Reverse progesterone testing in canines refers to the practice of monitoring progesterone levels toward the end of a dog's gestation period to predict whelping (giving birth). While the initial stages of pregnancy often focus on progesterone testing to determine the optimal time for breeding, the end of the pregnancy is also crucial for several reasons.
Here's why reverse progesterone testing is important:
Predicting Whelping: Monitoring the decline in progesterone levels can more accurately predict when a dog will begin labor. Progesterone levels typically drop to 2 ng/mL or lower about 24-48 hours before the onset of labor. This precise prediction allows breeders and veterinarians to be prepared.
Anticipating Assistance: Some dogs may require assistance during the birthing process. By knowing when labor is likely to begin, breeders or caregivers can ensure they are present to help if necessary.
Planning for C-Sections: Certain dog breeds are more prone to requiring Cesarean sections due to the size and shape of the puppies or the mother's health issues. By predicting the onset of labor accurately, veterinarians can plan and schedule C-sections, ensuring the safety of both the mother and her puppies.
Minimizing Complications: The birthing process can sometimes present complications. Knowing when whelping will likely occur can help mitigate potential risks by allowing for quick intervention if problems arise.
Monitoring Health: A sudden or unexpected drop in progesterone levels might indicate an issue with the pregnancy. Monitoring these levels can thus act as a check on the overall health of the pregnant dog and the viability of the pregnancy.
Better Planning for Owners: Owners can plan better regarding their schedules and ensure they are present during the birthing process. This is especially important for breeders who might have multiple dogs due to give birth around the same time.
In essence, reverse progesterone testing provides a tool to anticipate and prepare for the birthing process, thereby ensuring the best possible outcomes for both the mother and her puppies. It gives breeders, veterinarians, and dog owners valuable information to act proactively rather than reactively.