This morning, Sue and I made a trip to Bellevue Animal Hospital for an exam and x-ray.  I originally had scheduled the visit for Monday, February 14th, but she is getting quite large and her milk has come into her teats, so I wanted to be more sure of her due date and not risk having her whelp by surprise.

The x-ray didn’t give us an exact number of puppies, but it did give us an idea.  It looks like she has a minimum of 8 puppies, but it could be as high as 10 or 11.  Counting skulls and spines from the side angle x-ray, the veterinarians and I believe the 10-11 is closer to being correct.  This also corresponds to her tremendous size.

We also determined that my original due date of February 22nd is pretty accurate.  The mineralization of the skeletons is not yet to a point where we were seeing their pelvises and femurs, so that tells us that we have another 10-14 days left of gestation.  This is a great relief to me because the subzero weather does not break until Thursday of this week.

I took some pictures of Sue over the weekend while she was out:

Sue has been spending most of her time walking, but briefly breaks into runs

The thinning of the fur on her side is caused by hormonal changes

Sue plods along

Closeup of Sue’s belly

I received so many compliments on Sue’s temperament from the vet techs and the veterinarians at the office.  I suppose many pregnant females can be growly and irritable when being handled, but Sue is always a sweetheart.

“I love you, Dad!”

“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness has never bought a puppy” – Unknown