If you have a pregnant dog who is due to give birth you'll want to work out the best ways to support them through this exciting time. However, while most labours go smoothly, in some cases a dog may get distressed in labour and need some extra support. Here are some tips to help you identify troublesome issues in labour and give your dog the best support.
Labour in dogs usually progresses reasonably quickly. The hardest puppies to birth are the first ones as the belly is at it's fullest and there is less room for the puppies to manoeuvre to the birth canal. However, puppies can get stuck in the birth canal and this can lead to a stalled labour which often leads to still births and can lead to infection in the mother. It is a good idea to monitor the labour and if there seems to be a blockage you can investigate. If the birthing mother will allow, you can gently check if there is a puppy partially birthed, and if she will allow you can guide the puppy out manually. If the puppy is stuck internally you may need a vet to help you get the labour moving.
While a small amount of blood is very normal during labour, heavy or uncontrolled bleeding can be a problem. While this can naturally resolve it often leaves the dog very weak which can make it hard for the rest of the labour to progress and can result in bad outcomes for the puppies and the mother. If you notice fresh red blood or blood which is flowing rather than oozing it is a good idea to contact your vet and discuss the labour with them so you can access their support if needed.
For a young mother or smaller dogs with a large litter, labour can be a very tiring process. It is a good idea to leave some water and food close by so the dog can access it they wish. If they seem unable to move or other struggling to maintain the efforts of labour you may want to bring them to a vet or animal hospital as they may need a caesarian section to complete delivery.
If you have a dog that is about to go into labour it is important to monitor them closely, so that you can access vet support if they become distressed in labour.
When you have a dog or a cat, they become a treasured part of the family, and you don't want to leave them at any cost. This is true even if you move or travel abroad. Hi, my name is Katie, and I traveled with my dog for nearly 10 years before his passing one year ago. I loved every moment we had together, but I also learned a lot of important things about the type of veterinary care travelling animals need. If you want to learn about veterinary care or tips for travelling animals or just in general, I invite you to explore my blog.