1. Increase in body weight.
Usually, an increase in abdominal fat occurs after the 5th week of pregnancy.
2. Abdominal enlargement.
Usually, this is observed about the 5th week as a slight filling out of the flanks, but if the bitch is carrying a small litter, the enlargement may go unobserved.
3. Changes in the mammary glands.
Usually, about the 35th day of the pregnancy, the teats begin to enlarge and pinken. They continue to enlarge and become softer in texture until about the 50th day. The breasts begin to fill with milk and get larger each day. A few days before whelping the breasts secrete a watery solution. The milk usually does not come down until whelping, although some brood bitches express milk several days before parturition.
4. Abdominal movement.
During the last week of pregnancy, When the bitch is in a relaxed position the unborn puppies can usually be seen moving in the uterus, changing positions.
5. Temperamental deviation.
During pregnancy a bitch may change her behaviour habits. Usually, she becomes quieter and more affectionate, although a very nervous bitch may become aggressive.
6. There is generally an increase in appetite.
But within a few days of whelping, the bitch goes off her feed. When the bitch altogether refuses food, whelping is imminent. When she stops eating and then does not deliver within 24 hours, it is a signal for a veterinarian to take over and find out what is causing the abnormality.
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