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Whelping: Litter of Puppies Born with Intestines on the Outside of their Bodies

From a person who bred her dogs and wished to share her experience

Close up head shots - two toy dogs a medium-haired Pomchi and a short-haired Chiweenie with perk ears laying down in the passenger seat of a car. The Chiweenie has his head on the Pomchi
Side view - the belly of a pregnant Pomchi laying down on a brown couch.

My Pomchi had puppies 4 days ago. She gave birth to 5 pups, but sadly only one was alive.

Side view - a newborn dead puppie with its intestines hanging out laying on top of a dark gray towel.

The rest were stillborn and had their intestines on the outside of their bodies. I'm just heartbroken and traumatized over this.

I hope I did the right thing by immediately taking them out of sight of the mother. She and the one baby are both fine. The mom is very protective, but very loving to her baby. I'm thinking after she heals it would be good to have her fixed as I couldn't stand to see her go through that again.

View from the top looking down at the dog - a medium-haired, toy-sized, Pomchi dog laying down on a green blanket next to a plush toy.

I was told due to so many puppies her first time and the size of them they possibly didn't have enough room in the mama to develop. Could this be true? If not what would cause the deformity? I have never had an animal have babies so this was my first time and definitely not what I expected. The mama is a tiny little thing and is 1 year and 9 months old. I have gone to websites and read everything I could so I could help her have healthy babies and a good delivery and I've never seen or heard of anything like what I saw. I'm just thankful one lived so she could get some satisfaction out of being a mom. At first she wouldn't take to it. She kept trying to nudge it away and bury it under the blankets, but once it started to nurse she relaxed and adjusted well.

Right side view - a person's hand holding up a plump brown with black puppy.

The puppy that survived is a chubby little thing. I named him Chevy."

Left side view - a person's hand holding up a plump brown with black puppy.

Answer

Five pups is not an overly large litter. Toy dogs weighing 8 to 12lbs can have anywhere from 2 to 9 puppies in a litter without problems. The larger the litter the greater the chance one pup will not be fully formed (a runt). However, in this case the majority of the pups had defects. I would worry there is an underlying problem. When a dog gets pregnant the puppies are fully formed in the beginning of the pregnancy while they still have lots of room inside the mother. After they are formed, then they grow. I would definitely have her fixed. You do not want to risk this happening again. If she were going to be an important part of your breeding program, I would question if you really want to breed a possible problem into your lines.—Bev Dorma - A Mid-Woof and a champion breeder of MistyTrails Havanese

 

Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case