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Discussion Starter #1
I've spoken to a few breeders recently who mentioned getting the dog x-rayed at a certain number of weeks. Wouldn't it be safer to do an ultrasound and not expose the dog (and puppies) to unnecessary radiation? Is there a reason an x-ray would be preferable? Do most reputable breeders do x-rays or ultrasounds?
 

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I believe xrays are more common. Xrays have come a long ways in recent years and the radiation exposure is similar to what you would receive during a long plane flight.

Hopefully someone with more knowledge on this subject will weigh in.
 

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I think that typically an x-ray is more reliable in telling how many puppies there are, since the way they use it is to count the number of skeletons they see. However, an ultrasound can tell the finer details, but it is less reliable for counting puppies. And counting puppies is important for knowing if the mother is either going to have a massive tax on her or even if there may be one big puppy that is going to be difficult (and thus allows the breeder to plan for a potential C-section). As for radiation, I wouldn't really worry too much about it unless the dog was going under it on a regular basis, since the amount is minimal. After all, bananas are very very very slightly radioactive, but it would take a huge amount of them eaten at once to do severe damage. Vet Explains X-Ray Vs Ultrasound in the Pregnant Dog: Costs | Puppy-Basics
 

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They're often both used rather than a vs situation. Ultrasound around day 24 after mating gives a frequently accurate count of the number of pups and location, and then xrays done within only a few days of delivery will give a better picture of size and location for the actual birth. If a pup dies in utero, it may be absorbed, allowing the remaining to grow larger than they would have been, but would only be known if a second count by xray is done later.

Particularly for toys, this can be the non emergency determiner for scheduling a c-section.

If you're going to do only one, I'd think the xray very shortly before the due date is the choice. The pups size and position are pretty clear then and potential problems, like pups too large or blocking the canal or breech, are more easily seen and lives may be saved.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your replies! I guess I shouldn't be too concerned with the x-ray. I also never knew bananas were radioactive.
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies! I guess I shouldn't be too concerned with the x-ray. I also never knew bananas were radioactive.
An X-ray is extremely useful when taken one to a few days before the mother is due to whelp (go into labor); the closer to the due date, the better. The vet can see if the pelvic area is wide enough for the pups the pass through, or if one or more will get stuck and she requires a C-section. It can also tell if one or more of the pups will be born breech (rear end first, not head first).

Read: Nearly Everything You Want to Know About The Technical Aspects of Breeding
 
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