Everything You Need To Know About Boston Terrier Pregnancy

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Boston Terrier pregnancies can be stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect. If you’re considering becoming a breeder or just looking for information about how to take care of a pregnant Boston Terrier, here’s everything you need to know about Boston Terrier pregnancy. 

Everything You Need To Know About Boston Terrier Pregnancy

It can be exciting if it’s your first time to look after a pregnant Boston Terrier. You need to familiarize yourself with your breed’s health test recommendations, and what it takes to raise well-socialized puppies. In this article, we’ll discuss signs of pregnancy, the supplies you need and more.

What Is the Gestation Period of Boston Terrier Dogs?

Generally, Terrier dogs are usually pregnant for about two months or between 62-64 days. However, it can be difficult to predict the delivery date because the date of breeding rarely matches the conception date. The gestation period can also vary depending on the litter size and breed

Sleeping pregnant Boston Terrier

During the first month of pregnancy at around 15-18 days, the fertilized eggs swim to the uterine horn (where fallopian tubes and the uterus meet) and implant themselves in the lining. Also, during early pregnancy, fetal growth tends to be fast.

During the second month, a vet can detect heartbeat and the rate of development as the embryos grow into puppies. At the beginning of the third month, you can welcome the puppies into the world as they’re ready to be born.

How To Tell if Your Boston Terrier Is Pregnant

There are various methods you can use to determine if your Boston Terrier has conceived. Some accurate ways include:

Ultrasound 

An ultrasound can detect the heartbeats of fetuses and give you the number of puppies the pregnant bitch is carrying. You can ask your vet to perform an ultrasound when the Boston Terrier is one month pregnant. 

X-ray

This is another effective way of determining if your Boston Terrier is pregnant. However, this should be done in about 60 days because the skeleton systems can only be projected on the x-ray around this time. An x-ray done at this time also allows you to know the accurate number of puppies

Palpation 

This is a method of detecting something with hands or fingers during a physical examination. Your vet can do abdominal palpation when the pregnancy is one month. At this stage, the puppies feel like grapes or little pool table balls depending on the Boston Terrier’s size

Usually, the “balls” are fluid-filled sacs that surround the fetus. Bear in mind that palpation should only be done with your veterinarian’s assistance to avoid harming the puppies. It’s crucial to perform this test at around the 30-day mark because the sacs lose their shape after one month. 

Hormone Test

Your vet can do a blood test around 30 days after conception to check your Boston Terrier’s hormone levels. The test will allow your vet to know if your dog is producing relaxin, a hormone produced during pregnancy. It widens and softens the cervix in preparation for childbirth. 

Signs of Boston Terrier Pregnancy

While diagnostic testing is the most accurate way to know if a dog is pregnant, there are other signs of pregnancy you can check including:

  • Being more affectionate
  • Enlarged nipple size
  • Eating more food
  • Nesting behavior
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting 
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy 

Some dogs may also eat less for a few days due to hormonal changes. Other dogs can exhibit these signs however it could be a false pregnancy. Some conditions can also cause a swollen belly and changes in appetite. So take your Boston Terrier to the vet to rule out a false pregnancy. 

Boston Terrier Puppy

How To Care for a Pregnant Boston Terrier Dog

There are some steps you can take once you’re sure your Boston Terrier has conceived to ensure she’s healthy and comfortable throughout her pregnancy. 

Take Her for a Prenatal Checkup

Before breeding your Boston Terrier, ensure she’s up-to-date on vaccinations. Next, book an appointment with your veterinarian for a prenatal checkup. Your vet may deworm your Boston Terrier with the right drugs or do a fecal examination to check for intestinal parasites prior to mating.

Deworming the pregnant Boston Terrier around day 40 of gestation (her 3rd trimester) and continuing 14 days post whelping reduces the number of hookworms and roundworms in puppies, allowing them to thrive well. Regular veterinarian visits are crucial as they can help your pregnant Boston Terrier stay healthy.

You should also ask your vet how to handle an emergency during the day of expected labor. Your vet will also tell you whether your Boston Terrier has any issues that may prevent her from having a normal birth. If you don’t want more litters, you can also discuss options such as spaying.

Manage Strenuous Exercises

If you’re considering breeding your Boston Terrier, limit tiring exercises during the first 14 days of gestation. Some vets believe this can help enhance the embryo’s implantation. After that, you can resume normal exercise until your dog’s stomach is enlarged. 

During your Boston Terrier’s last trimester, take her for shorter walks frequently. This is very beneficial to the pregnant bitch as she needs the energy to carry the puppies. Dog walking can reduce the risk of obesity and other health issues. 

Feed Your Boston Terrier Healthy Food

Giving your pregnant Boston Terrier healthy meals is another great thing you can do for your her. If she’s at a healthy weight and already on high-quality dog food, you won’t have to change her food unless instructed otherwise by your vet.

As her weight increases during her last trimester, vets recommend increasing her portions slowly until she can consume more food than usual. This is because she’s providing nutrition to her puppies and will need a higher calorie intake.

A nursing Terrier dog will also require extra calories because she’s now producing milk. However, avoid feeding her large meals as they can cause discomfort. Instead, give her small, frequent meals. 

Prepare For The Puppies

As your Boston Terrier’s pregnancy comes to an end, you may want to prepare your Boston Terrier for whelping (puppy birthing). You can do this by setting up a whelping box (birthing area). This box provides a safe and warm location for your expectant dog to deliver her puppies. 

Once you have your whelping box, accustom your dog to it. This is very essential because she might choose to deliver somewhere else if you fail to introduce her to the box early enough. 

Remember to place the box in a quiet area where you can access it easily. Also, ensure the mother is able to get in and out of the box easily.

Gather the Right Supplies

It’s a good idea to be prepared before your pregnant dog delivers. Below are some essentials things you will need:

Heat Lamp

A heating lamp will keep the puppies warm, especially when the mother isn’t feeling well. Just remember to stack 3-4 towels on it to protect the puppies from extreme heat or getting burnt. Newborn puppy’s skin is usually too soft and what you think is a little warm can burn them badly. 

Boston Terrier playing with a stick

You should also set the heat lamp high enough so that only warm air is reaching the babies. Avoid aiming the lamp directly at the puppies. 

Your Vet’s Number 

Ensure you have the number of your vet so that he answers the questions you may have. Calling the nearby emergency clinic can also be helpful as they may help your dog if she’s having difficulties during labor. 

Clamp and Bulb Syringe

A bulb syringe will help you clean the puppies’ mouth and nose while a clamp will help you cut off the umbilical cord. 

Clean, Dry Towels

Collect clean, dry towels that you can use to clean the puppies after your Boston Terrier has given birth. 

Other supplies include:

  • Thermometer to check the temperature of your dog before whelping
  • Iodine for cleaning the puppies’ bellies after cutting the cord
  • Unwaxed dental floss for tying off the umbilical cords
  • Sterilized scissors for cutting off the umbilical cords
  • Newspapers to line up the whelping box
  • Paper towels for cleaning up the puppies
  • A puppy scale in ounces

How To Know if Your Boston Terrier Is About To Deliver

There are labor signs you need to watch out for when your expectant Boston Terrier’s time approaches. Some of the signs include:

Temperature Change

Most pregnant dogs that are about to deliver begin to pant heavily. Thereafter, their rectal temperature drops from 100 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower. You can begin taking your Boston Terrier’s temperature a few days before she goes into labor.

If the temperature drops by 1 degree, then it’s likely your pregnant Boston Terrier will give birth within 24 hours. This can help you know when to make some stops by the house and help your dog deliver successfully. 

Unusual Behaviors

Some Boston Terrier dogs will begin showing odd behaviors shortly before delivering. The mother may seem uncomfortable, hide in strange places, and start pacing around the house. These signs show that your dog is about to begin the birthing process. 

Abdominal Contractions

Abdominal contractions may start slowly and become stronger, especially if it’s the first delivery. It can also be accompanied by moaning and straining. If there’s a baby in the birth canal, the water sac will come out, and it will be delivered in less than one hour. 

Loss of Appetite

Most pregnant Boston Terriers ready to deliver may eat very little. Others may not eat a few days before giving birth and may start building a nest in the whelping box. 

Milk Production

Begin looking for milk production at around 55 days in the mammary glands. Generally, milk starts being produced at about 3-5 days before delivery. 

Can Boston Terriers Have Normal Births?

Most Boston Terrier dogs can have a normal birth. However, some may require help from a vet. Note that if your female dog is larger than the male you mate her with, there won’t be any trouble. 

However, if the male is larger or the same size as your female dog, then problems may arise. 

If the male is bigger, a C-section may be necessary because the puppies may be too large to pass through the cervix. 

Boston Terrier puppy born from pregnancy

When Do Boston Terriers Need a C-Section?

A C-section is necessary when the puppies can’t pass through the tiny hips of their mother. After talking to your veterinarian, you can schedule a day for the procedure to be done so that all puppies survive. 

Note that sometimes the mother and some puppies may die even when the c-section is well-planned. Radiographs of the mother can be taken before the delivery day so that the vet can determine whether a c-section will be required or if the puppies will pass through the birth canal. 

Additionally, the vet may check the size of the puppies head. If it’s too big, a c-section will be done. The vet can also administer iv-fluids to keep the mother from becoming dehydrated while giving birth.

How To Care for a Terrier Dog While Delivering

During the delivery process, your Boston Terrier will need you to help her do the following:

Remove the Placenta

After the mother delivers, she should open the placental membrane, lick her puppies and tear the membrane off. Sometimes she may eat the placenta even though some people think it’s very gross. If the mother doesn’t remove the puppies from the membrane and cleans them up, you’ll have to do it.

It’s important you do this immediately because puppies may run out of oxygen and die. Just remove the membrane by pulling it away gently. Next, cut off the umbilical cord and tie it with a sterilized string. 

Once you’re done, cut off the placenta from the cord and throw it away. It’s also crucial to track the number of placentas because retained placentas can cause health problems

Keep an Eye on Delivery Duration

Some Boston dogs deliver their puppies one after another while others may deliver a few, and then take a break before delivering more. If the mother rests more than three hours, call your vet. 

Typically, the duration of a normal delivery equals the number of puppies. This means a litter of 5 should take about 5 hours and no more. 

Stimulate the Puppies 

After delivery, rub the puppies with a clean, dry towel until you hear them whine. Also, check on the puppies to ensure they are breathing normally. 

If their nose or mouth has a lot of discharge, use a napkin or bulb syringe to open these areas.

Be sure to place the puppies along their mother’s stomach and ensure she breastfeeds them within a few hours. 

Signs of Boston Terrier Labor Complications

Sometimes things go wrong during the birthing process. If you notice any of these signs, contact your veterinarian. 

  • The mother hasn’t given birth to the first puppy within two hours after contractions started or is showing signs of severe discomfort.
  • The mother seems too tired or is experiencing strong contractions for two hours without delivering.
  • If your dog delivers a bloody or dark green fluid before the first puppy, call the vet. It should happen after the first puppy. 
  • If your dog shivers, collapses, or trembles, don’t take it lightly. It can put the mother and puppies at a greater risk.
  • The mother’s rectal temperature dropped 24 hours ago and labor hasn’t started. 
  • The mother shows no signs of delivering after the gestation period has elapsed.
  • Some of the placentas haven’t been delivered.
  • Puppies aren’t breastfeeding.

Conclusion

Pregnancy can be a challenging time for Boston Terrier dogs and handlers. We hope the information we have given you will prepare you to take good care of your pregnant dog. You can also consult your vet if you’re unsure about something.