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Hello All,

 

I am expecting puppies some time next week and would love some advice/tips from experienced breeders on this board. I have done tons of research and feel comfortable with what to expect but I thought it might be fun to hear from you all.

 

This is her first litter and her x-ray showed 5 pups. Her and the male have had all health clearances and are excellent working dogs. You can see mother of the pups, Maid, in a video here

. Thanks in advance for any advice. :)
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I have nothing to add about whelping pups but I really enjoyed the video! Good luck with the litter and please post some pictures after they arrive :)

 

Of course...prepare to be inundated with puppy pictures. ;)

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Lovely video; thanks for the watching pleasure.

And yes, puppy photos, please!! You probably have people lined up waiting for them; that girl in the video seems to know what she is doing. :-)

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Lovely video; thanks for the watching pleasure.

And yes, puppy photos, please!! You probably have people lined up waiting for them; that girl in the video seems to know what she is doing. :-)

Yes the litter is spoken for. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to whelp the litter, Maid actually belongs to a friend of mine and I am getting to keep a pup for doing the work. I will hopefully get to keep a girl!! My luck is she would have 5 boys haha.

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A couple things to do that can be fun, provided she tolerates it well is to start monitoring her temperature on day 58 from first breeding or day 60 from insemination day if progesterone testing was done to time her breeding. Often times they will get down into the 97 range and whelp within 24 hours. Another thing to watch is the whites of their eyes, when they start the early stages of labor you may notice that their eyes go bloodshot.

 

some good info on this page along with the temperature chart. http://www.debbiejensen.com/temp_chart.html

 

Sometimes I supplement calcium, but I don't do so until after the first pup is delivered, some use CitraCal, some use other sources that they believe work best for them. I usually order CalSorb which comes in a tube specifically made for dogs. The calcium can help keep contractions going and also will calm a bitch since calcium deficiency can cause nervousness and restlessness.

 

Good absorbent bedding during whelping is a must, also plenty of towels. I will fill the washing machine with water when whelping begins and drop in the soiled bedding as we go so that it can soak. Some bitches don't soil the bedding badly, others will make quite a huge mess depending on the amount of fluid they have retained.

 

Watch to make certain that each pup comes out with it's placenta, if it doesn't keep track to see that the placenta passes since a retained one can cause issues in the days following whelping, though rarely. I let my bitches eat them, great nutrition source, the way it was meant to be.

 

Some times whelping clicks right along, could be done in a couple of hours with only 5, but it could also take all night. Recently had one deliver her first at 11:30 pm and didn't get a 2nd until 3:30. Her last arrived after 6 am. If during whelping the bitch gets real vocal, whining and crying loudly I get concerned and may indicate trouble (also very rare), typically all mine whelp very quietly aside from the noise you hear as they are nesting and digging. As whelping progresses you may only hear her when she starts licking and cleaning the next arrival up after sliding right out.

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First I would check on the vets emergency protocol - some see after hours calls some refer to emergency clinics. You will want to know ahead of time where to call and go in case you have trouble.

 

Nesting usually happens the day before whelping. Taking the temp is good to give you a closer idea of when things will start. Most bitches temp drops then once it rises again to over 100 whelping will happen soon. Bitches are often uncomfortable, move around, whim ect. It always amazes me how few contractions I see before a pup. It happens fast. I want the pup breathing fast so will break the sac if it is not or she does not do it right away. Some bitches are great about chewing cord but I have dental floss and scissors just in case. I also have gloves and lube. Most of my bitches have pups within 30 min after the first. IF larger litter things can slow up at the end and go longer between pups. Anything over 2 hours between pups I am on the phone to the vet. There may be nasty green, black discharge after the first pup but any greenish before a pup is a problem and vet needs to be consulted. Any long contracting or lots of contractions before a pup or without a pup is also a concern. I have never seen blood shot eyes

 

I love the dura whelp whelping box. Use old sheets and towels during whelping and use bath towels to line whelping box after. Most pups seem to come out and looking for a nipple while still wet and slimy. I leave the pups with the mom so they can nurse asap.

 

Box needs to be in draft free area and quiet. If I take the bitch out to potty she is on a leash and I take a towel with me, just in case. I have used a heating pad or extra heat source, mom keeps them warn enough but do whelp in the house. I offer water during whelping. Usually feeding 3 times a day before and after pups - good quality puppy food. My girls hate to leave pups first 3 days so often have to take them out on a leash. Never allow other dogs in room with her till pups are older.

 

I am always glad when everyone is born and has sucked. If any pup does not attach well of is more vocal than the rest may be a problem. breech births are normal for dogs

 

That is about all that comes to mind right away. Seems most births happen in the middle of the night. :) have fun

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Thank you Denice and Debbie for the thoughtful responses! It seems I am on the right track and have prepared well. It is always good to hear from people that have done this before though.

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Yes the litter is spoken for. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to whelp the litter, Maid actually belongs to a friend of mine and I am getting to keep a pup for doing the work. I will hopefully get to keep a girl!! My luck is she would have 5 boys haha.

Good Luck! I have never whelped a litter, but I was hoping for a girl from one litter - which turned out to be 5 boys. :-) I did take a boy and have been very happy with him.

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I helped with the whelping of 2 litters recently, with someone who had been doing it for 30 some years. Only thing I have to add is that we took each pup and opened the sack and dried it off, rubbing the puppy gently but firmly, before putting it on the nipple.

 

While we did that the bitch ate the sack and placenta.

Also, we had made ahead of time some puppy bedding which consisted of buying a few old flannel sheets at a thrift store, washing them thoroughly, then tearing them into squares about 2.5 feet or so on each side, and stitching about 5 of these together into a pad with the torn edges inside. These are very cheap, and very soft and very washable; make great bedding for the new mother and babies. And once the puppies start growing up and you want to switch to newspaper, they can just be discarded.

 

Don't know if that's useful or not but thought I would toss it in.

Best of luck with the event!

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I've been intrigued by recent studies indicating that the surface of the bed of the whelping box has an influence on whether pups develop hip dysplasia. Might be worth Googling. My view is "couldn't hurt, might help".

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