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I stopped x-raying to confirm pregnancy and count puppies a while back.

I will x-ray if there are complications, but with Odie's litter we were able to ultra-sound, and I am not sure if the x-rayed as well now. That would have been at 63 days.

So now another questions for breeders, do you x-ray prior to whelping?
 

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Yes. If I had x-rayed last time I would have been more prepared for a possible C-section. I don't x-ray to confirm, just to give me a basic count.
 

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I'm not sure of the validity of this "study" It seems to be more of a compilation of anecdotal evidence. Yes, there is an attempt at scientific observation and control but you need to have as close as possible genetics between the control group and the x-rayed group.
If you were seeing that kind of increase in cancer risk, I think that there would be a LOT more dogs coming down with cancer.
There is also the same amount of evidence showing that ultrasounds can cause the bitch to absorb the litter. So, which do you do?
I think you have to weigh the evidence and decide what works best for you
 

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There are a lot of dogs dying of cancer, and young.

What did they do before x-rays and ultra-sounds?
 

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X-rays have been used for a very long time. What did they do before that? Waited.

I, personally, would rather be prepared then take a risk with the life of my bitch. There are far too many other variables in why we are seeing increases in cancers.
 

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They used to x-ray pregnant women to check the baby's skull size. That practice was stopped for some reason. I was surprised to learn that pregnant dogs are x-rayed.
 

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I, personally, would rather be prepared then take a risk with the life of my bitch. There are far too many other variables in why we are seeing increases in cancers.
Agree - xray for basic count as it allows one to prepare for possible c-section. Female too important for me and one cannot preferentially pinpoint the increase in cancer incidence to this one variable as there are far too many players in the game to zone in and blame the xrays.
 

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In Babs' last two litters, one had three puppies, and two were 1 pound 6 ounces, and one was 1 pound 4 ounces.

The next litter had only one pup. He was big and I ended up taking her in to get the puppy out. But as I could feel his head right there, I just couldn't get him out, we did not x-ray and the vet and a tech worked on her back end while I held her head, and we delivered the large puppy. Only he was only 1 pound 4 ounces. Big yes, but not any bigger than her litter of three which she had no trouble delivering. Or, I was able to help her deliver them at home.

I didn't x-ray Jenna's litter, there were seven puppies this time, eight puppies last time. Neither were x-rayed. I really don't think that it risks the life of the bitch. Now if she got sick the next day, I would be back x-raying for a retained pup in a heart beat.

But the thing is, you really can't get an accurate count anyway. I mean, you can, but sometimes there is a pup hiding, and that can be even more dangerous. For example, if they count seven and eight are delivered, no biggie, it's a bonus. But if they count seven and she stops and you think she is done because she's had seven, and the next day she's under the weather, but you know the x-ray said seven so you are not worried about a retained pup, you might try to give her fluids and check her temperature, cool her down so she is not overheated, and might not rush her right in to check for a retained pup.

I think there is more than one way to lose your bitch in whelping. They put a lead vest over me when they x-ray me for anything, in case I might want to have kids some day. But it seems we x-ray our bitches for pre-lims, hips and elbows, puppy count, to ensure there is no retained puppy if necessary, if the puppy isn't coming out to ensure it isn't blocking the birth canal, and so on. After 3 or 4 litters, we can have exposed her to an awful lot of x-rays.

On the other hand, I have x-rayed a couple of times when the bitch did not get very large to see if she was actually pregnant or not. That way if it does seem like there is just one, I want to know in case the just one doesn't begin labor. So, I do not do it if it is a typical pregnancy, but will do it if it seems like complications are likely.
 
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