Can a ten year old dog have puppies?

I have a 10 year old female jack russell. We are about to get a 6 month old unfixed male jack russell. Can a 10 year old female get pregnant and have pups, and if so how dangerous is it for her and the pups?

  • Vetinfo

    By: Erika Raines El Segundo, CA

    Replied on 04/19/2011

    A ten year old unspayed female dog can indeed get pregnant and have puppies. If this is her first pregnancy, it could be relatively dangerous for her health, even if she was in good health going into the pregnancy. During a first pregnancy and delivery many parts of the uterus and birth canal must be stretched to allow the puppies to grow during the pregnancy and allow for a safe natural birth. This stretching is meant to happen when the mother is young. Older dogs' bodies may have a hard time allowing for this stretching to occur without causing damage. Even in a breed like the Jack Russel that usually does not have problems at birth, and older first-time mother may require a C-section to allow her and her puppies to survive the birthing process. It is important, especially for an older dog, that you consult carefully with your veterinarian concerning your dog's current health and how having puppies may affect her. Erika, DVM

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