body part (e.g. leg) comes out, but the rest of the pup is stuck inside. In this case, you can put on a medical glove and try to gently pull the body part in order to assist the labor. If there is no progress, call the vet immediately.
10. Taking care of the pups
The pups should have a warm and dry place to stay with their mother, such as a big box with wood chips of newspapers on the bottom. When it comes to food, they should consume nothing but breast milk for about three weeks.
After that, some dog food created especially for puppies can be introduced. After about nine weeks of nurture, the younglings will be ready to be separated from their mother. By this time they have to be capable of drinking water by themselves and be socialized.
The information we have provided you with today is some general knowledge that every pit bull owner should possess, especially if they plan to breed their beloved pet. If you feel that this article is not enough for you, and you wish to know more, we support your further research and advise you to consult a veterinarian or some other professional. The health and well-being of the mother and the pups are a priority at all times, and we hope that you find our article helpful regarding this.