How to Tell If Yorkie Is Pregnant ~ Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, are energetic, playful, and affectionate dogs that are ideal pets for families with older children. But since they are prone to separation anxiety, they are likely to have companions in their home, either other Yorkies or toy-sized dogs. While it is such a joy having several pets, it also means higher chances for pregnancy among females.
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Emphasis must be made that a female Yorkie can become pregnant even if it’s her first time to mate. So, if you don’t want your Yorkie to become pregnant, you should consider having her spayed. You should ask her veterinarian about the appropriate time for spaying, usually before her first heat.
The Signs of Pregnancy in a Yorkie
Unless you keep a close eye on your Yorkie on a 24/7 basis, you won’t likely know that she has mated and has been impregnated. You must then be careful about observing your Yorkie for signs of possible pregnancy, particularly if you have your suspicions.
Of course, you can go the scientific route, although it has its limitations. First, you can ask your pet’s vet for blood tests to determine whether she’s pregnant with pups or not. But blood tests aren’t accurate until the fourth week of pregnancy.
Second, your pet’s vet can perform either an x-ray or an ultrasound. While these laboratory tests give definitive results, these cannot be performed until late in your Yorkie’s pregnancy.
The bottom line: You have to observe your Yorkie’s body for physical changes as well as changes in her behavior. The common signs of pregnancy in Yorkies are:
- Her stomach becomes slightly firmer, larger, and rounder than usual.
- Her nipples increase in size, usually so quick that it will take you by surprise. As the weeks pass, her nipples seem to pop out when these were previously hidden by her fur.
- She becomes sleepy and sluggish, in contrast with her usual active, playful, and energetic self.
- She grooms herself more frequently and extensively than usual. You will be able to see such a change in her if you’re her primary grooming assistant.
- She starts to exhibit nesting behaviors, such as gathering soft items and placing them in a quiet place. You may even find that she’s making a new bed for herself, aside from her usual one.
You will also see other changes as the weeks pass by. By week three or four, your dog’s abdomen becomes significantly larger. Even its appetite will increase because of eating for its puppies, too, resulting in weight gain.
Your Yorkie will likely gain weight by roughly 30% of her pre-pregnancy weight. With the right diet, she should only gain between 1.2 and 2.1 pounds, a normal weight gain.
If she gains weight beyond what’s considered normal, you should discuss the best things to do with your pet’s vet. It is vital to your pet’s health, perhaps even her survival, since obesity has adverse effects on her pregnancy. Yorkies have higher chances of undergoing a cesarean operation due to their small size.
After the third week, blood tests can be performed to provide a definitive diagnosis of pregnancy. And by week six, or day 42, the vet can perform an ultrasound to detect the puppies, determine their number and positions, and check for abnormalities. Afterward, the 45the day will include an x-ray to decide if the puppies are growing well.
The ultrasound will also determine the approximate age of the puppies. The information is crucial in determining whether the puppies are still safe inside their mother’s womb or should be removed. It can either be through natural birth or a cesarean operation.
The Gestation Period for a Yorkie
In general, dogs are pregnant for about 63 days on the overage. But the number of days will also depend on the breed and the individual dog.
Your Yorkie can be pregnant between 58 and 68 days, a normal time for most toy breeds. So, if your Yorkie hasn’t delivered her puppies by the 67th day, usually based on the ultrasound findings, then you should call your vet. There may be a need to induce labor or to perform a cesarean operation.
Otherwise, your Yorkie and her puppies may be at risk of complications, even death. Sadly, toy breeds like Yorkies have a higher maternal death partly because of their size.
The Average Size Litter for a Yorkie
The number of puppies, or litter, will vary between Yorkies. On average, there will be four puppies in pregnancy, but the number can range between one and five.
For a large litter or more than five puppies, there’s a higher risk that a few of them will either be stillborn or die a short time after delivery. The risk of death for their mother is also higher. Thus, the importance of proper and prompt vet care before, during, and after the delivery.
The Tips for Proper Care of a Pregnant Yorkie
As soon as you know that your Yorkie is pregnant, you should adopt specific measures to keep her healthy, safe, and happy. Ideally, your Yorkie should have undergone a full health examination before she mates with a male dog. The exam will rule out possible genetic issues that may or may not preclude breeding with a fellow Yorkie or another breed.
But in case of an accidental mating, your Yorkie should undergo a complete check-up as soon as possible. It will ensure that all potential health issues can be addressed early on.
A few tips when caring for your pregnant Yorkie.
- Be exceptionally gentle when handling your pet.
- Decrease her physical activity, particularly vigorous exercise, as her pregnancy progresses. But 15-20 minutes, twice a day, of the leisurely walk, should keep her in shape for the delivery.
- Provide her with a warm, soft, and clean as well as comfortable resting area.
- Give her sufficient food and water, but don’t overfeed her. Scheduled meals are recommended. Ask your vet about the type and amount of food and water your Yorkie should have as her pregnancy progresses.
- Ask your vet about supplements. Don’t give your Yorkie supplements unless otherwise recommended!
To summarize, your Yorkie’s pregnancy is a reason to rejoice! Yorkies bring so much joy to our daily life because of their playful and affectionate nature. Just be sure to be a responsible human to her and her puppies.