A Guide To Delivering Puppies
A Guide To Delivering Puppies
Jamie Crittall from Beech House Veterinary Centre in Surrey speaks about dog breeding and what to expect during the birthing process.
Hi, I'm Jamie Crittall from Beech House Veterinary Centre in Surrey and I'm here to talk about dog breeding. My guide to delivering puppies, it's actually kind of a misnomer because you don't deliver the puppies, mom does, and for the vast majority of times, nature takes absolutely control of everything and it all runs smoothly. But there are certain signs that you need to look out for to make sure that they're running smoothly and if they're not, that you do the right thing about it and get in touch with your vet to make sure that you don't have a disaster.
The second stage of labor happens when her waters break, her tummy is really contracting and you're seeing really strong abdominal contractions and her body temperature comes back to normal. At this stage, she really is about to give birth, and you should have the first puppy being born within an hour. Sometimes with the first litter, the bitch may take about two hours to deliver that puppy.
But after the first hour, if one hasn't appeared, get in touch with your vet for their advice. They may be happy for everything to continue doing but if you start seeing signs of distress in the bitch and she's becoming visibly tired or she's just not happy and she's panting lots and nothing's happening, your vet may say "I need to see her." and then you need to be prepared to take her in to the vet.
If nature's taking care of everything, often a puppy's born at least every hour. Sometimes, she may have a rest between the pups and that can last up to an hour but she won't look visibly distressed in any way, and the contractions start again and she'll produce another puppy. The afterbirth, or the placenta, is also passed between the pups.
Sometimes, it is after every puppy about 15 minutes later, sometimes it happens after every other puppy, or every third puppy. So, there is some variation and not to be concerned if yours isn't happening every time. The discharge that is passed with the afterbirth tends to be sort of green-brown, shouldn't smell, and often the bitch is wanting to clean up and she may eat the after birth but don't let her eat more than two or three because it can give her a really upset tummy.
When a puppy is born, she'll be licking it vigorously and taking away the fluids that's within the tummy and chest and getting rid of the amniotic fluid and the membranes that surround the puppy, and this stimulation will make the puppy breathe and start to move. Once all of the puppies have been born, the bitch will visibly relax, she will be really really calm. She will probably be thirsty and hungry and she'll probably want to pop out to go to the loo so be prepared for that.
But if signs are continuing much longer than that, if the second stage of labor is going on for more than 12 hours, you need to get in touch with your vet. If she seems to have stopped and no puppies have been born in 2 or 3 hours but she doesn't look relaxed and she looks like she's still wanting to produce another one, again, get in touch with your vet. This relationship with your vet is so important because you want to whole process to go as smoothly as possible and hopefully you'll have a fantastic litter of puppies and a very healthy mom once everything has happened. .