If you're the caretaker of a pregnant dog, your responsibility is to respectfully monitor her as she goes through the whelping progress. Although female dogs often give birth without needing any help, complications occasionally arise. If you suspect that your pooch has run into any trouble throughout the duration of her gestation, seek veterinary assistance for her immediately.
Discharge and Pregnant Dogs
Pregnant dogs sometimes experience mucus discharge from their vaginas. If your pregnant pet has discharge from time to time, there's no reason to panic, according to the Windy Hollow Veterinary Clinic. Look closely at the discharge; if you notice signs of pus or blood, notify your veterinarian without delay. Pus or blood in discharge sometimes points to pregnancy complications. Also pay attention to any discharge odors. If the discharge is foul-smelling, veterinary assistance is key.
Signs of Delivery Troubles
When your pregnant dog is in labor, stand by and look out for any hints of troubles in delivery. If your dog gives off a green discharge, but doesn't produce a new pup for a span of two to four hours after, contact your veterinarian immediately. If the birthing intervals exceed between two and four hours, do the same. If you're confident that the female dog has more pups in her litter but there are no signs of them for hours on end, don't ignore the matter. Puppies occasionally get trapped in mother dogs' birth canals. Sometimes, you can even see parts of their trapped bodies. Observing straining in mother dogs can also sometimes indicate trouble. If her straining is notably feeble or consistent yet fruitless, there could be a problem. Difficulty during whelping occasionally denotes stalled labor, which is when female dogs simply are unable to begin the birthing process. Many different factors can lead to stalled labors in dogs, from excess body weight to especially big puppies.
Indications of Pain
If your pregnant dog ever exhibits any clear indications of pain, through persistent whimpering or anything else, alert your veterinarian promptly. Do this at any point throughout her gestation, whether she's newly pregnant or in the middle of parturition. Canine pregnancies typically take about 63 days. Some are as brief as 56 days, however, and others are as long as 72 days.
Miscarriage and Dogs
A lot of different things can lead to miscarriage in pregnant dogs, including intense frustration, dietary problems, physical traumas, fetal issues and infections. Blood in discharge is a prominent sign of miscarriage in expectant canines, according to veterinarian Bruce Fogle, author of the "ASPCA Complete Dog Care Manual." Pus in discharge, however, is a prominent indication of a condition known as pyometra, a uterine infection.
Dogs Susceptible to Pregnancy Problems
Note that certain types of dogs are especially susceptible to problems in gestation and parturition. If a dog has any pre-existing medical conditions, pregnancy could be tougher on her. If she's especially old or especially young, the chances of problems appearing are also higher. Overweight or obese pregnant canines are particularly vulnerable to complications, too, says the Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital. Because of all these potentially problematic factors, it's extremely important for all dogs to receive veterinary care throughout the pregnancy and labor processes.
- Willows Veterinary Service: Looking After Your Pregnant Bitch
- PetMD: Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs
- Vetwest Animal Hospitals: Breeding - Whelping or Birth
- Windy Hollow Veterinary Clinic: Tips for Pregnant Dog Care
- Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital: Gestation in Dogs
- ASPCA Complete Dog Care Manual; Bruce Fogle
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images