The most interesting thing is that the Pitbulls are not considered as a separate breed because Pitbull is the generic name for them, as it is derived from the bulldogs and the terriers.
Although the Pitbulls are discriminated in some areas of the world, but the people still love to adopt them, buy them and then, breed them. But either you are a first-time pet owner or a long-time pet owner, the pregnancy of Pitbulls makes everyone emotional.
As an owner of Pitbulls, it will be very much exciting if you think about addition of a new, cute Pitbulls in your family or observe any sign of pregnancy because it will be the best time of learning for you, apart from making arrangements for the pregnant Pitbulls.
After breeding with a male dog, it takes about one full month to confirm the start of pregnancy because the Pitbulls often do not show any significant signs.
After confirming that the Pitbull is pregnant, by observing different physical changes as well as consulting by your vet, the next thing is to observe different stages during pregnancy, to know that how long do the Pitbulls stay pregnant.
Different stages of the pregnancy of the Pitbulls:
After observing every possible sign of getting pregnant of the Pitbulls, it is important to observe different stages of their pregnancies to understand the growth and further development of the little puppies, during this period.
So, here are some different stages, which happen before the start of pregnancy of the Pitbulls. These are actually the preparatory phases for breeding and conceiving the pregnancy.
The pre-first stage of the pregnancy is that the Pitbulls are on heat. And, we know that the Pitbulls always get their first period at the age of about six months, so, according to this, they can get heat twice in a year and duration of on heat phase can be about two to three weeks.
During this on heat phase, the Pitbulls will often bleed and their vulva gets swollen. The vulva is actually the vaginal opening.
This will be the best time to breed the Pitbulls with the male dogs, because during this time the male dogs often attract towards the female Pitbulls, and the level of Estrogen also increases.
But make sure that the male dog, for the breeding should also be six months old. Due to this reason, it is always avoided to let them go into their parks to ensure their safety, and to avoid the accidental pregnancies because this is the time of ovulation.
Then, after this short on heat phase, consisting of about two weeks, the female Pitbulls are ready to breed and conceive pregnancy. The approximate gestation period of the Pitbulls is about 63 days or 9 weeks, i.e., the Pitbulls stay pregnant for about 9 weeks.
Therefore, we will notice every minor change, week by week, in seven different stages, to understand development of their pregnancies.
After the ovulation and successful mating of the Pitbulls, the first stage starts from fertilization. First stage often takes the first week of her pregnancy, during which she feels nausea and a little bit morning sickness.
But in the first week, you should take care of feed of the Pitbulls and any sort of infection, which can be contacted during mating of the Pitbulls. Meanwhile, also consult your vet in the first week.
The second stage most commonly covers second and third week of her pregnancy. So, in second week, only the embryo forms and then, moves from the fallopian duct and travels to the uterine horn for further development.
The uterine horn is that site, where the fertilized egg, i.e., embryo, attaches with the lining of uterus within the starting first 15 days, for growth and development.
Then, the third week starts, in which, the most important connection is developed between the fetus and the mother. At this stage, the fetus becomes about 1 centimeter in size.
And due to the development of this connection, the fetus will receive all the essential nutrients from her mother for the growth and development. So, you have to take care for her proper feed and exercise.
The third stage includes fourth week, which is the most important stage of pregnancy of the Pitbulls, because at this stage, the development of some important organs takes place, like the spinal cord and the nervous system.
And at this stage, entire length of the developing puppies becomes about 1.5 centimeter long. You can also detect the dumb-bells of the hearts of their puppies during this week. But at the same time, there is a risk of mutations and defects during the development of puppies.
So, you should take care of her diet and light exercise during this week and also gives her some extra supplements, along with the mixed puppies feed, by consulting to your vet.
In the fourth stage, fifth and sixth week of pregnancy of the Pitbulls involve. At this stage, after attachment of embryos with the uterus, and then, development of connection between the puppies and the mother, a fluidic bag develops, which is known as Amniotic layer.
The main role of the amniotic layer around the puppies is to protect them from any sort of trauma and disturbance. After development of this layer, it becomes difficult to feel the presence and movement of the puppies inside the mother’s belly.
In the same week, some other organs are also developed like, hands, arms, and toes, etc. Due to this reason, the Pitbulls gain enough weight, during the fifth week of her pregnancy.
Next comes the sixth week of fourth stage, in which, size of the belly becomes extremely visible due to the development and growth of the puppies. Pigmentation in the skin colour occurs, especially becomes clear in her nipples.
Fifth stage normally includes the seventh week. This is actually start of the final stages of pregnancy of the Pitbulls. In the seventh week, the puppies present inside the mother’s belly are fully grown and developed.
The hair present on her belly begin to shed with time. At this stage, she needs more calcium, so, avoid feeding her with mixed puppies feed, instead of, mix her diet with normal nutritional supplements.
Sixth stage includes the eighth week of pregnancy of the Pitbulls. This is the second last stage of her pregnancy, in which, labor can start at any time. At the same time, they begin to produce colostrum-rich milk, for feeding their kids after their birth.
And the presence and movement of the puppies become more visible in the eighth week, especially, when she lies down on the ground. As, this is the second last stage of their pregnancy, so, consult to your vet about their labor and the feed.
This is the last stage of her pregnancy, which involves the ninth week of her pregnancy. In this stage and week, a lot of things are happening to the female Pitbulls, such as, again decrease in her appetite, increase in shyness, and, temperature of her body begins to decrease.
All these signals depict start of the labor pain. The normal range of her body temperature is from 99-101 degrees Fahrenheit, but if the same range falls to 97-98 degrees, it means that the female is ready to give birth to her puppies, within 24 hours.
When time of delivery comes closer, the Pitbulls begin to pant. The decrease in their body temperature (97-99-degree F), often leads to the delivery. During the labor and start of birth of the puppies, abdominal muscles and uterus duct begin to contract.
And the female Pitbulls becomes restless and isolate themselves. Many hormonal changes occur and a clear white fluid is secreted from her vagina. Now, a proper birth process and the last phase of the labor is started, which lasts for about 1-20 hours.
The Pitbull female deliver only one puppy at a time. For the delivery of one puppy, she takes approximately 30-60 minutes and, in this way, one by one, she delivers her puppies. The cute little puppies are born in a membranous sack, which is torn off by their mother, after birth.
Before starting the pregnancy, the Pitbulls often show some signs, which are quite different from the normal routine. That’s why, it is important to know about some basic things and common signs of pregnancy of the Pitbulls.
Signs of pregnancy of the Pitbulls:
There are some casual behavioural, physical and hormonal changes that are observed in the Pitbulls, during their pregnancy, which are discussed below:
First of all, you will observe some changes in their behavior. As, we know that these types of dogs hardly give you any idea of their pregnancy, that’s why, change in their social behaviour will be important for you.
And, we also know that apart from controversies, the breed of Pitbulls is considered as the most friendly and cheerful dogs but at the start of their pregnancy, their social behaviour totally changes and turns to opposite of friendly.
For example; they become inactive, lazy, shy, and weak during their pregnancy.
Meanwhile, the Pitbulls turn their nature into more caring for different things like of clothes, toys and their food. This behavior of Pitbulls shows their preparation of motherhood, for their new coming off-springs.
Sudden increase in appetite:
Second important sign of pregnancy of Pitbulls is sudden increase in their appetite. At the start, they often refuse to eat, like the pregnant women, who feel nausea. But after some days, their appetite will automatically increase.
But some people neglect this sign by considering the issue of eating too much due to their strong and muscular bodies that, obviously demands more food as compared to other breeds of the dogs.
So, if you observe this sign of increased appetite after she went into heat, you should visit to your vet for further confirmation of pregnancy.
And, if you did not notice any change, before she went into heat, it’s okay because there are still some prominent physical signs of the Pitbulls which show that they get pregnant.
Enlargement of nipples:
So, the first physical change, during their pregnancy is the increase in size of their nipples, i.e., nipples of the Pitbulls become wider and larger than that of the size before pregnancy.
This sign is the most obvious and apparent, due to lack of bunch of hair on their belly. The enlargement of their nipples also involves the hormonal changes, for the production of the milk, for their young ones, after birth.
Increase in the size of belly:
Next the most important sign of pregnancy of the Pitbulls is increase in the size of belly. Even after one week of conceiving pregnancy, you can easily notice the increased size, as the new off-spring begin to grow inside the uterus of the mother Pitbull.
Next comes the diagnostic methods or tests, which are done for further confirmation of pregnancy of the Pitbulls, if all above-mentioned signs, like behavioural changes or physical changes are not clear. So, these diagnostic methods are then, recommended by the vet:
In case, if you do not know the exact date of breeding of the dog, just go to your vet for abdominal palpation, in which the embryos are detected like the small grapes or balls inside the belly. These balls are actually the fluid filled vesicles, surrounding the fetus.
And this abdominal palpation can be started at about 27-28 days mark, because at that time, the balls, which are actually the growing small puppies, present inside the uterus of the Pitbulls, can be felt easily.
There are some alternatives, which can be used to diagnose the pregnancies of the Pitbulls, such as; ultra-sounding, and the best time of doing ultra-sound is in between 25-35 days of their pregnancy.
The pregnancy can also be checked by various hormonal tests. One most common method is that; performing the blood test to detect the presence of the relaxin hormone, as it can only be released during their pregnancies.
After knowing all the possible signs of the pregnancy and then, stages of the Pitbulls, the most important thing is to take care during their pregnancy and their puppies after their birth. Because all these precautions are important for their health.
How to take care of the pregnant Pitbull and her puppies?
From the start of pregnancy of the Pitbulls, you will notice a lot of changes, like in their behaviour, body and even in their appetite, that’s why, they need more affection and attention during their pregnancy duration of about 9 weeks.
The extra care of the pregnant Pitbulls, although a tough job but it enhances the health of both the mother Pitbulls and their puppies. So, here are some points which should be considered during their gestation period and after the birth of their puppies:
First of all, we should take care of their diet and feed, because they need extra nutrients and supplements in their feed during the gestation period. So, their feed must contain all the essential nutrients and it must be of high quality.
Observe the unsensual changes:
Second important thing is that you should notice any sort of casual changes, both the behavioural and hormonal in the body of Pitbulls, and then, you should consult with your vet, immediately.
These changes may be the secretion; like, the discharge of extra vaginal fluid during the pregnancy, because this is very sensitive period. That’s why, care is important.
Third essential tip is the regular exercise of the Pitbulls. From the start of their pregnancy, exercise should be included in their whole day schedule. Even, in the last stage of their pregnancy, make them walk only for a few minutes as it is a healthy routine.
But do not practice strenuous exercise during the last two stages of the Pitbulls.
Provision of water:
One of the important tips is to make sure that there should be water for the pregnant mother Pitbulls near her, even, during labor and delivery.
Preparation of the whelping area:
Apart from health of the Pitbulls during the gestation period, you should also take care of their place and comfort zone, especially in the last two stages. So, for this purpose, prepare a very comfortable, warm and safe whelping area.
This whelping area is used at the time of birth of their puppies. And even, the Pitbulls and the puppies can stay after their birth in the same whelping area. While preparing this whelping area, make sure that the area should be warm.
And temperature of that whelping area should be 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This step is essential because the little puppies cannot regulate their body temperature on their own, after their birth. That’s why, they need warm temperature.
Infections in the puppies:
At the last, you should also notice changes in their new-born puppies, because they are more likely to attract infections after their birth.
After observing various signs, stages and precautions before, during and after pregnancy of the Pitbulls, you should know about science involved in different stages of pregnancy.
For this purpose, you should understand functions of hormones, which are released during this period.
Hormones released during the pregnancy of the Pitbulls:
There are so many hormones, which are released during pregnancy of the Pitbulls, like that of the pregnant women. Among them; progesterone, estrone, estradiol-17 beta, cortisol, prolactin, oestrogen, relaxin and many other growth factors are released.
- One of the important hormones, Oestrogen, which is released when the Pitbulls are on heat as well as during the pregnancy. The main function of oestrogen is to control and regulate the sexual development and reproduction.
- During the first trimester of luteal period, production of luteinizing hormone gain importance. The LH helps to develop and maintain the corpus luteum. It is a specific structure that is developed in the ovary after ovulation of the follicle cells.
- During early stages of pregnancy, when the embryos implant themselves with the uterine walls, one of the most important hormones of the endocrine gland, Progesterone, is released.
Progesterone is released to maintain the pregnancy and nourish the growing puppies, when the uterus accepts fertilized eggs, after their attachment and development of placenta.
- Prolactin is released for the development of mammary glands, i.e., to increase the size of breast and nipples, which are then, used for production of milk after the birth. It also stimulates production of progesterone from the corpus luteum.
- Estradiol-17 beta and Estrone are also detected while, examining placental tissues of the Pitbulls during pregnancy. These are the most abundant oestrogen hormones. These are responsible for stimulating the production of prolactin.
- The only Pitbulls’ pregnancy specific hormone is Relaxin hormone. The concentration of this hormone becomes detectable during the fourth week of pregnancy.
The main source of this hormone are the placental tissues, uterine walls and ovaries. And the main role of relaxin is to soften the walls of cervix at the time of labor and birth, so that, delivery can be made easy for the Pitbulls.
Actually, it works by relaxing the dynamic changes, which occur during pregnancy, like; increased heart-beat, etc. That’s why, it is named as ‘’relaxin’’.
The bottom line:
In short, as the pet owner of the Pitbulls, their pregnancy tends to be more inordinate. Although there is very much excitement for the new puppies but there are a lot of things which must be followed during the nine weeks of their pregnancy.
So, for the sake of health of both the female Pitbulls and their little babies, you should take care of their diet, exercise and comfort level during their pregnancy. Consult with your vet regularly and do an ultra-sound before the birth, for the safety and health of the Pitbulls.