We're at day 67 today and still no signs of impending labor!!! Waiting, I've been anxiously scouring the internet, both Google and a couple of FB whelping pages I follow. Regarding late deliveries I've read success stories and horror stories... And I've read of placenta's having a shelf life. My own experience generally places pups on the ground around 61 days from breeding and on rare occasion the full 63 days which is considered textbook. Date of expected delivery, or as some call it whelping window, though has to do with when your dog ovulates... not the date of mating. Progesterone testing can shed light on that but generally requires multiple tests to get an accurate prediction of ovulation. From the date of ovulation it takes a couple days for eggs to mature and become ready for fertilization. From there, sperm if available, quickly gets the job done. I did one progesterone test on Ritz... that result led me to believe I may have missed her window of fertility. Already elevated at 18ng. But we gave it a go, and succeeded with conception. But based on that number it would be assumed she ovulated a day or two earlier. Possibly longer than that but doubtful. Historically Ritz's progesterone levels raise very early and quickly in her cycle when compared to most other dogs. And has been the reason for several missed breedings.
But.... based on her progesterone level at breeding this time around I expected an early litter. 59 days maybe... up to 61. Certainly not a late one.
Getting anxious I took her in Thursday, day 65 from her mating and likely day 67 from ovulation. Her progesterone level was 8.1 ng.
Vets use this number to determine whether or not are dogs are ready for C-section. Some breeds always require them. The number they seek is between 2 and 3. Preferably closer to 2. Prior to that pups are not developed to the point of likely viability. Gestation day is not a consideration. So Ritz wasn't ready for C-section... or for natural delivery. Regardless what the calendar said.
I was told to expect pups over the weekend, but if no pups by Monday, I should return for a repeat test and possible C-section. I knew if I had to wait till Monday I'd be a basket case filled with worry. So.... I jumped the gun. I took her in this morning for a repeat test and a reading of 3.2ng. We're getting close.... And I feel better knowing an updated number. Well worth the money to ease my anxiety!!!
If anyone dares tell you dog breeding is easy and not stress inducing, please read my words and know that's simply not the case. Worry for our dogs and their unborn is always present!!!