Estimated Pregnancy Length from Ovulation to Parturition in the Bitch and its Influencing Factors: A Retrospective Study in 162 Pregnancies

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An accurate timing of parturition is very useful for managing canine parturition. It is generally accepted that parturition in bitches occurs between 64 and 66 days after the luteinizing hormone peak. In this retrospective study, we determined pregnancy length in different breeds and its influencing factors dating it from the estimated day of ovulation (EDO), defined as the day when peripheral plasma level of progesterone (P4) reaches 6 ng/ml. From January 2001 to December 2006, 162 pregnancies in 151 bitches of 53 different breeds were followed. Different parameters concerning the bitch, the litter, the type of semen and the type of reproduction were studied. The mean estimated pregnancy length in the bitch from EDO to parturition was 63.1 ± 2.1 days. The main influencing factors for the pregnancies studied were the breed, the size of the bitch and the number of puppies within the litter.

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