Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Pregnant Dams

Whelping and Raising Puppies

The right side of a black big bellied dam that is stretched out across a sheet.

Pregnant dams spend a lot of their time in the last week stretched out, in order to get those puppies into position.

X-Ray of a pregnant dam showing the bones of the puppies inside of her.

It is wise to x-ray the dam the day or two before delivery. It is a great tool not only to show you how many, but also the sizes and positions of the pups. This x-ray was taken three days before the puppies were born.

X-Ray of a pregnant dam showing the puppies inside of it.

This x-ray was taken the day before the puppies were born. You can see the one pup engaging in the birth canal. She is within 24 hours of delivery.

X-Ray of a pregnant dam that is against a light.

X-ray showing three puppies.

X-ray of a pregnant Dam showing four puppies

X-ray showing four puppies.

X-Ray of the stomach of a pregnant dam showing puppy bones inside of her.

If you x-ray at days 55/56/57 then you will be able to see heads, spines, ribs and legs. Count the heads first, and then find a spine to go with each head. This x-ray shows six pups for sure, all of the same size, nothing to cause concern. There could be seven pups, with a possibility of eight. See below picture to help find the puppies

X-Ray of a pregnant dam that has the puppies outlined in red.

This picture outlines the puppies that can be seen for sure.

X-Ray of a pregnant dam that has a puppy with a curved spine outlined in red. The words 'This looks worrisome' are overlayed.

This picture shows a worrisome outcome. One of the puppies appears to be dead and is blocking the birth canal. A c-section will have to be performed.

The left side of a pregnant dam that is standing on her hind legs and a person behind her is holding her up. A furry pregnant dam with a shaved belly is standing on her hind legs and a person behind her is holding her up.

A pregnant dog on day 58 in her new maternity haircut. I always shave them up clean. They will shed the hair, but this is nicer for them; you can really see the pups moving, and the nipples are nice and clean and ready... no milk yet, so it won't be today, and temp is still up.

Be VERY careful you do NOT shave off a teat.

The stomach of two dams standing in front of each other on their hind legs.

Chamby, 7.5 weeks and Keyara, 6 weeks

A pregnant Miniature Fox Terrier is laying stretched out across a bed sheet. It has a large pink belly with brown pigment patches on it.

Pregnant miniature Fox Terrier named Zoe. In this photo she is due any moment, and is feeling every minute of it.

A Pregnant Dam that is hiding in a closet full of clothes and a hamper. A pregnant dam that is hiding under a wooden night stand.

As the dam prepares to whelp, she will seek out a spot that SHE likes. This may not be a spot that YOU like. Many dogs have ruined rugs and beds. You should have an area set up for her a week in advance that she can get comfortable with, and know it is a safe, quiet spot. Even in doing this, the dam often will seek out her own spot. These pictures show Misty the night before her whelping, temp dropped, and puppies expected at 2 a.m. She has decided that Emily's closet will work for her. You can see her hiding on some laundry, behind the laundry basket. She is black, so hard to see. At this time, I let her stay in there for a while, as she was relaxed and comfortable, but eventually moved her to her whelping box, which she comfortably accepted. A good warning: NEVER let your dam outdoors without 100% supervision, and use a flashlight at night at this time of pregnancy. Many dogs have been known to bolt to a private outside spot to have their puppies, never to be seen again.

The left side of a Dam that is laying stretched out in front of a wooden whelping box wall.

Day 61—She is less active, temp dropped at 10 a.m., so that could mean within 24 hours. She is staying in her box, and really stretching out to get those puppies to move down into position. And she keeps messing up her bedding, bunching it up (not digging though). SOON... Click Here to See Photos of Moca's Labor and Birth

Below are the parents of the Moca/Chester litter, which is documented on the next several photo pages. They are Havanese dogs.

The left side of a Dam that is standing across a table and there is a person behind the dog holding it in a show stack pose.

Moca, dam, owned by MistyTrails Havanese

Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese

Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case