For How Long After Mucus Discharge Do Dogs Whelp?

by Jane Meggitt Google
    A mucus discharge means labor is beginning.

    A mucus discharge means labor is beginning.

    John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    It's heading toward 63 days after your dog was bred -- the average canine gestation time -- and you're looking for signs of the impending birth. When early labor begins, your dog might pass a small amount of mucus from her vulva. If you see her pass mucus, she should enter the active stage of labor within 6 to 12 hours. Since this sign is easily missed, there are better ways to predict her whelping.

    Canine Whelping Signs

    Within the 24 hours before labor begins, the mucus plug that covers and protects the cervical canal releases. The American Kennel Club website warns that the mucus release isn't very noticeable. More reliable indicators include restlessness and neediness in the expectant mother. The AKC advises taking the dog's temperature twice daily, morning and evening, starting a few days before the due date. Normal canine temperature ranges between 100 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the dog's temperature drops by 1 or 2 degrees, she should go into labor within 24 to 48 hours.

    Photo Credits

    • John Howard/Digital Vision/Getty Images

    About the Author

    Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, her work has appeared in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.

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