If you have a Cocker spaniel bitch and she has been mated then you are probably wondering if she is pregnant and what to look for.
What are Cocker spaniel pregnancy signs and what things should you look for? Normal indicators are a change in appetite, drop in energy levels, behaviour, growth and added weight and changes to the dog’s nipples and surrounding area.
Signs of pregnancy in Cocker spaniels
If your Cocker spaniel is pregnant then there will be several signs for you to watch out for. Some are more easily spotted than others but if you can identify these quickly then it can give you enough time to prepare for the birth of her puppies.
There are normally four signs of pregnancy in Cocker spaniels which we describe below to help you:
- A change in your dog’s appetite – This can vary two ways with Cockers. Some dogs can experience a dog form of morning sickness which puts them off their food. There are others, however, that are the complete opposite and become very hungry almost immediately. Any change in your Cocker spaniel’s diet can be a good indication of pregancy.
- Reduced energy levels – Pregnancy is tiring and most dogs will sleep more and be less active than normal. Allow your dog to rest as much as she needs.
- Behaviour – Your spaniel’s behaviour will change and you should expect this to happen. Some spaniels can become very clingy and more attached to a member of the family than normal, whereas others can behave ina complete opposite manner, hiding away and wanting privacy. These can be signs of early pregnancy in Cocker spaniels.
- Physical changes – Your dog’s nipples will change and will become more swollen and darker in color, they will begin to hang lower than normal too.
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Can you tell if a Cocker spaniel is pregnant at 2 weeks?
Other than the signs mentioned above it can be difficult, without a vet making a scan, to determine if your Cocker spaniel is pregnant within the first two weeks.
Even at this early stage a scan may not be able to fully determine if a spaniel is pregnant in the first two weeks.
How early can an ultrasound detect pregnancy in a spaniel?
The best time to have your spaniel scanned is at day 30 after mating and this is normally when your vet will wish to undertake the scan.
The ultrasound scan will be able to detect the heartbeat of the puppies but may not provide an accurate count of the number of pups that your dog can expect to produce.
Can a dog get pregnant the first time she mates?
Yes, dogs can become pregnant at the first mating and even on their first ‘season’. It is not a good idea to mate a dog on her first season as she will still be young and developing, and it is better to wait until she is older to minimise the risk of problems.
You should take care to keep her away from the attentions of male dogs, including any brothers or other male dogs that live with her. Dogs are not discriminate in their mating habits.
Can you feel if a spaniel is pregnant?
In the early stages no, but as your spaniel’s puppies grow then it may be possible for you to feel them inside her.
Generally it is not a good idea to try and do this if you don’t know the correct way and it is a job best left to your vet.
Your vet might be able to show you how to do this.
Do Cocker spaniels have false pregnancies?
Your spaniel will gather blankets, towels, clothes and other things and make nests from them as though she is preparing to have puppies and she will nurse things such as soft toys, shoes and other items.
A false pregnancy normally lasts about 3 weeks and during this time your spaniel’s hormone levels will be similar to those that she would have if she was pregnant.
If it persists for longer than 3 weeks then you should ask your vet to examine her as she may need extra help with her symptoms.
Can you stop an unwanted dog pregnancy?
We have experienced this in the past when one of our dog’s escaped while in season and mated with next door’s dog. Thankfully they were both English Springer spaniels.
We were not in a position to look after young puppies so we consulted our vet who gave our dog an injection to prevent her from becoming pregnant.
However the vet did tell us that timing was important and that there was no 100% guarantee that this would work. It didn’t and we ended up with two Springer puppies.
So, it is possible, but the best solution is prevention and caution.
You should consult your vets for their expert advice.
Does a human pregnancy test work on spaniels?
Surprisingly, this is a common question that is often asked by inexperienced dog owners. Unsurprisingly the answer is No, it will not work.
A human test looks for different hormones.
There are no urine tests that can detect pregancy in dogs.
How often can a Cocker spaniel have puppies?
You should always allow at least a year between litters with Cocker spaniels and should aim for longer if you can.
If the first litter is healthy and your dog doesn’t have any problems during birth then you can reasonably expect that other litters should be fine.
A maximum of 3 to 4 litters is suggested for female Cocker spaniels during their lifetime with the average Cocker spaniel litter being between 3 to 7 puppies.
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There are a few things that you can watch for to identify Cocker spaniel pregnancy signs and, for the experienced breeder this may be easy.
If you have not had a litter of puppies before then really the best option will be to get the opinion of your vet who will be able to check your dog properly.
In all cases the vet is the only person who can provide an accurate assessment as to whether your Cocker spaniel is pregnant or not.
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API