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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have you ever been successful counting puppies with ultrasound?
My vet refuses to even try. He said it isn't possible, but his ultrasound machine is terribly ancient. Just wondered if newer machines were reliable for a count.
 

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Not a vet but...

According to all three of the vets I use, and various vet school websites where I've looked this up, ultrasound is very unreliable for counting pups since you can't tell if you're seeing the same pup from different angles. That said, my impression is that the more experienced vets can get a general impression. X-rays can only be done later but give you a pretty good -- although still sometimes ambiguous -- count that I use for comfort as I am waiting for the next whelp to drop.
 

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I'm always watching when they US and I can see why they can't get an accurate count. I remember one that they looked and looked and we saw only 3-she had 9. Most of the time there are a couple more. The only ones that were totally accurate were the singletons.
 

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Ultrasound is a good diagnostic tool to confirm pregnancy. But, you can't count puppies wih it. Imagine trying to count moths circling the porch light at night. You know if there are or aren't any there. You may be able to tell if there are a few or not. But, you can't tell how many are there and whether or not you have counted one already.

An x-ray late in gestation can give you a better idea. With larger litters it can be confusing and counts may be off a pup or two.

Tom
 

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I had a Newfy in the late 80s that I did a repeat breeding on. I'd also entered her in a draft test in California -only going if the breeding didn't take. I lived in UT at the time, so it was going to involve a lot of travel as well as training that wasn't all that conducive to a bitch in whelp. I had her palpated (this was the 80s-the dark ages-no progesterone tests or a lot of the other stuff folks take for granted now when breeding. Most breedings were natural & AIs weren't as common as they are now) & no pups were felt. I had an ultrasound done at the appropriate time & again-no pups. Even an x-ray when it should have proved reliable-showed no pups. We went to the draft test (passed! :) ) & came home 2 weeks later & delivered 4 pups. Vet's explanation was that she must have been "carrying high" :?

It sounds as though from other folks posting it's still not 100% reliable.

M
 

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On my last litter I had x-rays taken two days before delivery. The vet came back saying she had found eight pups. She left the x-ray in the room while she consulted on another dog. As I was looking at the film I kept coming up with more tails than heads. She shot the film again and there was a 9th pup being "carried high".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your replies. I have been doing this for several years now and was wondering if there had been significant improvements with ultrasound technology that would allow for a reliable count.
 

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I usually only do an ultrasound to confirm a pregnancy and then an x-ray 3-5 days before the due date to get a count, but even an x-rays can be deceiving. X-rays give you a ball park estimate on how many pups to expect. My vet is usually on give or take a pup.
 

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I know a breeder who used ultrasound on almost every litter… (use to do it but not sure what he does now) and never was it accurate…most it ever told him was if there were puppies or not. My partner wanted to do ultrasounds on our bucking stock but in my opinion it was a waste for money for curiosity sake. Why do dog breeders do ultrasounds other than health issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Patrick, I usually do it to confirm pregnancy. I wouldn't want to increase food without knowing if she was pregnant. I have seen others have a bitch with a false pregnancy go the full 63 days without checking and end up with an overweight not pregnant bitch. I cut back on training /exercise and wouldn't do that if she turned out not to be pregnant.
 

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Last Frontier Labs said:
Patrick, I usually do it to confirm pregnancy. I wouldn't want to increase food without knowing if she was pregnant. I have seen others have a bitch with a false pregnancy go the full 63 days without checking and end up with an overweight not pregnant bitch. I cut back on training /exercise and wouldn't do that if she turned out not to be pregnant.
That makes all kinds of sense to me...have not raised a litter of pup since I was a kid so I didnt know. Thanks for the info.
 
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