How to understand that the dog gives birth? How to understand that the pet needs your help and, most importantly, how to help? Let’s look at what signs you can rely on, waiting for childbirth and that may indicate a danger.
Preparation is half the battle
Even if you are worried, you are overwhelmed by emotions or fears, remember one thing – the dog knows for sure that she will soon give birth. No one except your dog will give you a clearer “data” about the upcoming birth. You do not need to do almost anything, just be careful and note all the changes in the behavior of the dog.
On your part, some actions will be required:
A week (and sometimes earlier) before the birth, the dog will begin "Make a nest". Absolutely all females do this, and their pregnancy is normal. The fact is that a few days before the birth, the expectant mother will have a hard time moving and she will not be able to make a comfortable nest.
Domestic dogs are descendants of wolves, and they give birth in burrows or deep hollows in the ground. The safe nest should have a roof, not to pass direct sunshine, it is good to keep temperature. At home, the ideal nest will be a spacious box with a light "ceiling", for example, made of cardboard. The base of the lounger can also be cardboard, but in this case the box should be placed against the wall. During childbirth, the dog will rest with its hind legs on the wall of the box and may tear it.
The nest must be placed in the farthest room. On the threshold of childbirth and after them, the temperature and humidity of the air in the room must be strictly followed. Make sure the nest is not in a draft or near a heating radiator. While the dog is preparing for childbirth, do not prevent its desire to carry toys or other things to the nest.
All calm is a training alert!
Many inexperienced owners, who are experiencing their first pregnancy together with their pet, are “caught up” with a training alarm. The dog begins to behave very restlessly, usually it happens at night. The owner intuitively understands that the pet will soon give birth, begins to frantically run around the dwelling, look for the phone number of the vet, pull off a bunch of towels, prepare warm water, and so on. At this moment, amid a panic, the owner does not notice that the dog calmed down and watches with great interest the "throwing" of its guardian.
In most cases, the situation develops, more precisely, is aggravated if the owner does not look the facts in the face. Realizing that the dog was supposed to give birth, and the puppies were not, the owner grabs the pet and rushes to the veterinary clinic or calls the veterinarian to the house. If the doctor is called at home (which is a more reasonable alternative), the pet is likely to fall asleep before his arrival. If you did come to the clinic, but there is no birth, then you will hear about such a phenomenon as preparatory or false labor.
Real signs of childbirth
Even if you understand in detail all the signs that indicate the beginning of labor and possible complications of their process, you should not be self-confident. Keep your veterinarian’s contact details at hand. It is advisable to agree in advance with the doctor about home visits, so as not to have to take the woman to the clinic.
It is also worth preparing for the fact that in the process of childbirth the dog will get very tired and your help will be needed by puppies. A few weeks before giving birth, assemble a kit that will lie untouchable until puppies are born. The kit must include:
- Sharp scissors (pre-decontaminated and placed in the package).
- A few clean towels of medium size.
- Hot water bottle.
- The second nest (for puppies).
- Paper towels.
- Moisture-absorbing diaper.
- Bitch milk replacer.
- For the parturient woman: calcium preparations that support the work of the heart and hemostatic drugs (appointments should be discussed with a veterinarian).
Keep a set of mothers at hand if the body temperature of the expectant mother has dropped to 38.5–37 degrees. Decrease in basic body temperature is the first and most obvious sign that a dog will give birth today (within 24 hours). From the moment of decrease in body temperature up to contractions, it is desirable to measure the temperature every 2-3 hours.
Important! In some dogs, a slightly lower body temperature is natural (normal). In order to accurately track the date of birth, the control measurements of body temperature should be started 2 weeks before the expected expiration of the gestation period.
Regular measurements of body temperature will not only predict the date of birth, but also provide the expectant mother with maximum comfort during the last week of gestation. You may notice that the pet will become more calm and apathetic. In the last week before giving birth, you do not need to insist on long walks, and it is better to move the place of walking to a deserted place away from the accumulation of dogs and people.
Important! If pregnancy proceeds in winter, make sure that the dog does not lie down on the ground during a walk and is not in a draft.
A few days before giving birth, your pets may have a strong desire to equip the nest elsewhere or to transfer the nest already arranged. Do everything to make the dog feel calm and comfortable. If the pet is stubbornly climbing under the bed – move the bed away. You can move the nest with puppies a few days after birth. But until the dog starts to give birth, you will have to come to terms with all the inconveniences.
Stages of labor – what to expect and how to act
The childbirth of the dog is conventionally divided into three stages. At the first stage, everything happens relatively unnoticed.. The cervix begins to open, and the uterus contracts. You may notice that the dog has significantly increased the loop and from it began to appear discharge.
Note! At the first stage of childbirth, dogs may not behave completely adequately, are very worried, howl, look for a secluded place or, on the contrary, show complete apathy.
At the second stage of labor, puppies begin to move along the birth canal. Normally, the dog expels all puppies for 3–12 hours, however, childbirth lasting up to 24 hours is also considered normal. The first sign that the process of expelling puppies has begun is an increase in the base body temperature to normal. Within a few hours the first puppy will be born. Carefully observe the condition of the dog, 10–15 minutes before the appearance of the first puppy, the amniotic fluid will literally spill out of the loop.
Note! The small amount of amniotic fluid that comes out of the dog’s womb before the appearance of the first puppy should not scare you. Each puppy is in an individual bubble that is filled with fluid.
After the appearance of the first puppy before the appearance of the second normally pass about 20 minutes. During the break, the dog lies on its side and breathes heavily. Your task is to calm the pet as much as possible so that she can rest. The "gap" between the birth of puppies can reach an hour, but should not drag on for more than 2 hours. Contact your veterinarian if you suspect that your dog’s labor has weakened. You also need to consult a doctor if more than an hour has passed after the expulsion of the amniotic fluid, and the first puppy has not appeared.
The dog independently cope with childbirth if the labor activity proceeds normally, and the pet feels safe. Follow the process of the appearance of babies. As soon as the bubble begins to appear from the loop, the dog licks it up or breaks it with its teeth. The next moment, a young mother gnaws the umbilical cord of a puppy and eats the last. Literally in a few seconds, the dog begins to engage the puppy, actively licks it and pushes it towards the nipples.
Do not panic if the puppy is born tail forward. Statistically, in almost 50% of cases, part of the puppies are occupied by improper diligence. Nature made sure that the puppy could be born with hind legs forward. Problems may arise if the dog was carrying one or two puppies that had reached a large size at the time of delivery.
If at any of these stages you notice, that the dog does not pay attention to the puppy, better to intervene. The fact is that young dogs who give birth for the first time can get lost from stress and pain. If you had to open the bubble yourself, you need to carefully break it off from the side of the puppy’s face. Open the baby’s mouth, blot the liquid with a napkin. Next, wrap the puppy in a towel and begin to actively rub it. Even if the baby breathes and beeps, he will freeze quickly if his wool is not dried. Try to put the puppy to the mother and follow the reaction. If the dog is very worried, it is better to transfer the puppy to a separate nest on the heating pad.
Childbirth is considered complete if the contractions have stopped and have not recurred for 2 hours. At this stage it is important to ensure that the dog has given birth to all the puppies. If you have not carried out preliminary examinations and do not know how many puppies were carrying a pet, you will have to rely on your own intuition or go to a veterinarian.
Gently feel the dog’s stomach, it should be soft and painless. Watch carefully for the behavior of the animal, it should be calm, tired, but peaceful. If you suspect that the dog has not given birth to all puppies or have noticed that greenish mucus is emitted from the noose, consult a doctor!
The cessation of labor activity against the background of incomplete expulsion of litter is more characteristic of miniature dogs. With such complications, an urgent caesarean section is prescribed.