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Whelping an Almost Text Book Case

Cuban Mysti Puppies: Labor Story Page 3

Dewclaws being removed

Dewclaws should be removed within 20 minutes of birth or by day five at the latest. Call your vet. I do mine myself right at birth. The extra scream from the puppy cleans it out too. I use sterile small hemostats. PLEASE do not try this on your own if you have never done it as it is a job that requires experience. You do NOT cut it off or it will bleed. You need hemostats and a nitro stick to stop the bleeding. You also do not take just the nail, or claw…you need the whole thumb. You cannot PULL it off without knowing what you are doing because you do not want to pull the tendons out of the puppy’s foot. So PLEASE, just because I do this at birth, do NOT do it unless you know exactly what you are doing. This is considered a vet's job. But experienced breeders have learned to do this, and to dock tails if their breed requires.

Puppy Paw without Dewclaws

In this picture, the dewclaws are gone.

Removed Dewclaws on a surface top

The discarded dewclaws and the stick you use to stop any bleeding.

Second Puppy in the Birth Canal

The second puppy is in the birth canal.

Second Puppy begining to present itself
The first puppy wrapped warmly laying under the lamp, while the dam pushes out the next pup

The first puppy is put back in a warm wrap near the dam while she works on the second puppy.

Dam is pushing out the second pup

Pushing out a puppy

Close Up - Second Puppy in sac almost born

She pushed this one out on her own at 2 a.m. (20 minutes after the first pup). A little smaller at 224 g (7.8 oz.), this one will be called "Yellow Boy." He came out with his placenta.

Second Puppy is laying on a blanket adjacent to the dam

I get the sac off of his face.

Blue Bulb next to the second puppy

And suction him with the blue bulb.

The dam is laying on the blanket with a puppy under her head

I give him to Mom, and WOW, she is a natural. This is her first litter, and she is a 100% awesome mommy cleaning them. This does not always happen, see links below…. This whelping is pretty textbook, but this is not always the case. I get the pups on suckling between puppies.

The dam is laying in a corner preparing to deliver the third puppy

The third puppy is coming. I put the first two pups in a warm area…sometimes MOMMY wants in there too (LOL). Just keep moving them out of her way, but keep them in her sight.

Puppy Number Three is almost out of the dam

Puppy #3 came fast, at 2:20 a.m. This one will be called "Green Boy." (So far there are three puppies, and they each came 20 minutes apart). This is because the first one was held up, and the other two were ready. This puppy is breech, but this is normal—222 grams (7.8 oz.), still big—and she did it all on her own. For many litters I have had to pull out puppies when they were breech. Always consult your vet prior to delivery because you never know what can happen! If this puppy was stuck 'head in" YOU BETTER have learned what to do and how to pull out a puppy BEFORE this happens, as it MUST come out within six minutes, or the puppy WILL BE DEAD. So, if it happens, and you don't have a clue what to do and you are presented with a stuck puppy, HEAD IN, there is NO time to get to the vet. JUST PULL, as you cannot kill a dead puppy. Maybe you will save it. There is a way to pull—toward the dam’s head. You try to touch the puppy to the dam's belly button. You do not just pull, or pull outwards. You don't pull by the feet, unless that is all you can get a hold of. Grab as much of the puppy as possible; if it’s too slippery, then wrap with a cloth, or wrap the pup with your whole hand. Try to distribute the pulling to the largest mass you can, not just a foot. Another case where a puppy had to be pulled out...

Puppy Number Three is in the sac and almost out of the dam

I let her push him the rest of the way; there is NO rush to intervene at this time.

Close Up - Puppy 99% of the way out

ALMOST out, just one more push.... (This is sooooooooo cool!)

Puppy is out and still inside the sac which is attached to the dam

OKAY, he is out. Notice he is in a sac. Some breeders let their dams break the sac. I take it off NOW, fast... It's the first thing I do, as once they are out they are ready for the first breaths.

Close Up - Sac being ripped off of newborn puppys face

GRAB the sac, pinch it, pull it away from the puppy's face, and RIP it off as if you were biting it off. Get it GONE.

Close Up - Third Puppy laying next to the placenta

OK, sac is off, but this pup still needs to breathe. He isn't blue, but he is a little white; we need to pink him up. Notice the placenta came out with this puppy. KEEP COUNT of your placentas. You need ONE out for each puppy...KEEP TRACK!

Close Up - Third Puppy laying next to the placenta on a blanket
The three puppies born so far are nursing

Three pups out, two more to go... I let them nurse.

Dam drinking water out of bowl and Pups are nursing

Offer the dam nice cold fresh water. Give it to her inside her box. She will not come out for it.

Close Up - Dam drinking water out of bowl and Pups are nursing
Person placing a towel over the puppies while they nurse

Keep the puppies warm.

Close Up - Puppies Nursing

All three puppies are nursing—all latching on—and all have their dewclaws removed. (You do not have to remove dewclaws at this point if you do not wish to.)

Dam is cleaning Pups as they nurse

She is cleaning them, but she has had three very fast and will be having a rest soon...

So, the pups were born at 1:40 a.m., 2:00 a.m. and 2:20 a.m. For my breed (Havanese), I like to see pups every half hour.

Dam is laying towards the back of the whelping box and the three puppies are towards the front in a towel bundled together

At 3:20 a.m. (one hour later) I see a small contraction and I give the dam 1cc of calcium.

At 3:30 a.m. there is a gush of water (my guess is that the second horn is now ready to deliver).

An hour later, pup #4 is coming (first three pups are put aside in the warm cloth).

Pup Number Four presenting itself

Pup number four is presenting a head.

Close Up - Pup Number Four in sac being pushed out

The head and shoulders are out. The dam is doing well and I am standing back, letting her do her thing. If I suspected that she needed help to get this pup out, or if it was stuck, I would remove the sac. But she is doing WELL, and I will let her work on getting the pup out first.

Close Up - Pup number four in a sac being touched by human fingers
Close Up - Person touching the puppy's head which is still inside the sac

Pup’s almost out

Close Up - Sac being pulled off of puppy number four by a human

I get the sac off NOW!! (Pinch, pull and rip.)

Close Up - Puppy number four nursing with other puppies

At 3:35 a.m. a GORGEOUS golden red girl is born weighing 234 g (8.2 oz.). She is big! It is common for the first puppy out of each horn to be the biggest, as they get the bigger veins for nutrition, while the last ones in the horn tend to be smaller.

At 3:50 a.m., I give the dam 1cc of calcium.

Last Puppy coming out with other puppies around it

Last puppy just came out without warning. One push at 4:00 a.m. This pup will be called "Blue Boy," weighing 202 g (7 oz).

Close Up - Puppy Number Five almost out of the dam
Hemostat in a dam. holding on to a placenta

Placenta was retained...but I have a hold of it. It is very important to me to not have a retained placenta, if I can help it.

All Five Puppies laying on a towel

Five thriving pups under the heat lamp. Get mom cleaned up a bit, and offer some more water or broth.

Four Puppies cuddled together, One Puppy sitting away from them

One girl on the left and four boys on the right

Four Puppies cuddled together, One Puppy laying on its side away from them
Close Up - All the Puppies nursing

All puppies are nursing.

Close Up - Two Puppies nursing
Five puppies with colored tails nursing

One-day-old pups—each pup is color-coded, as these four males are pretty similar and you need to keep track of each one for daily progress.

Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese

Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case