Emergency - My Female Dog is Giving Birth, Is Everything Ok?

David Brooks
 


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The bitch will give birth approximately 9 weeks from when she first starts standing for the male dog or 8 weeks from when she stops standing for the male dog. Counting from breeding dates can be a fairly inaccurate method to determining a due date.

There are three stages of labor.

The first stage occurs when the cervix is dilating and there are some uterine contractions. You may notice some shivering, restlessness, panting, vomiting, and unwillingness to eat, and the dog may seek out a private place. If you do notice this stage (which lasts six to 12 hours), encourage your pet to go to the whelping area.

Stages two and three, active labor and placental expulsion conclude with the expulsion of the puppy and the placenta, respectively. If your dog has more than one puppy, she will alternate between stages two and three. Once your dog begins actively straining, the first puppy is usually delivered within 10 to 20 minutes. If the active straining has gone on for an hour unproductively it is time to call the vet. She needs some professional assistance. Many dogs will rest between puppies for an hour or so. This does not require intervention since the dog is not actively straining.

In summary the normal onset of labour is marked by the following events

24 hrs before-bitch may hide and attempt to make a nest

12 hrs before-bitch refuses food. A white vaginal discharge may appear(cervical seal)

12-8 hrs before-bitches rectal temp drops at least 1 degree Celsius to about 37 degrees Celsius.

1 hr before-labor pains begin shortly followed by contractions.

2 puppies are usually delivered in close succession followed by a pause of 1 or 2 hours.

Delivery of the entire litter may take 24 hr

When to:

-CALL YOUR EMERGENCY VETERINARIAN-

If 20-30 minutes of strong contractions occur with no puppy being produced

If no puppy is delivered (especially if greenish discharge has been passed) within 4 hrs after the onset of labor

If more than 3-4 hrs have elapsed following the last delivery of a fetus and no further attempts are made despite more fetuses being present.

If weak and infrequent labor contractions are present or if there is excessive bleeding

If depression or weakness has developed

If she fails to go into labor within 24 hours of her temperature drop.

If greater than 70 days of gestation have passed

If you have any concern what so ever

Dr David Brooks is part of the online veterinary team at WhyDoesMyPet.com. Veterinarians, Vet Technicians, Nurses, Trainers, Behaviorists, Breeders and Pet Enthusiasts are here to answer your pet questions and concerns. . . Our dedicated community of caring experts are waiting to offer you advice, second opinions and support.

Why not download the Why Does My Pet. . . ? Emergency Pet First Aid Guide to ensure you know how to react when your pet is in trouble.

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