How Many Puppies Can a Boston Terrier Have

When you choose a Boston Terrier from the breeder, there are so many cute faces to choose from. It can be hard to decide on just one to take home. For me, it was love at first sight when I found mine. But with all those little pups running around, it made me wonder, how many puppies can a Boston Terrier have?

Boston Terriers typically have between three and five puppies in a litter. It’s not unheard of for litters of seven puppies, but anything more than this is very rare. Age is a determining factor in litter size, as younger Boston Terriers have a smaller litter than their older counterparts.

You should continue reading to know more about Boston Terriers’ litter sizes and what affects them. I will also discuss how to determine how many puppies you are expecting. Finally, I will cover how to prepare for delivery and the possible complications that may ensue.

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Average Litter Size for a Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers commonly have three to five puppies in a litter. While litters have seen up to seven puppies, it is very rare for them to exceed this number due to the breed’s small size. 

Age Affects Boston Terrier Litter Size

Age is a primary factor in litter size. When Boston Terriers reach the seven-year age mark, they tend to start having larger litters than their younger counterparts. Regardless of age, the first litter will generally be smaller than the average. 

How To Tell How Many Puppies You Are Expecting

There are several techniques that your vet may use to attempt to determine how many puppies you are having. You will find that some of them are in no way foolproof as the puppies have ways of tricking the system.

An Ultrasound To Count Puppies

Your vet could recommend an ultrasound at around the 25-week mark of gestation. However, this is not the most accurate method as the puppies could be positioned behind one another, making them not fully countable. You can get a general idea of how many puppies you will be expecting, but you should not take this number as the golden rule.

X-Rays Are More Thorough

At about the 55-day mark, the puppies’ bones will have fully mineralized and hardened, making them visible in an X-ray. Only one scan is taken to minimize radiation exposure, and it’s done late in the pregnancy. The problem with this is that by this time, the puppies are often running out of room and are pretty close together, preventing an accurate count.

Palpation To Gauge Litter Size

The most affordable method of counting litter size is palpating the abdomen to feel for individual puppies. Your veterinarian may do this to gauge the size of the litter. It will provide a decent estimate but is not perfectly reliable. This method is often used to confirm pregnancy in addition to attempting to count litter size.

How To Prepare for Delivery

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As the date nears for the whelping of your expectant puppies, you will need to prepare a whelping box or area for your Boston Terrier. You must acclimate her to it early, or she may choose a random spot to give birth that may not be ideal for managing her puppies.

You’ll also want to gather some supplies:

  • A heating pad or heat lamp (note that you should never place the puppies directly on the heating pad or point the heat lamp directly at them)
  • Old towels
  • Bulb syringe
  • Clamp
  • Numbers to veterinarians (emergency veterinarians as well)

It’s best to have all of these supplies ready at the same time as the whelping box so that you don’t have to scramble to find them when delivery comes.

Potential Complications

There is the potential for complications with natural birth, which is why you want to have veterinarian numbers accessible. You don’t want to have to look them up in an emergency.

While most Boston Terriers are capable of natural births, they can experience problems that cause the need to have a cesarean section. Generally speaking, if your female is larger than the male she mated with, everything should go smoothly. If the opposite is true, there may be complications.

Your veterinarian can determine through scans whether the puppies will be able to travel through the birth canal. The complication arises when their heads and shoulders are too wide to fit. If this is the case, a cesarean will be planned well in advance.

It is important to note that no matter how much careful planning you put into this, there is still the chance that the mother and some of the puppies can die as a result of the procedure.

Signs of Complications During Natural Labor

If you are experiencing an at-home delivery, you will need to look for signs of complications. You will want to make every effort to be with your Boston Terrier when she goes into labor so that you can be there to assist her or get help if needed.

There is a problem when the mother is experiencing strong contractions for two hours and no puppies are born. She may also show weakness, severe discomfort, and lethargy. There may also be a complication if her rectal temperature dropped over 24 hours ago and she still hasn’t delivered the first puppy.

There should be one placenta per puppy. Ensure you count them as they come out. It should not be taken lightly if even one is missing. Additionally, delivery of a dark green or bloody fluid before the first puppy instead of after it or trembling, shaking, and collapsing of the mother are signs of complications.

If you notice any of these issues during your Boston Terrier’s delivery, immediately call the veterinarian. Your dog could be in a serious situation that requires immediate assistance to save her and her puppies’ lives.

Final Thoughts

Breeding a Boston Terrier can be very exciting, with the promise of more sweet puppies around the house. Because of your dog’s petite frame, she will generally have a smaller litter size and could face complications during delivery. 

Boston Terriers generally give birth to litters of three to five puppies. It is possible for the litter size to reach seven puppies, but it is very uncommon for the breed to have a larger litter. Older Boston Terriers will typically have a larger litter than the younger ones.

During a natural delivery, it is essential to watch for signs of complications. Due to the larger head and shoulders of Boston Terrier puppies, your dog may have trouble with natural birth. If you notice any indications that she is struggling, it is important to contact her veterinarian right away.

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