The whelping box
To make sure your bitch will have a smooth delivery a piecefull area
to put the whelping box is a must. The bitch must feel at ease when going into labor.
The whelping box should be big enough for your bitch to stretch out in, and have
a door way to go in and out. You do not want your bitch to have to jump in and squish
a puppy. The whelping box should have a guard rail to help eliminate suffocation
and trapping behind the bitch.
New born puppies are unable to keep themselves warm,
for that they need their mother or a heat source. Heating lamps and heating pads
are highly suitable to keep your puppies warm.
What is needed for the delivery?
to cut cord,
Hemostats to crimp cord
Un-waxed dental floss to tie cord if needed.
Surgical gloves and K-Y jelly.
Thermometer, Vaseline, book and pen.
case of power outage.
Ribbons if needed to identify puppies
Scale good quality
bottles and Canine Milk Replacer
NutriCal for Dam and some warm broth or canine milk.
Syringe to syringe fluids in Dams mouth (or spray bottle)
Foamy, sleeping bag, and
pillow to camp beside whelp box
Calcium, either calsorb, vanilla ice-cream, or tums.
Usually a day before the delivery starts the bitch can become distressed.
Her temperature will drop. She may refuse food, and her stolls may turn dark.
second stage usually begins with a rather clear, or mucous-like discharge from the
vulva. In the second stage of labor contractions should start. There will be more
discharge, and the presentation of a round golf-ball size membrane sack of water.
Some vets recommend not letting her puncture this sac. This is the protective sac
that the puppy is in. After presentation of this sac, the puppy could be out in about
30min. If the bitch continues to strain hard for longer than 45 minutes on a single
puppy, it is wise to call your vet. Remember, there should never be time limits,
as every situation is different. It is always best to call your vet and do what he/she
The third stage is the presentation of puppy and delivery of placenta.
The puppy may or may not be still in his sac. This needs to be removed immediately,
just rip it with your fingers, clamp off the cord (cut & tie), and start rubbing
the puppy till you hear him gasp. Then let him nurse till next puppy comes. This
can happen minutes or a couple hours after the first one. Make sure you count one
placenta for each puppy. Some breeders let the bitch eat ½ the placentas.
puppies are born the bitch will probably want to go to sleep. Let her do so. Clean
up the mess, and make sure every puppy has found a nipple. A few hours after the
delivery can you check if your bitch is prepared to leave her puppies for a while,
so that you can quickly wash and dry her.
Call your vet in case:
Nothing has happened
at the 65th day of the pregnancy;
You notice a dark green or smelling stream coming
from the vulva;
After straining hard for longer than 45 minutes there still is no
More than 2 hours have elapsed after a puppy being born, and you expect more
The bitch acts upset or agressive towards her puppies;
The bitch keeps restless
after the delivery (there might be another puppy, or a placenta);
In any case, it's
usefull to inform your vet about the upcoming delivery, and have him check your bitch
24 hours after the delivery.