Chihuahuas are one of the smallest breeds of dogs. Because of their small size, a pregnancy in a Chihuahua can be a serious matter. Taking your dog to regular visits with the veterinarian is important. During the crucial birthing process, you should be prepared to take your dog in at any time as complications can occur.
Signs/Symptoms of Pregnancy
Recognising pregnancy in a Chihuahua is usually easier than with any other breed of dog. The onset of noticeable differences in personality and physical appearance will occur quite fast. Signs that your Chihuahua is pregnant include but are not limited to an enlarged, firm belly, enlarged nipples, fatigue, loss of energy and excessive self cleaning. If you suspect your Chihuahua is pregnant, arrange a comfortable area for her to rest and make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Chihuahuas can get pregnant after one, very brief mating session. It is important to notify your veterinarian if you are unsure if mating occurred with a large breed of dog. This kind of pregnancy can be risky. The pregnancy period of a Chihuahua is only two months and one week. The number of puppies a Chihuahua carries can vary per dog but usually falls between one and six.
Signs of Labor
Signs your dog is in labour include crying, vomiting and staying in one place. If you suspect your Chihuahua is in labour, you will need to take a rectal temperature to confirm it by checking to see if her temperature is lower than normal, (from 101 to 102.5F is normal.) Lubricate the thermometer and insert the tip into the rectum then remove after three minutes. When your dog's temperature drops below 100F, you should expect the birth and delivery to occur within 24 hours.
The Labor Process
The beginning of the labour process will be marked by the breaking of the water or the pushing out of an amniotic sac. For each puppy delivered, there will be a separate amniotic sac. With each puppy she expels, your Chihuahua may consume the amniotic sac and chew away at the umbilical cord. Feel free to assist your dog in clearing away secretions from each puppy's mouth and nose. All puppies should be delivered within two hours of the first puppy.
Signs that you need to take your dog to a vet immediately are, pregnancy that lasts seven days longer than expected, a labour process that starts yet no puppies have been expelled, and all puppies have not passed within two hours of the first puppy being delivered. If your dog appears to be in extreme pain, take her in immediately. These may be signs of a complication or need of a Cesarean section.