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By Njoy Japanese Chin

Canine gestation is just the scientific term for dog pregnancy.
The gestation period begins from the day our Japanese Chin mate and lasts
until the puppies are delivered or "whelped".
Gestation lasts from 58 to 67 days on average, or about eight to nine weeks
depending on the dog's size (smaller dogs typically have a little shorter pregnancy),
the size of the litter and how soon fertilization occurred after the breeding took place.
Sounds simple, doesn't it? However, what's going on inside our Chin's reproductive system
is anything but simple, and she needs a great deal of care to ensure not only her continued health,
but the health and development of her growing pups.

This week-by-week canine gestation calendar below, will help you
understand how your puppy is developing inside mom.
Some of the clear photos you see are 4-D Ultrasound of Fetuses in mom's Womb.
Hopefully through our efforts you can appreciate how much care
and attention Njoy Japanese Chin puts into each Planned Breeding
Raising and caring for each of our beautiful Chin Moms and of course each Puppy.

Weekly Photos of Mom
(what is going on outside and inside)

Canine Gestation Calendar
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Male and Female in a Tie (bred)
Progesterone at 12 - 15 = AI Time
Zero to One Week
Females will usually come into heat every 6 months.

Some breeders will breed second heat, some breeders
will not breed until the female is 24 months of age

Regardless of what age a female is bred
they can only be bred when they are in "heat".

Prior to breeding, as soon as a breeder sees blood discharge
they may decide to place their female on an antibiotic such as
Aventi-Clave 6.25mg, BID to make sure she does not have any infection
depending on her previous breeding history.

Heat is when a female is bleeding and soon to be receptive to a male's attentions.

Standing Heat is when bleeding stops and a female will flag
and will let a male mount her.

Flagging is when the female will lift her rear and put her tail
to the side if you touch her rear or if a male sniffs her.

Standing heat usually occures 10 days after you see initial bleeding
and will last up to 16 days after initial bleeding is seen.

  • When a Breeding takes place you will generally know
    the male has made entry, when he is breeding and lifts his rear leg.

  • The Male remains joined inside female,
    as his bulbous glandis swells inside the female
    locking them together for a few seconds to hours.

  • The male will try to lift his back leg over
    the female so he is more comfortable, rear to rear.

  • After they seperate, they can tie again right after or several times a day.
    However sperm count will be less the more time he breeds within a few hours.
    Most breeders will seperate them for 12-24 hours to let sperm build up and male to rest.

  • Within a few days, the sperm reaches the eggs and fertilization occurs.

  • Breeder's know she will give birth around 60-65 days after initial breeding
    Lovemypups Progesterone Testing Video - blood testing using dye.
    Progesterone needs to be 15ng/ml - 18(nanograms per ml) for Finecare Machine to AI
    Do first Progesterone test Day 6 bleeding the level should be 1 or 2ng/ml
    Test every other day.
    looking for a LH surge, a rise in number, almost doubling means you are in ovulation
    (will go up one point per day approx)

    AI on progesterone number "12" until number "18-20" on progesterone

    Instructions on Blood taking for Progesterone
    22 gauge (21-23 gauge ok, insuline needle too small to pull blood)
    1cc needle, .5cc is enough blood to do test
    Using Finecare
    Breeding Supplies
    DUE TO WHELP Reverse progesterone test for C-section = -2.5 ng/ml - safe for C-section
    Finecare progesterone for C-section, walk through on machine
    Temperature drop below 98.9

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Week Two
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Fetus @ 2 weeks of age

  • The fertilized eggs make their way to the uterus for implantation.
  • You may notice behavioral changes in your dog.
    She may become moody or more affectionate.

  • Most of my females will get morning sickness
    and may have some discharge, which is all normal.

  • I advise people to take weekly photos of their
    females side ways and up on their hind legs
    as in my photos, so that you can see
    the growth and know things are progressing.

  • Hairy dogs could have their belly's shaved down, or photos taken when momma is
    being bathed and is soapy enough for the coat to stick tight to the body to show baby belly.

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I had to wet Yuna's fluffy coat down to show her belly
Nothing much to notice now

Week Three
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Fetus @ 3 weeks of age
National Geographic Video of a puppy in the womb

  • Implantation has taken place and the embryos begin to develop.

  • My female may begin to display mood swings,
    appetite changes and breast tissue development.

    Day 30
    Image of the uterine horns at 30 days gestation with 10 embryos
    Complete ossification of the jaw and skull. Size of the embryo is about 2 - 3cm
    *More on Canine ultrasound

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    Week Four
    Yuna's fur was watered down to show her belly
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      Fetus @ 4 weeks of age
      National Geographic Video of a puppy in the womb

      Ultrasound of fetuses @ 4 weeks of age

      Fetuses can be felt (Palpation) by Vet in the uterine horns
      around day 28, and can also be seen by ultrasound.
      Because we know our mother's so well, it is easy for us
      to know when our mom's are pregnant. Therefore we do not
      subject them to any stress of going to the Vet's office
      for confirmation by ultrasound.

    • The spinal cords are developing, and the fetuses
      are beginning to grow facial features.

    • Your bitch's uterus will shortly fill with fluids
      to protect the fetuses. After this, it will be weeks
      until the puppies can be "felt" again.

    • After day 30 in the fetus, unborn pups form eyeballs
      and vision similar to a color-blind human, who can't discern red, yellow or green.

    • Scientists believe that dogs' color blindness adapted
      from their earliest ancestors who needed to compete
      for prey against other animals during night time.
      More Information about Pregnancy

    • Your dog's appetite will likely increase, so offer her more of her food.

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    Week Five
    Click on photos to see larger

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      The fetuses develop their sex organs and begin
      to look like actual puppies. The leg buds lengthen and develop toes.

    • Your dog's belly will begin to look
      noticeably swollen as the pups take up more space.

    • With less room for full meals, it's time
      to begin serving smaller meals more frequently.

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    *Click on photos to enlarge them
    Week Six
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    Fetus @ 6 weeks of age

    Pups continue to grow and pigmentation develops.
    The eyes now have lids and remain sealed
    until approximately ten days after birth.

  • Your dog is noticeably more uncomfortable at this point. She may vomit occasionally due to the extra pressure against her stomach.

  • You may also notice clear fluid discharge from her vulva. This is normal.

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    *click to view Yuna at 7 weeks pregnant
    Week Seven
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      (*Click to enlarge photo of my Standard Poodle "Glory" who had 12 pups inside !)

      Xray of Fetuses @ 7.5 weeks of age

      Puppies are well-developed, and now begin attaining size in preparation for birth.
    • You may be able to see/feel the puppies' movements in your bitch's abdomen.
    • Her breasts are well developed and probably contain a bit of colostrum or "first milk".
    • Your dog is noticeably tired and may begin search for a place to whelp. Time to set up a whelping box.
      I do NOT routinely do an Xray. Only if I have concerns.

    (there are "6" pups inside there)
    Week Eight
    It is important during this time that you redirect her to her whelping box
    and not in your bed. ALWAYS potty her on a leash outside and bring a flashlight and towel
    Allow your bitch to feed freely as she is able.
    Progesterone level below 3 = ready for C-section
    Start taking temperatures a week before due date
    same time 2x each day
    100.5 Normal Temperature
    Temp will drop below 99 is when pups due within 24 hours
    Repeat in 5-10 minutes to ensure temp drop.
    Ready for C-section when Temperature Drops.

    The pups are ready for birth, and may be quite still
    as they rest in preparation for the marathon to come.
    Your dog may appear uncomfortable and restless or anxious.
    She will also usually stop eating (which is perfect prior to C-section)
    Bigger litters, female can go early, smaller litters female can go later
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      Fetus @ 8 weeks of age
      The pups have fur and are now crowded in the uterus.
      You may notice a lot of activity as they get into position for the coming birth.
    • Your bitch may begin digging the bedding in the whelping box. This is natural nesting behaviour.

      Mom can have an ultrasound, to ensure pups have a heart beat
      Fetal Heart Rates can be variable but should remain above 200.
      Ultra Sound detection of fetal HR below 180 is indicative of fetal distress,
      is often accompanied by fetal bowel movements, and can be the basis
      of elective intervention in near-term bitches.
      Ultra sound can also reveal fetal overgrowth or growth retardation
      and other abnormalities including hydrocephalus, fetal anasarca
      herniation of the ventral abdominal wall. Such cases can then benefit form intervention.

      Mom's usually start shivering, panting and looking for a place to whelp
      12 hours prior to puppy being born

      61 days from proper AI date, window for bitch to be C-sectioned.
      Video on When to C-Section
      Temperature Drop below 98.9 Bitch is due !
      Reverse progesterone test for C-section = -2.5 ng/ml - safe for C-section
      Finecare progesterone for C-section, walk through on machine
      Progesterone less than 2,
      you are 2 days away from whelp and pups be OK to C-Section.
      5 days prior to due date start taking Temperature 2x a day same time each day.
      When temperature drops below 98.9 Mom is due to have pups 24 hours should have pups.
      Also document if went well what progesterone level you AI'd at and whelped at.

      My girl "nesting" getting ready.

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    1st born puppy is a sable male 5.5 oz

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    5 puppy litter

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    newborn Chin puppies

    Breeder is always with the moms to make sure Puppy is all cleaned up,
    warm and ready to nurse (whelping can take up to 24 hours & is always during the night !)
    A puppy must be warm BEFORE allowed to nurse otherwise the organs
    will shut down and puppy will not live.

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    • Yuna having her contractions.

      Yuna's first born puppy

      Yuna all done delivering and is now nursing her pups
      The pups are ready for birth, and may be quite still
      as they rest in preparation for the marathon to come.
    • Your dog may appear uncomfortable and restless or anxious.

      Temperature Chart

      Finally the pups are clean, dry, warm and enjoying their first taste of mother's milk.
      Puppys will be nursing for the next 4-6 weeks.
      After this I wean them onto fresh RAW Goats milk from a farmer and RAW
      fine ground chicken, adding more meat to the mix as they mature and are able to eat.

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      Yuna and her newborn pups

    Mom is all settled into her new Whelping box and nursing her pups

    (light is on only to take this photo)
    *Video of mom in Box

    Room temperature should be around 70 or 20 degrees
    Mom should be isolated in a bedroom or seperate area from
    household coming and goings, so she can relax and focus on pups.
    Some mothers can be VERY protective and can injure their pups in their
    efforts to keep everyone away from their pups.
    Some mom's will also be so busy "gaurding" her pups that she will never settle
    down to nurse them, and she can dry up and not have milk for her puppies.
    Hormones are raging and so is her protective instinct, so Breeders need to
    ensure she is calm, happy and comfortable with her pups.
    Containing mom, in a safe, quiet, warm environment accomplishes this.

    NO drafts, No bright lights, No other dogs, no humans messing with her babies
    for the first 2 weeks especially, mom needs to be with just her pups.
    My mom's are either outside to potty, walking with ME
    every 1-2 hours or in their whelping area for everyone's safety.
    AFTER puppy's eyes open, pups are able to regulate their own body temperature
    and can be without their mom, for a bit longer period of time.
    Breeders will not risk mom getting exposed to,
    and bringing back diseases to her babies
    by having Mom play and romp with other dogs,
    during the time she is still nursing.
    After pups are 3-4 weeks of age, mom's area is expanded.
    Once pup's teeth come in, mom will start to wean her pups and
    Mom is then intergrated back onto the family home.

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