Whilst it is important to know not only if your bitch is pregnant, so you can prepare, and to know there is more than one puppy (singleton litters can have their own problems - see more HERE), an ultrasound, or even an x ray, cannot confirm exact numbers.

I am happy to give you a number range and will usually say I see at least x number today on the scan. However, it is important to note that especially with large litters it is very easy for one puppy to be obscured by another, ultrasound is real time imaging, the dam is moving and so are the pups, knowing which sac you have already counted is difficult, and with large litters, almost impossible.

Foetal bone ossification occurs after day 40 and some veterinarians, although less common in the UK, may offer an x ray from day 54 onwards to give you a more accurate number of puppies due. Although I see many x rays on social media where number counting on x rays has been inaccurate. It is also worth noting that an X ray also doesn't show a viable heart beat and you could be looking at deceased foetus.

If you are worried about whether your bitch has finished the whelping process, it is worthwhile having an after whelping scan which will not only confirm all puppies have been born, but also if there are any placenta remains which can cause an infection.