If you have a female toy Yorkie as a pet, it's important to know what to do should she become pregnant. There are several signs to look for that will indicate your Yorkshire terrier's pregnancy. Providing adequate comfort and nutrition will help to make sure that the Yorkie puppies are born healthy.
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Changes in Size
When a Yorkie becomes pregnant, the dog's stomach will expand very quickly. The stomach will also become very firm. These two symptoms are some of the first signs of pregnancy, so you should take the Yorkie to the vet if these conditions persist for a few days. Getting a physical exam for the toy Yorkie as soon as possible is best, so that you can get tips from your veterinarian on how to care for her at home.
Fatigue and Nesting
Toy Yorkies will start to rest more during pregnancy, and will generally be more fatigued, even when not sleeping. If you find that your Yorkshire terrier does not want to play outside or go on walks as much, pregnancy could be the reason. It is also quite common for pregnant Yorkies to start "nesting"--the dog may gather items that bring her comfort, and will desire to spend the majority of her time in a soft and quiet area.
Food and Extended Care
Even though you've taken your dog to the vet at the first signs of pregnancy, it is essential to visit the veterinarian throughout the time the Yorkie is carrying her pups. Toy Yorkie pregnancies are very short--around 60 days--so a visit to the vet every week or so is usually ideal. When feeding the Yorkie, puppy food is best, as it contains extra vitamins and minerals that will keep the dog healthy while pregnant, and provide nourishment to the unborn pups. An ultrasound after about the first 30 days will let you know how many pups your Yorkie is expecting. On average, the dogs will give birth to four pups, but the size of the litter can vary from one to five puppies.
It is common for a Yorkie's nipples to be very firm while pregnant; nipples that were not as noticeable before the Yorkie started carrying pups will also become more evident. Pregnant Yorkshire terriers will also clean themselves more than normal throughout the entire time they are carrying. Even though the dog will nest on her own, it's ideal to add more pillows or soft blankets to her bed, especially as she gets closer to delivery time.
Labor and Delivery
About 24 hours before the Yorkie is ready to give birth, her temperature will drop significantly below normal. The Yorkie's temperature should be taken rectally. Once the dog's temperature is below 37.8 degrees C, the pups will be delivered not long after. Yorkies may also cry or vomit when going into labour, and need to be comforted and in a safe environment during this time. If this is the first time your Yorkie has given birth, it is best to take her to an animal clinic for the labour and delivery.
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