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My girl, Jo, is pregnant and due in 2 weeks. Our other BC, Jake, is the sire. This was not an intentional pregnancy; we never wanted to breed her. However, I acknowledge that we are ultimately responsible for not preventing this from happening.

 

This is my first litter, other than when I was a kid. Since I'm essentially a novice, I'm doing my research and trying to be as prepared as possible. I've done lots of reading, including a couple of books and most of the archived posts on whelping and raising puppies.

 

I have a few specific questions (with more to follow in the upcoming months, I'm sure):

 

- For a whelping box, can I use the lower half of her airline-style, hard plastic crate?

 

- We thought we might contain Jo and the litter in their whelping box in a walk-in shower in our bathroom, or we could use a guest bathroom away from our bedroom, almost out of hearing range. Which would you recommend?

 

- Several sources suggest getting a relector shade and light to keep the litter warm. However, we live in Arizona, and it's pretty warm here already. Are extra sources of heat really necessary?

 

- Based on the reading I've done, I have a list of needed whelping supplies. Do you have any recommendations for specific brands or types of whelping supplies and/or where best to purchase them?

 

- Jo is almost 9 years old -- yes, very old to be whelping and raising puppies. Of course I am very concerned about this, but our vet says that I should relax; all should be fine. Do you have any advice on precautions I might take? Should I consider hiring a doggie midwife?? If so, what should I look for and expect from that person?

 

- Do we need to keep Jake, the sire, separated from the litter? Should we be concerned that he might attack them?

 

 

If you haven't figured it out already, yes, I am a nervous mom/grandma! :rolleyes:

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I've never had a litter of pups, but the lady we got Robin and Brodie from has a great deal of experience with midwifing all kinds of animals. This is Daisy, Robin and Brodie's mom with "the kids" at about four days old in the first picture...our Brodie is on the far right...Robin's being held so he's not in the picture. Her favorite whelping box is a big plastic swimming pool (Wal-Mart has them for about $30 -- don't get the smaller, cheaper one - the sides will break down.) which she put out on the heated sun porch. She lined it with scraps of carpet padding, which she changed out for newspapers when the pups got a little older. It kept them confined for about five weeks. She also used tried out bed pads but they didn't work too well..shifted too much and the pups would eventually start chewing on them. Have you had an ultrasound to get some idea of how many puppies to expect?

 

Daisyandpups1weekold.jpg

 

Even had room for an orphan lamb to visit :rolleyes: .....(the blue dye was to identify it)

 

Robin3weeksherding.jpg

 

Newspapers were best when the pups got older.

 

Robin3andahalfweeks010.jpg

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It's too bad this pregnancy occurred, but that's water under the bridge.

 

1. The airline crate will be too small. The plastic wading pool should be fine.

 

2. I'd choose the walk-in shower in the guest room. You don't really need to hear the pups after the first night (during which you will probably be up with the mom), and she will appreciate not having a lot of activity around her.

 

3. You do not need a source of heat to warm the pups. I know all the books recommend this, but they must be thinking of teacup poodles.

 

4. Old towels are good for the floor of the whelping box.

 

5. If this is Jo's first pregnancy, this is your main worry, and it's a big one. You will very likely be dealing with uterine inertia, whatever your vet says, which means it's probable she will not be able to deliver these pups on her own. Be prepared for a C-section, and don't let the vet screw around too long with oxytocin shots if she is laboring and no pups are coming out.

 

6. Jake probably would not attack the pups, but Jo will almost certainly not want him around, and she may feel very strongly on the subject.

 

JMO and others may differ. Good luck to you.

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I'm also extremely concerned about the age of the dam. The fact that your vet is not is really alarming. I would seek the services of a vet who works with breeders and takes this much more seriously.

 

The best information out there on real-life whelping are the books/dvds by Myra Savant-Harris.

 

A pool will be fine. Avoid too much bedding or your will have accidental smothering when she tries to clean them and move around.

 

An xray a few days before delivery will give you an fairly accurate number on the pups.

 

Her temp is the best indicator of impending whelping. 24 hours prior it will drop below 98F. We check ever 12 to get as close as we can so that someone can stay close.

 

Do you have a mating date?

 

She will not want Jack near the pups, and frankly....I think that week would be a good time for him to go in for neutering and then spend the rest of the week on crate rest.

 

Have you started working on responsible homes for the pups? If you aren't you need to start immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

It's too bad this pregnancy occurred, but that's water under the bridge.

 

1. The airline crate will be too small. The plastic wading pool should be fine.

 

2. I'd choose the walk-in shower in the guest room. You don't really need to hear the pups after the first night (during which you will probably be up with the mom), and she will appreciate not having a lot of activity around her.

 

3. You do not need a source of heat to warm the pups. I know all the books recommend this, but they must be thinking of teacup poodles.

 

4. Old towels are good for the floor of the whelping box.

 

5. If this is Jo's first pregnancy, this is your main worry, and it's a big one. You will very likely be dealing with uterine inertia, whatever your vet says, which means it's probable she will not be able to deliver these pups on her own. Be prepared for a C-section, and don't let the vet screw around too long with oxytocin shots if she is laboring and no pups are coming out.

 

6. Jake probably would not attack the pups, but Jo will almost certainly not want him around, and she may feel very strongly on the subject.

 

JMO and others may differ. Good luck to you.

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I agree with what Eileen said any time puppies are in my house with their mom no other male dog is welcome. In most case no other dog although we did have a family at one point and previous female puppies were allowed.

 

Walmart has good deals on adult size pee pads they work good for containing the messes. untill 3 weeks puppies are pretty easy and then watch out.

 

I also agree that whelping this litter may cause a huge health risk to you dog have your vet on standby. You might also wish to consider her health before hand with the pups.

 

From what i understand about what happened to sugar in the birth canal i'm lucky to have her today. She competed against the other pups to be born. She was 2 times the size of her sibs and the cordsevered. If it had been a bigger liter I would have been in huge trouble.

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Sorry to read this. I truly hope your Jo is all right through all this.

 

Wading pool is a good idea with no box available. However, this will only do for maybe 10 days, after that they will be able to get out f it. You will need a puppy pen at this point.

 

Guest bath or yours whichever is easiest for Jo to maneuver in and get outside from.

 

Yes, you will need adjustable heating pad(s) depending upon how many pups she has.

 

I would absolutely stay away from towels in the bottom of the box. Use double sided bath mats and you can place the heating pad under it. Towels bunch up to easy and you can accidentally smother a pup with them.

 

Ditto on the Myra Savant Harris materials to! And I agree, sounds like you need a new vet, one on call and ready to do a C Section.

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I have NO experience with breeding (and don't plan to....ever!) - but all the whelping boxes I have seen have a rod of some kind around the inside diameter - like a large PVC pipe - to keep the mother from accidentally lying on top of a pup(s) and smothering it. I don't know how that could be avoided in the wading pool. Do you have someone who build you a large wooden box (with or without a "floor"), and attach the rod to it? I wouldn't think the pool would be big enough for very long.

 

Ditto all the comments on the concern for dam. Ultrasound should be done, so at least you know how many pups to expect. Heckuva time to get/find a new vet - but it does sound like you might need one. Is there an emergency clinic nearby? In two weeks - yikes!

 

Best of luck to all of you.

 

diane

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Thank you all for your advice for whelping and your concerns regarding Jo's age. It looks like my worries aren't unfounded!

 

To answer some of your questions...

 

Jo's mating date was Feb 21. Her ultrasound from 2 weeks ago indicated that she has at least two puppies. She goes back in on Tuesday to get an x-ray so we can make sure she delivers all the puppies she is carrying. I will also talk to the vet again about my concern for her age and what actions we should take in case of complications. I definitely want a vet to be on call for questions and advice and potentially emergency services once the whelping begins.

 

Two people, each a current or previous owner of BC's, have expressed interest in having one of Jo's puppies. I'm committed to finding all the puppies good homes with devoted, and preferably experienced, owners.

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Two people, each a current or previous owner of BC's, have expressed interest in having one of Jo's puppies. I'm committed to finding all the puppies good homes with devoted, and preferably experienced, owners.

 

It's probably a good idea to get the new owners to sign neuter agreements of some kind, and follow up on them, so they don't accidentally have puppies too.

 

FWIW, I have never used heating pads etc with any rescue litter we've ever had. Everyone seems to find them too hot so we gave up on them. I have also never had a mother kill a puppy by laying on it, and the only time I've seen 'roll bars' in a whelping box was for pigs. Never for dogs.

 

RDM

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The theory is that the puppies lie under the bar and the mom therefore can't lie on top of them or squish them against the side of the box. The whelping box I've used has one (a board, not a pipe), but I've never seen it serve any function except for the pups to climb on eventually and thereby get out of the box earlier.

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You can only confirm pregnancy with ultrasound, not numbers. Since there are multiple placentas there is way to much fluid and it prevents a good view. The only way to count fairly closely is a late term xray.

 

Most dogs who I've had ultrasounded 2-3 - then whelp anywhere from 5 to 9. The xray was always right.

 

I've seen Journey's heating pad set up and it works great. If they are on one side of the whelping area the pups crawl on and off as they need. It saves a lot of unnecessary heat on the dam from overhead lighting.

 

I also use a roll bar type box. They are easy to build if you want, but yes a lot of people do fine with the simple wading pool. I've raised both pigs and dogs and there are careful mothers and floppy-smasher ones and every variety in between. The rail saves a lot of trauma and worry.

 

The Savant-Harris stuff is great. You really should check into it. After this is over you could easily resell it on Ebay.

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I did have a mother squish pups against the side of the wading pool, but never to the point of suffocating them (they usually screech loud enough to get the human to come check, even if the mom is oblivious). For the first litter I had a whelping box with pig rails and I didn't notice the pups spending much time under them trying to avoid being laid on. The second litter I kept in a 5-ft kiddie pool with an X-pen around it.

 

I've also never used a heat source, but both litters I've whelped were born in July (in NC) so the concern was actually overheating (1-liter frozen-water-filled plastic bottles where the puppies' best friends) and not getting cold. The newborn pups will not be able to regulate their own temperatures well, so you need to make sure the whelping area is draft free. Beyond that, unless it's extremely hot or cold outside (and your house isn't temperature-controlled), I wouldn't worry too much about the pups getting cold (well, unless you run the AC at artic temperatures).

 

I have used towels in the bottom of the whelping box, but then I was around to keep an eye on things and prevent suffocation. I didn't like paper because even though it's much easier to clean (remove and throw away) I felt like the pups could never get a good purchase on it. So I would go with Karen's suggestion for no-slip bath mats (with paper underneath).

 

I hope the whelping goes well and that one or the other of your dogs ends up neutered.

 

J.

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Jo's mating date was Feb 21.

 

I'd wait another week on the XRay then, maybe the 22nd. You want to be as close to 60 days as possible. At that point you should be able to see the skeletal features and get a good count on the pups.

 

Julie has a good point wrt heat/cold. My pups were in the dead of winter, as long as your area isn't drafty you should be fine. If they are in the bathroom though, on tile, I still feel a heating pad is warranted. I also used newspaper but never were the pups in direct contact with it. My paper was under Dri-Deck, pups stayed clean and never had to scramble on slick surface.

 

This Thread was recent and has some good ideas for you.

 

Good luck!

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Re heat: I had one litter in a whelping box on a flagstone floor in February. The room had baseboard heat. It's true that pups don't regulate their temperature well, but there were no problems. When they got too cool they burrowed into their mom or curled up with other pups. When they got too warm they stretched out alone.

 

If it ends up that Jo needs a C-section, consider spaying at the same time.

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We live in Willcox and don't need heat either. My Aussie pups are in a kid's wading pool in my laundry room. The bitch won't let any other dogs near her puppies even if they wanted to visit. I use old sheets and towels in the pool. She has never sat on them to the point of hurting them. My vet said to feed the bitch a good quality puppy food. If you need to supplement the puppies she suggested goat's milk and a egg yoke to bottle feed them every few hours. Narita in Willcox

www.naritafarmaussies.com

post-7262-1271217428_thumb.jpg

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One other issue regarding the size of the litter - large pups are more likely to be born in small litters . I've only had one litter of pups (fortunately!) but the dam only had 4 pups and had to have a c-section because the first pup was too big for her to deliver.

 

Hope Jo does well. Obviously you care about her or you wouldn't be asking questions. Please strongly consider having her spayed as soon as the pups are weaned (or during a c-section) not only because you don't want another littler of pups but at her age, pyometra is a strong possibility in the future if she's not spayed.

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