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Problems Whelping Puppies: Problems I’ve Had Whelping Puppies

problems whelping puppies

Summary: We’ve delivered or assisted in the delivery of many litters of puppies. This is an ongoing list of problems whelping puppies that we have run into during the whelping process. (Disclaimer: We are not licensed vets. Simply dog breeders providing our expertise to our internet community.)

Problems Whelping Puppies

If you have never assisted a dog in whelping, you are in for plenty of surprises. Hopefully, you are having your dog bred responsibly. Otherwise, PLEASE have your dog spayed. It is expensive and time consuming to be in the breeding business appropriately! Okay, enough preaching. You’re here for some of my own problems that I’ve had while whelping a litter of puppies (problems whelping puppies).

Problems that I have encountered during whelping

  • Puppy’s Umbilical Cord Cut to Short: Symptoms of this includes a lot of blood that keeps coming out every time the puppy’s heart beats. Use your Hemostats on the umbilical cord. Be careful not to pinch the skin.
  • Dog Choking on a Puppy’s Placenta: I once had a mother pug choke on one of the placentas of her puppy. She ended up falling over. I had to reach in her mouth and pull it out. Had I not intervened, she surely would not have made it.
  • Long Waits of 8 Hours or More Between Puppies:Regarding the frequency of arrival for puppies, there are times that I have had to wait 8 hours between puppies but generally this is not the case.
  • First Time Mom Dog Not Interested in Puppies: I have had a first time mom not wanting to do anything with her puppies. I had to hold her down every few hours for the first week so the puppies could nurse.
  • Stuck Puppy in Birth Canal:On occasion, I’ve had a stuck puppy that was halfway out, so I would carefully only pull during contractions. When you are pulling gently, only pull moving the puppy slightly back and forth to get him/her out.

Problems Whelping Puppies: Butterfly Bandage Rescue

This list will continue to evolve as I have more time to elaborate on experiences I’ve had whelping dogs. One concluding experience though that I had was when a Mother Dog Pulled Excessively Hard on an Umbilical Cord Tearing a Hole in the Puppy. I had a puppy born which the mom pulled off the umbilical cord and her intestines started coming out through the torn hole. She had about a quarter size of intestines on the outside of her body. I quickly took it away from her mom. (If I had left it with the Mom she would have eaten the intestines in an attempt to clean her puppy) I made sure I had clean hands so bacteria would not get into the puppy.

I took the puppy into my left hand and with my right hand slowly and carefully looked through all of the intestines to make sure there was not any intestinal punctures. (If there would have been punctures there is not much I could have done.) Once I made sure there was not a puncture, I slowly pushed the intestines back into her body. As soon as I had placed it all back in, I had my husband put a butterfly bandage over the top to keep the opening closed. I then immediately started her on amoxicillin after visiting with my vet about the puppy.

That night I kept her separated from her mother on a heating pad. Throughout the night, I would place her in with her mom to let her nurse and to be cleaned. I would not let the mom lick the butterfly bandage off. By morning, I removed the bandage and she could be placed back with her litter-mates. I kept her on antibiotics for 10 days. Amazingly, she turned out just fine.

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  • I have a bitch due any day now; however, noticed the back part of her vulva had loads of sagging skin, knew it wasnt normal so took her to my vets. He had a look and said he had never seen anything like it before. She is fine in her self still eating well, pups moving all over she has started slightly digging, cant get comftable and wants to be around me all the time. Took her temp this morning and it was 98.69. Have you ever had this in a bitch before and do you know if labour is near . Thanks, Lindsey

  • Once the temp hits 98 she is due within 24 hours, usually sooner. She will probably start labor soon. Try to keep her in a dark room and the area free from stress or she will hold them in till things are calm.

    Ive never heard of a sagging vulva before, has she been bred previously? I know their vulva will get puffy and full around the time they are due to whelp, this is just to aid in delivery.

    Good luck, let us know how things progress.

  • hi my 2 year old apricot pug is due to have her pups between 26-31st oct. its her first litter (and last,i could never go through this again)i am so nervous about the birth,i have an experience friend who has just worked out she is on holiday when she is due to go in labour i am now really nervous and wondered if anyone had any comforting advice.

  • thank you so much for shareing this with us. I have been a breeder for 5 years now and thought I had send it all, when yesterday we was having a new litter. I saw something was not right and about the time I was going to cut the cord, the same thing happen to me. I did the same thing you did, and I hope that baby will be ok. I started her on amoxicill and saying my prayers. Hearing that yours made it ok, gives me some hope. Thanks

  • My German short-haired pointer is due any day now. I started taking her temp about a week ago and it was consistently in the 99.7 range. Today it was 101.1. Does the temp need to be below 99 to know she will start with 24 hours? I just want to make sure I know when to get concerned. She is swollen in the back and looks ready to go, but no nesting, or other indicators of contractions.