The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Whelping Stories: A Midwoof Call

Labor begins...

I am whelping a dog today. Her owners brought her to me the other day, and I started taking temperatures. They ranged between 99.5° and 100.5°, but last night I had...
5:30 p.m. – 99.3°
7:00 p.m. – 99.0°
8:00 p.m. – 98.9°
9:00 p.m. – 98.8°
10:00 p.m. – 98.7° (I know I HAVE to get up and take the temperature in four hours so I set the alarm.)

1:00 a.m. – 98.0° We have our drop; undetected pre-labor has started.

4:00 a.m. – 98.4° some nesting behavior.

6:30 a.m. – 98.4° more nesting, refusal to eat breakfast.

I have taken some pictures to show other things that have happened in the last day. I KNOW she is in pre-labor ONLY from the temperature. The refusal to eat canned tripe, or any favorite treat, is another sign she is in pre-labor.

Dog urine on Paper

Here is another sign: she has frequent small pees. At this time, it is fair to give your dam an indoor potty area in the whelping room, as she feels pressure and will want to try and pee every 20 minutes.

stretched out dam preparing for labor

This is the position she has been in for a couple days, stretched out, to get pups lined up.

Close Up - Swollen Dog Vulva

Her mucus plug has been letting go for the last few days, and her vulva area has really swelled up.

Close Up - Dry Teat

We always hope that milk (colostrum) comes in before whelping. The above picture shows a dry teat.

Close Up - a person squeezing colostrum out of a teat

We have colostrum, the yellow pre-milk. YIPPEE!! We are ready.

Close Up - colostrum dripping out of a teat

Colostrum coming from the teat.

Close Up - Person squeezing a dog teat

To check for colostrum, you have to get BELOW the milk ducts.

Close Up - a person pushing milk out of a teat

And then express the milk toward the teat. Do NOT squeeze the teat as the milk is much farther back.

Dog Vomit in the whelp box

It is 9:30 am and we have some moaning. Normal vomit, clear liquid.

A blanket in the whelp box with the dam's broken water on it

9:45 a.m. – Water broke. I chewed up a Tums and spat in the dam’s mouth, for calcium.

Dam getting into position for the birth

10:46 a.m. – Strong pushing contractions. An internal gloved, lubed finger exam shows a puppy entering the birth canal.

Dam starting to deliver the puppies

Dam is pushing pup number one.

The first puppy's foot is sticking out of the dam

SHOOT, a pup is breech; one foot STUCK.

Close Up - Puppy Paw coming out of dam Lube and Tube sitting out ready to go

Get out the lube to inject it up past the puppy...

Puppy foot beginning to come out

Making some progress, pulling on each contraction...

Breech puppy is stuck in dam

Got to here, but NOW STUCK SOLID—feet are wiggling, this puppy is going to die.

Puppy stuck half way and half way out of dam

Pup goes lifeless. It MUST COME OUT...but it will not.

Bite mark on a person's hand

I PULL, nothing to lose, as you cannot kill an already dead puppy. The dam screams and sinks her teeth in my hand...OUCH!

Bite Mark Eight Hours later

(Picture taken eight hours after the bite) A dog bite can really hurt. But remember, giving birth can make the dam (like people) do these things. Some dogs will bite the puppy that is hurting be prepared and keep a close watch when a problem, hard-birthing is present.

Puppy that was stuck is now laying next to the dam

11:08 a.m. – girl, lifeless, but I was able to revive her. Dew claws are removed, and she is nursing.

Puppy held by a person being licked by the dam

If you breed, PLEASE learn how to revive puppies!

Puppy Number Two presenting itself

Pup number two...
11:18 a.m. – contractions—push, push.
11:28 a.m. – REALLY pushing and a bubble appears.
11:39 a.m. – still pushing hard, feet appear.

Close Up - Puppy Number Two continuing to present itself

Shoot, another stuck puppy.

Puppy Number Two is now Stuck

I had to pull this one harder...

Close Up - Puppy Number Two still stuck part way out of dam

This pup was really stuck.

Close Up - Body and legs of puppy number two half way out of dam

And the feet stopped wiggling. This puppy was born white, blue and lifeless. It took me longer to revive him, but I did.

Puppy number two laying in front of Dam

PHEW! Please learn how to revive puppies, as puppies that appear to be born dead are sometimes still alive and can be revived. Do NOT set them aside. Rough them up. Get him under heat, and give him a good rubbing to make him mad...get gently aggressive. Head down to drain the mucus. PLEASE learn from your vet or mentor on HOW to revive a puppy BEFORE you whelp.

This puppy’s shoulders are too big to pass easily...200 grams is 7 ounces.

Puppy Number Three is presenting itself

Pup number three coming out head first.

Puppy Number Three laying on a blanket

Puppy takes his first breath, and gasps...this is a good sign...and exactly what you want.

Puppy laying on a blanket with a hemostat attached to its cordPuppy number four is born and is still inside the sac

Pup number four came easy at 12:30pm. The dam did it all on her own. This one is a normal birth. Pup is in the sac. Now I break the sac and get the pup going.

Close Up - Four Puppies nursing

There were four pups born to this litter, and all four are doing well. Photo submitted by Annie

Four Puppies nursing

Mom and puppies on day three. Each puppy has gained 12 grams per day.

Two Puppies laying on top of each other

Puppies at three days old

Close Up - All the puppies cuddled up together

Puppies at three days old

Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese

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