You are a dog lover and a responsible pet owner. You know today is the whelping day of your bitch and you make yourself available for this event.

You know well that preparation for the whelping day is a very important task. So, you make the whelping supplies available and ready on hand. So far, everything went well.

But delivery problems do arise sometimes. Your dog can’t tell you she is in trouble. You got to know what to look for in case whelping is not going to happen the normal way in the earliest possible time. And you got to know when to seek the assistance of your veterinarian. My opinion is if you feel uncomfortable contact your veterinarian.


Although most dogs deliver without need for assistance, professional assistance should be sought if any of the following occur:



A bitch's temperature drops and no signs of labor begin within 24 hours. Some veterinarians recommend to start taking the temperature of the bitch two or three times daily about one week prior to anticipated whelping. This will help to ensure you do not miss the temperature drop that signals oncoming whelping.


Two hours from the first strong contraction go by without any puppy coming out. The most common reason for these the delays to take place is the uterine inertia or what is the same, the lack of muscular tone in the uterus, although you must also suspect of the existence of hormonal anomalies.


There is strong, persistent labor for 30 minutes without a puppy being delivered. If it takes more than 30 minutes for the puppy to be born, he can mean that it is either too big or not well-positioned.

There is weak, intermittent labor for 30 minutes without delivery of any puppies.


Green, black or red discharge can be seen before delivery, indicating placental separation.


It has been more than 4 hours since the last birth and it is probable that more puppies are still inside.


There is a greenish-black discharge and no labor or puppies within 3-4 hours. The greenish-black color is normal, but such a discharge should be followed very soon by the delivery of the pups.


The mother experiences sudden depression or marked lethargy.


The mother's body temperature exceeds 103ºF (39.4ºC) (via a rectal thermometer).


Fresh blood discharges from the vagina for more than 10 minutes.


Difficulty delivering may be managed with or without surgery. The condition of the mother, size of the litter, and size of the puppies are factors used in making that decision. The best thing to do then is to be able to evaluate the kind of problem and act accordingly, most often turning to the help of the veterinarian.

Copyright by Ruben Francia. All Rights Reserved. Ruben Francia is an author/publisher of ebooks, articles and websites. For more information, visit his site on dogs and chihuahua pregnancy
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