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  • THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN BORROWED FROM THE FOLLOWING WEB SITE AND BELONGS TO THEM. I have used it because I am short on time to just type as good an explanation on my own as they have offered HERE: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/whelping.htm They also offer PHOTOS, which I would encourage you to look at as well as some additional information I did not include here...GREAT WEBSITE! Whelping puppies is not always easy. Sometimes it takes an experienced helping hand. Some breeds whelp easy, and some do not. Even some lines of the same breed, will free whelp easy, and other lines, and pedigrees, seem to have repetitive problems. What to expect Your Female will show some of these signs or all of them. If your experience is not normal from things you have read, you should call your vet. Delaying HELP from a Vet could endanger your Dam and pups. This is a time to remember to be Safe rather than sorry First stage of Labor: (This stage often goes un-noticed, and takes place in the 24 hours following temperature drop) Temperature FINALLY drops to 98°F from its normal 99,100,101°F (you should have been taking it regularly for a few days) If you are really committed, the temperature taking does work. You will find her temperature around 99 to 101, and as soon as it starts to drop, below 99, and continues to drop. (now you take it every hour or two) ;you have about 12-24 hours from the start of the drop. When it bottoms out, to 98 or 97.9, then you have about 2-12 hours. You may find your dam much more restless, and not able to get comfortable. She will stretch out on her side. You may find her eyes different, they can dilate, and she can stare at you. She may not want you out of her site. She may go to her whelp box. She may vomit. She may try to have a bowel movement from the pressure. She may urinate frequent. She will refuse to eat, and seek a quite spot, like a closet or under a bed. She may have some mucus discharge, and her Vulva area will become puffier. The normal body temperature for animals is generally higher than for humans. The normal rectal temperature of a dog is 99.5° to 102.5°F. The normal temperature of a puppy at birth is 96-97°F. The temperature gradually increases with age until it is 100°F at 4 weeks of age. Second Stage of Labor: Your female may go to her whelp box, or couch, or wherever she has chosen to have her pups, & start digging. She may start shivering and Panting, examining her rear, and licking her vulva. She may have mild contractions, vomiting, pooping and urinating more. Warning Signs: Twitching, green discharge. (Green discharge is only Normal AFTER a pup is born) At the first sign of a contraction, give her some calcium. Offer her vanilla Ice cream, or chew a tum and spit in her mouth, or use Calsorb. Third stage of Labor: Water sacs present, and break Shivering and Panting may continue and get stronger. AS well as digging. Contractions will become stronger and closer together. Vomiting, grunting and pushing. Warning Signs: pushing on a pup for over an hour causing exhaustion (more warning signs listed below) Normal and preferred time, to push on one puppy that is in the birth canal, is 2 to 10 minutes. A puppy 1/2 out and stuck and breech, must be pulled out, or it will drown. If pushing doesn't get this puppy out within a few minutes. One must be prepared for some interesting scenarios. It is a great tool to do x-rays on day 55/56, to determine size and number of puppies. x-rays can be done sooner, but later gives you more information on puppy size, and knowing that the last puppy is out is comforting. X-rays may show a large puppy, and then one can anticipate a difficult delivery, and have the Vet on call. (He should be on call either way, as you never know what problems may arise.) Like these large pups can get stuck in the birth canal. To help the pup along, grip the pup carefully with a clean dry towel, rotate it slightly from side to side and then as the Dam has a contraction, pull steadily downwards and across the Dams belly, towards her head. I have had a large puppy get stuck in the birth canal, {Pelvic Canal Obstruction} and put the entire litter and Dam at risk. In this case, my Vet called it "A Puppy Stuck in the Door". The Puppy had to come out the birth Canal. His head was out and he was breathing (as Dam broke the sac). I had to hold his head to make sure he did not go back in. He was stuck tight, and contractions stopped. My Vets advise was to get out the dish soap. It worked. All soaped up, I pulled and out he came. Without the dish soap trick, I couldn't pull him out without hurting him-he was just too big for the Dam. The dam was so exhausted, she couldn't deliver the rest of her pups, and contractions stopped... So the rest was a C-section. Saving all puppies, but with another whelping this same situation could take place, but with the puppy breach. A breach puppy that gets stuck in the door, is often born still born, by drowning, or a pinched cord, or ??? If your puppy is still born, try to revive him or her... Often they will come back, but often they will not. Keep trying to revive for up to ½ an hour, it is not uncommon for a puppy to take 20 minutes, to come around. Stuck puppies are VERY common. They come out better with lubrication, the BEST way to get them out, is to have a feeding tube, and a syringe. Insert the syringe past the puppy, and push in k-y lubricating jelly. The pup must come out. It is also helpful to know, YOU CANNOT KILL a dead puppy, so you have nothing to loose, and everything to gain, by being aggressive and TRYING to save a stuck puppy, as if you leave it stuck , breach, then it will surely die. Pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia (which normally can happen 10 days after whelping, can also happen with a large litter, and more in toy breeds in the last few days of pregnancy. Hypocalcimic shaking & pre-labor shaking can seem the same at first), but if Dam is hypocalcimic, and gets eclampsia, the shaking quickly turns to Convulsions, muscle weakness, muscle tremors, spasms, rigidy and twitching needing immediate Vet assistance before seizures, coma and death. It is wise to give your Dam calcium when pups are 5 days old, (for the next few weeks. The easiest way is one Tum a day. Tums are a great calcium supplement. Eclampsia (sometimes referred to as Milk Fever) is a very serious condition, and can come on suddenly. It is caused from a shortage of Calcium in the Bloodstream. Uterine Inertia can happen also with a large litter or large pups. She will fail with weak attempts to deliver the pups. She may not even show contractions as her uterus is too stretched. The biggest cause of this, is from too much calcium, in the diet, while pregnant. it is they way to mess up a breeding. NOW, I limit calcium at pregnancy stage, and give it at labor stage, and my deliveries are noticeably better, and less c-sections. Rupture of the Uterus, torsion or hemorrhage, can happen. The Dam will pass heavy , ongoing flow of blood, from Vulva, this is a medical Vet emergency. Green Discharge- before puppy birth, means early separation of placentas. Call the Vet. Sometimes this is okay, if the puppy is to come soon, sometimes not. Normally we do not like to see green discharge until After a puppy is born. If two pups try and come out at the same time, it is physically impossible. This may be a cause for concern. This presentation is best discussed with your Vet. It could be a medical emergency, or things could just fix themselves if you are comfortable waiting. Call your Vet for his advice, as every situation is different. This situation needs an experienced hand. Delivery could progress uneventful, or delivery could get held up and stop. If you are comfortable to do an internal exam, this is the time. With a gloved finger, you must push the puppies, back up, every so gently. Often, if you push one puppy back, the other puppy will slide into the birth canal.

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