Potential Issues to Watch for During Your Dog’s Labor

March 1, 2021 | by Verity Ramus | Pets

Bringing new life into the world is an exciting and emotional experience. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential problems that may arise during your dog’s labor. While most dogs give birth naturally without any assistance, it’s essential to stay vigilant and know when to seek professional help. In this article, we will explore the common issues that may occur during labor and provide guidance on when to contact a veterinarian.

The Duration of Labor

On average, the process of giving birth to a litter of puppies takes approximately 3-12 hours from the onset of contractions. While the exact timing may vary, it should never exceed 24 hours. If labor persists beyond this timeframe, the risk of complications increases significantly. It’s crucial to keep a close eye on your dog’s progress and seek veterinary assistance if necessary.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

Once your dog has successfully delivered all her puppies, she will likely be exhausted and hungry. It’s essential to provide her with a calm and quiet space where she can rest and bond with her newborns. Ensuring a peaceful environment will reduce the risk of her rejecting the puppies. Remember, your dog’s comfort and ability to bond with her offspring are crucial for their well-being.

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Monitoring Vaginal Discharge

Following labor, it is normal for your dog to experience vaginal discharge for up to six weeks. However, it should not have a foul odor. If you notice an unpleasant smell or have concerns about the discharge, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian for advice. Monitoring and addressing any abnormal discharge promptly can help avoid potential complications.

Recognizing Problems and Seeking Veterinary Assistance

While most dogs give birth without complications, it’s crucial to be aware of potential issues that may arise during labor. Some problems to watch for include:

1. Poorly Mother

If your dog appears unwell or exhibits unusual behavior before, during, or after labor, it’s essential to have her checked by a veterinarian. Trust your instincts and seek professional advice if you feel that something is not right.

2. Green Discharge

The presence of green discharge from your dog’s vulva, without the delivery of a puppy, may indicate that the unborn puppies are in distress. In such cases, it is crucial to contact your vet immediately for guidance and assistance.

3. Excessive Bleeding

During labor, it is normal to see some fluid and bloody discharge. However, if the bleeding exceeds a few drips or appears excessive, it is considered abnormal and should be promptly evaluated by a veterinarian.

4. Exhaustion

If your dog’s labor continues for an extended period, she may become exhausted and cease straining. Recognizing signs of exhaustion is crucial, and veterinary intervention may be necessary.

5. Prolonged Straining without Delivery

If your dog has been straining for 20-30 minutes without producing a puppy, there may be a blockage. Contact your veterinarian urgently for guidance and assistance.

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6. Stuck Puppy

Occasionally, large or deformed puppies, as well as those in abnormal birthing positions, can become stuck during delivery. If you suspect that your dog has a puppy stuck inside her, it is vital to contact your vet immediately. Never attempt to pull the puppy without professional advice.

7. Issues with the Birth Sac

Some first-time mothers may require assistance in removing the birth sac from their puppies. If the sac remains intact, the puppies will be unable to breathe. While it’s best to allow the mother dog to remove the sac herself, if she doesn’t, you may need to tear a hole and remove it. Seek your vet’s advice promptly if you are unsure how to proceed.

8. Umbilical Cord Concerns

Certain first-time mothers may need help removing their puppies’ umbilical cords. While this doesn’t have to be done immediately after birth, leaving it for too long can lead to problems. Contact your veterinarian for guidance on how to properly cut and tie the cords, as improper technique can result in infection.

9. Absence of Puppies

If your dog does not display any signs of going into labor 70-72 days after mating, it is essential to contact your veterinarian. They can assess the situation and provide guidance accordingly.

10. Stillborn Puppies

If your dog gives birth to any stillborn puppies, it is crucial to have her examined by a veterinarian. They can investigate the situation and ensure your dog’s health and well-being.

Remember, if your dog is experiencing difficulties during labor, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately. Provide as much detail as possible about your dog and the pregnancy to facilitate appropriate care. At Katten TrimSalon, we understand the importance of ensuring a safe and successful birthing experience for your beloved pet. If you have any concerns or require further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. For more information about our services, visit Katten TrimSalon.