Pregnancy, Day 62

Thoughts and Recommendations for the Homestretch

Jane Messineo Lindquist, Puppy Culture

01 Aug 2023 | 5 minute read

Day 62 of Velvet’s pregnancy… many random thoughts and recommendations so hang on to your hats!

Weight Gain 

We are on track with weight gain - Velly was 70 pounds, 12 ounces this morning. Our ballpark goal was 71 pounds so we are within range.

Reverse Progesterone Timing

We’ve been doing reverse progesterone timing as this will be a scheduled C-section. 5.4 yesterday and 4.8 today. We are looking for the progesterone to fall below 2, and/or for her to be in labor before taking the puppies.

The puppies almost double in size in the last week and the lungs and intestines go through significant development in the last 24 hours, so the closer we go to the due date without going over, the better. 

We talk more about reverse progesterone timing in the Newborn to New Home course in our interview with Dr. Lovell.

Mark and I did a podcast on why Velvet’s previous (and this) litter were planned C-sections and we will be releasing that soon. In the meantime here are two very good resources that we feel are workable flowcharts for when to hold and when to fold when it comes to free whelping:

Dystocia Part 1 – Labour Stages & Diagnostics

Available at:

A Watched Bitch Never Whelps (Word Document)

Available at:

Nest Building

Now is the time that you have to go out with your dams or they will dig themselves a hole to have their puppies in. The video below is of Velvet casually hoping that I will not notice her headed for the caverns behind the dahlia box. As you can tell from her reaction in the video, we have had this conversation many times before .

My Product Recommendation

It's important to have good traction around the whelping box for your big, heavy, dam and I LOVE this runner. It’s super thin and non-slip. Basically, a printed cloth with rubberized backing. I ordered a bunch of similar ones in different sizes to replace the rugs in my house. To me, it’s a reasonable compromise between home fashion and utility. Goes right into the washer and I think this one cost under $50.

Moynesa Ultra-Thin Washable Runner Rug

(NOT an affiliate link, I honestly just like this rug)

I do love my wool kilims but they have to be washed so frequently with all the dogs that they tend to break down. Also, you have to put a rug pad under kilims. Waterproof rug pads (like thin memory foam) are great but slippery and my dogs chew them. The felt pads need to be thrown away if your dog urinates on them, and someone is always going to urinate on them at some point. The cheap printed runner that I linked above has its own rubberized backing so does not need a pad.

Battling Ear and Skin Inflammation During Pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a pro-inflammatory state. This is not a bad thing, it’s necessary to maintain the pregnancy. But it does mean that many bitches suffer with skin and ear infections when pregnant. The ear infections in particular can be terrible because we can’t give any ear medication with steroids to reduce the inflammation (such as Mometemax).

The reason steroids are so dangerous in pregnant bitches is that in the first trimester steroids can cause birth defects, and later in the pregnancy the cortisol in steroids can cause premature placental detachment. This is all theoretical, topical ear medications with steroids have not been evaluated for safety, but in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we are going to steer clear of any steroids during pregnancy.

I normally do a prophylactic treatment of Mometemax just before I expect my bitch to come into season. If you’ve ever had an issue with ear infections with your breed, I recommend this. I missed doing this with Velvet this time around (she did not come into season when expected) and we have been struggling with an ear infection for almost her entire pregnancy.

We did do a round of antibiotics, which I hate to do (we did a culture and found that the infection was susceptible to a safe antibiotic). That knocked back the infection but it came back shortly after the antibiotics stopped. We were flushing it with a safe solution every night but we were really at our wit’s end.

I did not want to strip her gut biome with more antibiotics so Dr. Lovell suggested cold laser treatment for the ear. That did the trick and got us through this without more medication. It did not totally eliminate the infection, but with flushing and the laser it knocked it back and kept it at bay.

She also has been rashy on her belly and teats and I have been giving her frequent baths and also wiping her down alternately with witch hazel and chlorhexidine wipes several times a day.

What is so fascinating is that we have been doing reverse progesterone timing and her ear and skin have been clearing up in a linear fashion as the progesterone goes down. So I don’t have a ton of wisdom to share except that cold laser is very safe and a great option if you have a pregnant bitch with an ear infection.

Double Check

Finally, always have two new thermometers to take your dam's temperature. We had a big temperature drop on Saturday which freaked me out and had me calling my vets. But when nothing came of it and Velvet seemed normal on Sunday, Mark suggested using another thermometer and, yes, my original thermometer, although it was new-ish and apparently functional, was way off. 

So, while I might not take the temperature twice every single time, I would now always at least double check any significant drop.

Whew, that catches us up, for now. No signs of stage one, going in for another progesterone draw tomorrow!

For further reading and citations to the studies and findings mentioned in this article:

Dystocia Part 1 – Labour Stages & Diagnostics

Available at:

A Watched Bitch Never Whelps (Word Document)

Available at:

Bodil S. Holst, Malin H. Gustavsson, Anders Johannisson, Anna Hillström, Emma Strage, Ulf Olsson, Eva Axnér, Inger Lilliehöök. (2019):

Inflammatory Changes During Canine Pregnancy
Available at:

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About the Author

Jane Messineo Lindquist (Killion) is the director of "Puppy Culture the Powerful First Twelve Weeks That Can Shape Your Puppies' Future" as well as the author of "When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs" and founder of Madcap University.

Jane has had Bull Terriers since 1982 and she and her husband, Mark Lindquist, breed Bull Terriers under the Madcap kennel name.

Her interests include dog shows, dog agility, gardening, and any cocktail that involves an infused simple syrup.

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