You should be prepared with all your equipment ahead of time. Not trying
to rush around at the last minute “looking” for things. Here is a general list of things that you will need in
your whelping kit.
1- hemostat or small clamp.
2-scissors for cutting sacs or umbilical cords
4-wet wipes to keep you clean
5- alcohol or hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting
6-a rectal thermometer
7-petroleum or KY jelly
8-a record book or note pad
9- a scale
10-dental floss for tying the cords off
11- lots and lots of towels
12- watch or clock to record birthing times and time between puppies.
13-a nasal aspirator for cleaning out the nose and mouth of the puppy.
14-a baby bottle and esbilac for emergency feeding of puppies if mom doesn’t
have her milk or is too busy birthing to feed the puppies.
15-YOUR VETS NUMBER in case of an emergency. We even recommend calling
and telling your vet that you are whelping so that they are aware incase you need to call in an emergency.
16- unflavored pedialite for the mother to drink as a pick me up or to
17- Nutristat or something like it like Karo syrup (a high caloric vitamin
supplement) to give to a sluggish newborn.
18- Beef broth, Chicken soup, Or plain yogurt for another pick me up for
the mother, especially if the labor is long and intense.
Be prepared to wait. It is an exciting time but this process takes a lot
of time. Also be prepared to sit up waiting and watching or birthing late at night or in the wee hours of the morning. The
general rule of thumb here is that the female will choose to birth at the most inconvenient time for you!
We take the temp of our females up to one week before the birth and keep
a record of this. This is your base line. The normal temp of a dog is around 100 - 101 degrees. When your females temp drops
to 99 - 98 degrees birth is close usually 12-24 hours away.
The birthing process takes quite a while. The first stages of labor are
long and slow. During this time the female is moving the puppies into position. Once active labor starts then things will
really start to move (excuse the pun). You will notice the female starting to push hard. You may also notice that the tail
pumps up and down. This is normal. All females differ in the birthing process. Some are quiet and reserved and go through
it like a champ. Others are hyper and noisy and will scream when those puppies come out. How ever your female is this is normal.
However if you go through more than 2 hours of heavy pushing with no puppies coming out and your female keeps getting more
and more agitated or if labor just seems to stop, then immediately call your vet. Also if you see that there is more than
2-3 hours between puppies and your female is straining this is cause for concern and call your vet. A puppy could be lodged
wrong in the female.
On most smaller breed dogs it is very typical to have breech or hind quarters
first puppies. Just make sure to watch your female and help her ease the puppy out if there is a little difficulty pulling
it out. If you are going to pull try not to break the sack. If you have to break the sack We recommend pulling by the tail
other than the hips or legs. This causes less damage to the puppy. If you absolutely can not get the puppy out call your vet
and soon! That puppy may have been in the canal too long and is dead by there might be other puppies still inside the mother
that are alive and need the puppy removed from the canal to get out.
We are very hands on people when it comes to the birthing process and
we are always there to help our mothers and assist in the process. How you birth is up to you. But you should always be present
when you female is in labor just incase something happens that they do need assistance.
We birth each individual puppy and help the mother. If you are going to
help the puppies out of the mother please do so gently and only when the mother is having a contraction and pushing otherwise
you may hurt the mother and puppy. Once the puppy is out be sure to take the sack off the puppy ASAP! Sometimes there is more
than one sack. You must get them off so that the puppy can breath. Remember they are slippery and gooey and you may have to
use the scissors to cut the sack just watch out and don’t cut the puppy. Once the sack is off use the nasal aspirator
and suck the fluid out of the puppies nose and mouth. Quickly tie off the umbilical cord and cut the cord. Be sure not to
cut it too short or it will cause the puppy to bleed to death. If you do cut it too short once again tie the cord above where
you cut it this should stop the bleeding. Now you want to make sure that the puppy gets some good screams out. This will help
to clear the lungs of the amniotic fluid. If the puppy is sluggish to cry or move then we recommend “shaking the puppy
down”. To do this wrap the puppy in a towel and with the belly toward the floor. Be sure to support the puppies head
so it doesn’t flop around. Then swing the puppy down and then back up. This also helps to get the fluid out of the lungs.
You can also rub the puppy vigorously with the towel to get them to cry. Once the puppy is crying and moving give the puppy
back to mommy and get them sucking on a nipple. This will also help to stimulate more contractions. More often than not while
you are working on the puppy mommy is trying to eat the sack off the puppy. I let my females have the sacks as long as they
are not choking or gagging on them. This will give the mother some nutrients back. Please don’t let the mother tug on
the umbilical cord. This can cause a hernia on the puppy. The cord will dry up in a day or two and the rest will fall off.
If the mother happens to tug on the cord and causes a hernia, then rub this area gently a couple of times every day. Eventually
the hernia will rectify itself.
Proceed with the rest of the births the same until mommy is done. If mommy
goes 3-4 hours with no pushing and seems to calm down then the birthing is probably over. However, we have had female that
we thought were all done and we cleaned up and put away only to find an “extra little surprise” a few hours latter.
So keep a good eye on your female.
If anything unusual happens that you are unprepared for or don’t
know how to handle please call your vet. We also recommend talking to someone very experienced with the whelping process before
the event occurs so you have some idea what to do or expect.