So you believe your bitch is pregnant and want to confirm it? Or perhaps you’d like to know how many puppies she’s going to have? Hearing the heartbeats of puppies can also help you determine whether or not the puppies are healthy.
Is it possible to hear puppy heartbeats inside the mum using a stethoscope?
It is critical to wait six weeks after a bitch becomes pregnant before attempting to hear the heartbeat. Previously, the heart would have been too weak to produce a significant enough beat to be heard. You may be able to detect fetal heartbeats around seven weeks into pregnancy, but you may not be able to distinguish between individual puppy heartbeats. It may require some skill and determination, but it should be possible. To hear the puppies heartbeats, use a high-quality stethoscope. However, it must be very quiet in the room, with no other noises, and even then, it is difficult to locate due to various digestive noises.
Puppies heartbeats are two to three times that of a pregnant bitch, exceeding 220 beats per minute (bpm), and sound like rapid tic tic tic tic. The best location on the belly is usually on the side next to the nipples or under and around the back of the rib cage on both sides.
Shaking, movement, panting, purring, and increased respiratory noise are all common things that can interfere with auscultation. As a result, to create optimal listening conditions, the patient should be calmed as much as possible.
The puppies’ heartbeats will be fainter than the mother’s, and you will need to move around a little to find the exact location. It is possible to hear more than one heartbeat, indicating the presence of multiple puppies.
It has been reported that in the canine species, FHR (Fetal Heart Rate) should be greater than 220 beats per minute (bpm), with FHR between 180 and 220 bpm indicating moderate fetal distress and values less than 180 bpm indicating severe fetal distress.
If you still can’t hear the heartbeats, wait until it becomes louder at eight weeks. You can also take your dog to a professional veterinary doctor for a medical checkup.
Other methods of detecting pregnancy can be used at home or with the assistance of a veterinarian. It is possible to detect fetal movement in the last 10 to 14 days before whelping.
Palpation to detect puppies
Palpation is nothing more than a physical examination in which something is felt. Vets can perform this exam, but they must wait until days 26-35 of the pregnancy. To do this, place one hand under the dog, on the abdomen, and the other on the side of the dog, just below her ribs. After that, the hands are gently squeezed together to feel for small, hard objects shaped like golf balls. The puppies are represented by these balls. With a little practice, you can figure out how many puppies there are. One of the simplest ways to identify puppies is through an x-ray, which a vet can perform after the eighth week since breeding.
Hearing Puppies Heartbeat with a Doppler
The first step is to get a good ultrasound around 28 days after ovulation. Ultrasound is a great tool for confirming pregnancy, but it’s not as good at giving us puppy counts. Skilled ultrasonographers, on the other hand, are 90% accurate in counting puppies early in pregnancy, usually coming within one puppy of the correct count.
Note: Instead of an Ultrasound, you can use an X-ray, but you won’t be able to count the fetal heartbeats of puppies. The number of pups will be visible better than Ultrasound. An X-ray is cheaper than Ultrasound in most cases. Although, it all depends on what your veterinary doctor suggests.
Hearing & Seeing Pregnant Bitch’s Stomach for Puppies with Ultrasound
The handheld Doppler is the second method we employ. These simple devices identify and measure heartbeats by using sound waves. It takes some practice to get good at using them, so it may take a few litters before you’re really good at it, but the Doppler will also give you a tool to check how well your pups are doing during whelping and to confirm there are no more pups when your bitch is done.
You can hear the sound of puppies heartbeats in your bitch’s womb with a stethoscope, but you need to have patience & skill. Ultrasound and Doppler methods can also help to detect heartbeats, but when it all comes to be sure, then we would suggest you consult with a professional veterinary doctor. He/she can help you detect the number of puppies, their health and will also help you guide in birthing puppies.
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I am a pet lover who spent her childhood in the company of a friendly Labrador Retriever. I believe that pets make our lives more enjoyable and stress-free. Currently, I have two budgies Kiwi & Koko as pets, and planning to adopt a pup soon. So, here I am, attempting to share my experiences and knowledge to improve the lives of pets and pet owners.