If it's her first pregnancy then the mammary glands usually tend to show a little more quickly. Really it depends on your dog and what breed she is. Small dogs having a larger litter will show more quickly than a large dog having a small litter. I've had a new Mom show signs of enlarged mammary glands as early as 2 1/2 weeks and as late as 5 weeks.
Do you remember when she was in heat? If you can remember when she started roughly (the more exact you are the more easily you can pin point her due date) then count about 9 weeks and that's when she is due.
Other signs of pregnancy - morning sickness (she may go off her food or she may just vomit occasionally - usually it doesn't look like "food vomit"), moodiness, her vulva may still look puffy.
My other question would be - do you know who the sire/father is? If it is possible that it is a larger dog (say she is a pomeranian - you need to be concerned if the sire is a Collie or German Shepherd) then you may want to discuss having her X-rayed later in her pregnancy with your vet to make sure that the puppies don't look to large. You may also want to look into the different complications that can arise for her breed so that you are prepared to watch for them as she gets closer to her due date.
My dog is a rottweiler and this is her first litter. The father must have jumped my fence so I have no clue as to what breed he is. Her mammary glands have been swollen for about 2 or 3 weeks and I checked yesterday and she has milk. She really doesnt look pregnant except that her glands are enlarged and that she really doesnt want to eat. Thank you for replying!!!
If she has milk already, expect to see puppies in the next couple of days. You may want to alert your vet that you are expecting in case you run into problems so they are aware that you have a pregnant dog. You also need to set up a "whelping box" of sorts so that she has somewhere sanitary to have the puppies. Someone else who has larger dogs may be able to give you some ideas on a makeshift whelping box for a large dog (I know kiddie wading pools work well for small dogs). I would also recommend that you pick up a bulb suringe (in case you need to help get mucus out of a puppy's mouth) and some puppy formula and a baby bottle with a premature baby nipple.
More tips : You need to find an area that you can keep warm and draft free. new born pups need to be at a constant temperature of 80-85 degrees for the first week or two.
Watch to make sure that the Mom doesn't lay on any of the puppies. New Mom's can sometimes have trouble realizing that the little muffled cries of a newborn means "help".
Make her whelping and puppy area somewhere that is quiet - but not totally secluded or she will feel like she is in jail being seperated from you. This can cause aggression towards the puppies in a pet dog.
I would also recommend giving her some cottage cheese on her food as a calcium supplement and make sure she is getting plenty to eat. At this point in her pregnancy she needs to be eating about double what she normal does. If she doesn't get enough nutrition she can have big time problems.
Be present for her delivery and count placentas. Each puppy should have it's own "after birth" (which is a blackish/reddish sac that follows each puppy). If she retains a placenta she can get a massive infection. Taking her temperature also helps in making sure there is no infection.
Since she is a BIG dog I don't think problems should arise due to the sire being larger - although you'd assume any dog big enough to scale a fence should be large. Any particular neighbor dog you can pin it on. :) Might give you an idea of what kind of pups you're looking at.
Call and talk to your vet about a vaccination and worming schedule as well as dew claw removal (and possibly tail docking). Expenses will come with the litter BUT it's worth it to know that you have healthy puppies. (Dew claws can rip off and cause big problems as adults and it is VERY non tramatic for the pup is done at 3-5 days - vaccines are important as usually you want to have the first one done at 6-7 weeks. Worming is also a priority as most puppies are born with worms). I would recommend charging a minimum fee to adopt a puppy ($50-100) to cover your costs and this also means that your adoptive families will be more likely to care for the puppy rather than drop it off on the side of the road. People are also more likely to adopt a puppy that is current on shots and has it's dew claws removed.
Good luck! And please don't hesitate to ask more questions. I would also recommend you look into getting your girl spayed after her litter. Spaying reduces your chances of breast cancer dramatically - and after this litter of pups you'll be tired. :) I second that rotties aren't supposed to be fabulous mothers usually. You have my support! And I'll watch for posts from you!
I would suggest you take her to the vet for an ultrasound or X-ray(if she is far enough along). You say she doesn't really look pregnant, but she has milk... she could be going through a false pregnancy and not have any puppies at all. False pregancy in a dog mimics an actual pregnancy... many females will have morning sickness, produce milk, nest, etc. but are not actually pregnant. Determining whether or not she is pregnant is important, and if she is, it will give you an idea of how many pups to expect. Your vet can discuss any possible plans of action at that time and also be made aware in case you have an emergency.If she is not pregnant, spaying would be the best option... she may continue to go through these false pregnancies with every cycle if left unaltered.
Dogs are pregnant for nine weeks... thier heat cycle last 21 days (3 weeks) Most dogs are most fertile between days 9-14 of thier cycle. If you can remember when she was in season and start counting from the second week of the cycle until now, that should give you a very good idea of a due date.
I would agree with BullyMom. Taking her to the vet would be a smart idea. An X-ray will usually give you a reasonable puppy count (if your vet is good it would be within a puppy either way). It will also give you an idea of how far along she is (they can tell by how calcified the bones are).
False pregnancies are always a possibility (I've been through one with one of my shelties) - but it is also possible, since she is a large dog, that she is only having a couple of puppies. They don't show as well on their first litter. Either way, the vet visit will only give you valuable knowledge.
I want to give a giant THANK YOU to everyone that replied to my questions and let them know that I am going to take all of their advice. First things first VET! I appreciate all of your knowledge and the fact that you would share it with me.
Her name is Sheba and is almost 2 years old. She is just a BIG BABY. I have no clue who the sire is. The only dogs that I have seen around are pretty small. Compared to my dog at least! But I guess it could be a small dog because my fence is chain link and only about 4 ft high.