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
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.
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..
smaller litters can take longer between each pup. as long as momma isn't in distress, I wouldn't worry. If she is pushing real hard over a long period of time, you may have a pup cross ways. anyway, you can use another technique called "feathering" to promote labor and contractions without using the oxytocin.
I've had dogs go 24 hours from first pup to last pup (but she had 15). the quickest has been a 3 hour delivery with 8 schipperke puppies (She just spit those babies out)
Well, just after I last wrote I took her out for a walk again, when we got back she had a contraction, rested a while then gave birth but the puppy was dead (I tried to revive it for some time but no luck). I am worried now that the others (there are at least 2 more) might be dead as well. The mother is quite relaxed and not having obvious contractions or pushing.
The incident you cite with the pups being dead after the oxytocin administration were likely not dead because of the oxytocin, unless, as someone else pointed out, one was in the birth canal when the medication was given.
I hope you have all your pups by now. The greenish discharge is always reason for concern and I am not surprised that one was delivered stillborn. I hope the rest and mom, and you too OSO are doing well.
Thank you all for your concern. After a completely sleepless night I had to take some students on a field trip and had to leave my husband in charge, I have not had a chance to come back to the board until now. We did manage to get our vet here and he gave her a shot of ocytocin for the last one as nothing was happening. It was not yet in the birth canal and he confirmed there was just one left. He said if it was not born within three hours to take her in for a C section. She gave birth about an hour and a half after the injection but sadly the last puppy was dead. I felt very depressed as I had planned this litter for some time. I really do not know what was wrong as the mother seems very healthy and the last time she gave birth to 9 with only one dead. She was never havng strong unproductive contractions between the births which would have alarmed me from the beginning, she seemed quite relaxed.
The good news is that the three live puppies, two males and a female, are doing well, and at least we did not have to do a C-section to get out one dead pup.
I would post a picture as Kari suggested but I don't kow how to on this board?