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Dogs/palpating accuracy


I recently had my Boxer palpated by our vet to try to verify pregnancy. She was 33 days from her first mating, and 30 from the best tie-natural release, since she pulled free the first time. He could only feel one "something firm in there".  I think this is very unusual for a boxer. Have you used palpation on any of your dogs that have been bred?  And did you find it accurate?  I'm not worried about how many pups she is carrying, since we can do x-rays later, but if the vet wasn't feeling a puppy at all and she in fact isn't pregnant I hate to pay for an x-ray. He honestly couldn't give me a straight answer, and when I asked about an ultrasound he didn't like the idea because they can't tell the number of pups.  Should I switch vets? :S

I am sure that I had someone or other palpated at some point in my early dog history, but now I don't bother as I don't believe in "poking around" and maybe screwing things up. I did once X-ray a bitch after her 50th day as I wanted to know if she was pregnant or not so I could take a trip out of town. Otherwise, I believe in just letting nature take its course as one will know soon enough if a bitch is pregnant or not (even one puppy will kick). If I were truly in a "need-to-know" mode, I would go with the ultrasound as one of my bitches was done two months ago when she had a pyometra and that presented things very accurately.

I don't know how many times your bitch was bred, but I start breeding bitches here on the first day they will stand, and I continue every other day until one of the dogs says "enough". Failing that, one should have a progesterone test run on the bitch to determine the best time for breeding, as not all bitches ovulate at the same time. I have had bitches come in for breeding who ovulated as early as their 1st day of heat and as late as their 20th day.


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Karen Brittan


I have been showing miniature schnauzers in conformation, obedience, and earthdog for forty years, and am a professional dog groomer. I am not a veterinarian and cannot answer questions of a veterinary nature. However, I can give my opinion or share some experiences on some health issues. Everyone should remember that this is a volunteer service, and few of us are up late into the night. Medical emergencies require a veterinary visit, or at least a telephone call... not an internet question which might not be viewed and answered until hours later. If your dog is sick or injured, it should be seen by a licensed professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


I have taught obedience classes and have taught people how to groom for many years.

Learn more about me and my dogs:

Member of: American Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Obedience Training Club; Elk River Kennel Club; Minnesota Professional Pet Groomers Association; Greater Twin Cities Earthdog Club.

Fifty-one years of living with, observing, and training dogs, along with numerous seminars during that time.

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