Birthing Warning Signs with Dogs
Although it's highly unlikely, it pays to watch out for pre- and post-birth signs that something's wrong.Stay alert
Most pregnancies are problem-free and dogs generally make excellent mothers. Even though it's very rare for something to go wrong, it's still a good idea to keep your eyes open and know how to spot a problem if it does occur. On the off chance something out of the ordinary does happen, the basic rule is to seek veterinary help.
Contact your vet if...Before the birth
After the birth
- More than 70 days of gestation have passed since mating;
- 60 minutes of strong contractions occur without a puppy appearing;
- More than two hours 'rest' passes between pups, and you know there are more inside;
- The mother fails to go into labour within 24 hours of her temperature dropping;
- She is obviously in extreme pain.
- Fever, vaginal discharge, loss of appetite, listlessness or a lack of interest in the puppies (potentially a sign of an inflammation of the uterus - metritis),
- Twitching, nervousness, restlessness and a stiff, painful gait, which may be a sign of eclampsia, a calcium deficiency.
- Inflammation of the breasts (mastitis). Mammary glands become red, hard and painful.
- Diarrhoea may develop in the mother, especially if afterbirths were eaten. This is not unusual in the first few days after the birth, but may be a sign of other complications and should be reported to your vet.