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  • Moving more slowly
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  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Posts Tagged ‘Pregnant Dogs’

Dog Medications During Pregnancy

Monday, October 12th, 2015


Giving your dog medications during pregnancy may not be a good idea for her unborn puppies. A few medications are considered safe during pregnancy, but any drug not recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian should be avoided as it could result in birth defects to the puppies or harm to the mother.

Your vet may also recommend vaccinations during your dog’s pregnancy to protect the unborn puppies from diseases like canine distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. A pregnant dog exposed to any of these diseases who hasn’t been vaccinated, is risking her life and the lives of her puppies.

The most common drugs considered safe for a female dog during pregnancy are Thryoxine which is used to treat hypothyroidism; Revolution which is a flea, tick and worm preventative; Psyllium; and insulin. Antibiotics and pain medications are sometimes given to a pregnant dog during a difficult delivery but giving a dog antibiotics during pregnancy can be unsafe.

Some antibiotics can be administered during pregnancy but carry the possibility of putting the puppies at risk by causing deformation or death of the puppies. However, allowing your pregnant dog to suffer from bacterial infection without any treatment may be just as dangerous to both puppies and the mother.

Newborn puppies are immunologically suppressed and should not be exposed to bacterial infections. Treating your pregnant dog with safe antibiotics before she delivers removes any risk that the puppies will contract a bacterial infection from her.

A dog’s pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days and for the duration of that time your dog’s diet has to be carefully monitored and so does any medication given her. Monitoring your dog’s diet and medication during pregnancy will ensure that the puppies get the nutrients they need. Being careful that your dog receives only the correct medications during pregnancy is just as important as her diet.

A high-quality, dog food is essential for the health of both the mother and her puppies. Vitamin and calcium supplements aren’t absolutely needed and should not be given without first consulting your vet.

Proper care of the mother during her pregnancy will increase the chances of her giving birth to a litter of healthy puppies.

What To Expect When Your Dog Is Ready To Start Whelping

Monday, March 30th, 2015


There are some signs you can watch for that indicate your dog is finally ready to start whelping and present you with her gift of beautiful little puppies.

When your female dog is ready to whelp (give birth) she will show some of the whelping signs listed below – and may even show all of them. If you are not experienced in watching over and helping your dog give birth you should call your vet. Too long a delay getting help from a vet when needed could endanger your dog and its puppies to be born.

The first stage of whelping can easily be overlooked. It takes place within 24 hours following the female’s temperature drop. The dog’s temperature will drop to 98° Fahrenheit (your dog’s normal temperature is 99 Fahrenheit, 100F, or 101° Fahrenheit). As soon as the dog’s temperature starts to drop below 99 Fahrenheit and continues to drop every hour or two, there will be a period of about 12 to 24 hours before the puppies start being born. When her temperature hits 98 Fahrenheit or 97.9 Fahrenheit you have about 2 to 12 hours before whelping begins.

It’s important to know that normal body temperature for animals is usually higher than a human’s temperature. The normal rectal temperature of a dog will be between 99.5 Fahrenheit and 102.5 Fahrenheit. The normal temperature of a puppy when it’s born is 96 – 97°F. A dogs temperature gradually increases as it begins to grow until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit when it’s four weeks old.

The mother dog may appear to be more restless than usual and will stretch out on her side frequently, trying to get comfortable. She may look for a quiet place like a closet or under a bed.

Her eyes will dilate, and she may seem to be staring at you and probably won’t want you out of her sight. She may vomit, have a bowel movement, or urinate frequently due to the intense pressure from the puppies getting ready to be born.She may also release some mucus.

As the mother dog begins her next stage of labor she may go to her whelping box, or your couch (or wherever she has chosen to have her puppies). She might have some mild contractions and vomit, poop, and urinate more. She also might start shivering and panting and licking her vulva.

The last stage of labor begins when her water sacs break and she starts shivering and panting. At that point her contractions will become stronger and will come closer together than they did before. She will probably be vomiting, grunting and pushing her puppies out. The normal time for her to be pushing out a puppy that’s in the birth canal will be from two to ten minutes. Keep careful watch for any puppy that is only halfway out and seems to be stuck. It must be pulled out or it will drown if pushing by the mother doesn’t expel the puppy within a few minutes.

Puppies getting stuck in the birth canal are very common. The best way to get a puppy completely out of the mother’s birth canal is to use a feeding tube and a syringe. Insert the syringe past the puppy and push in some K-Y lubricating gel. One common misconception people have if they have never watched or helped a female dog give birth is that doing this will kill the puppy. Remember – you cannot kill a puppy that is dead, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you are aggressive when trying to save a stuck puppy. If you do not try to help, it will certainly die.

You need to be observant during the waiting period so you can notice if there is a green discharge coming from the mother’s birth canal. When this happens before the puppies are born, it indicates an early separation of the placentas. You will need to call your vet immediately.Sometimes two puppies will try and come out at the same time but this is physically impossible. It could be a medical emergency or as happens sometimes, the puppies will manage to just fix themselves.

Watching and helping your female dog when she needs your assistance during her whelping ordeal is a beautiful experience and women who have given birth know that using the word “ordeal” can be a very accurate description of the birthing process.

Caring For a Pregnant Dog

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Caring for a pregnant dog means you’ll need to start paying very close attention to her diet and activities and you’ll have only about two months to get her in the best condition possible in order to support a litter of puppies.

You won’t need to increase the quantity of food you feed her until the last few weeks before she gives birth. A lot of vets recommend that you switch a pregnant dog’s food to a puppy formula to help boost the nutrients she will need to provide for her growing puppies. You can also feed her a quality dog food that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and grains. This will provide her needs as well as a puppy formula can.

It’s important that you don’t give her a calcium supplement for dogs. Humans are different, and pregnant women need to add folic acid and calcium to their vitamin supplements, but calcium supplements have a detrimental effect on dogs. A pregnant dog releases calcium naturally, so if you give her a calcium supplement you will affect the hormone that naturally releases calcium. This can cause a dangerous imbalance in her system after the puppies are born and begin nursing.

Around the third week of pregnancy she will begin to experience morning sickness and may not eat as much food during the week. Her appetite will usually return about a week later but if it lasts more than a couple weeks, contact your veterinarian.

You can take your dog for daily walks but be sure you don’t tire her out. When she’s about three weeks from delivering her puppies you should stop all exercise. Isolate her from other dogs at this time, including any other dogs in your home, and keep her isolated until the puppies are at least 3 weeks old.

Early in her pregnancy, and throughout it, you will need to check to be sure she does not contract parasites. Parasites can easily be passed from the mother to her puppies, and puppies are unable to handle the loss of blood caused by parasites. Anemia becomes a real danger for the puppies if they become infected with parasites.

Caring for a pregnant dog doesn’t require a great effort on your part. When she’s ready to deliver her puppies she usually can do it without your help. When her temperature drops below 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit you’ll know it’s close to delivery time. When she begins to have contractions she may seem restless and pace around the area you’ve set up for her to deliver. Even though a female dog is fully capable of delivering the pups on her own, you should monitor her throughout her delivery.

Once the puppies are born be sure to keep her whelping area clean at all times and free of puppy poop. She may not be very hungry for a few days and this is normal. Just be sure she has clean water at all times and some food if she gets hungry.

In a few weeks it’s time to enjoy those beautiful little creatures she’s given you!

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