I have bred several litters but each delivery seems to be different and I am never sure when it is time to worry! I have a female giving birth now, she had her first pup at 6.30pm and the second one two hours later. It is now nearly three hours since the second puppy was born and I know there are at least 3 more. The female is panting but otherwise not showing any signs of distress and no hard contractions, a couple of times she has got up, looked a little restless, licking her vulva, but then lay down again. I have taken her for a quick walk outside in the hopes of speeding things up but nothing so far. I do have oxytocin but am reluctant to use it if everything is OK. Is this normal?
I forgot to say that it is not her first litter. The last time she had 9 puppies, the first 4 popped out very quickly, the rest took longer, altogether it took between 1000h and 2000h, we gave oxytocin before the penultimate one which was born dead, the last one lived.
I just whelped a litter last Friday. This was her first litter at almost 3 years old. #1 was born at 10 am, almost 3 hours later #2, an hour between the next 6 and 4 hours between #8 and #9 the last one. I called the vet mid day and he said some females that are super calm and relaxed just take their time and not to worry, if she passed something other than normal birthing fluids and placentas and pups, call immediately. But all was fine. I thought #8 was it, cause she was acting normal, wanted to go outside and out plopped #9 in the snow, she flipped around and was just as shocked as me! We lost one pup yesterday, he was the first born and the smallest, he didnt' seem to want to keep up, even with me supplementing.
I had litters last year that had 5 pups and 8 pups and they were done delivering in less than 4 hours the whole litter. and my litter on Friday was oer 12 hours. So I guess it depends on the female.
I also heard giving them raspberry tea helps them relax and speed up delivery and I would have swore by it until this litter.
Good luck and I hope you will share pics too
Kari in Montana
The time is normal, so far. I would be very careful about using the Oxytocin too quickly because if used at the wrong time, you may well loose all the rest of the pups.
Thanks Kari, that is reassuring. Still nothing, lets hope everything is Ok and she is just taking her time! The two pups are suckling and she is licking and caring for them normally. She still looks quite relaxed though she is panting. No discharge from the vulva that I can see, though occasionally she licks herself.
Thanks Hodie, I saw your reply after my last post. No I really don't like using oxytocin if at all possible. Once, years ago, I had a female who gave birth to two puppies before midnight, then nothing until morning. I could not get a vet until about 9.00am the next day, the first thing he did was give her oxytocin and quite quickly another two pups were born. Two more were born late that afternoon, one of them dead. All of the pups born after the oxytocin injection died in the first few days. I suppose I cannot be sure if it was the injection, but I do know that that female had a huge amount of bleeding after the birth and it lasted for a very long time. So although I always have some on hand I have only used it that time and then on this female when she had nine pups, the vet actually thought there was only one left and that the risk was not too great. This time I think she has 5 pups, though the X ray was not that clear, so I was hoping for a quicker delivery...better go and check her now.
The important part of using the oxytocin is to make sure, doubly sure there is not a pup in the birth cannal (also important if she has stalled. Use sterile gloves to do the exam and a lubricant. My vet also recommends "feathering" the vagina to try and re-start labor. Basically involves "tickling" the top of the vagina.
Thanks, I have tried feathering but not sure if I am doing it correctly. Its 4 hours now and I am getting rather concerned...
Ok I just tried feathering again and now there is a greenish greyish secretion, it is not a thick black discharge and I think I have seen this sort of discharge in normal births, but is this OK? I cannot feel anything in the birth canal. Still no signs of contractions..
I would call the vet again. Mine instructs me to call anytime there is a green discharge prior to a puppy being born. Were all of the placenta deleivered so far???
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