How do you know if all puppies are delivered? A Step-by-Step Guide

Warning signs for dog labour problems

Luckily, most dog labours are not as dramatic as ours. Your dog should be more than capable of handling giving birth by herself, but complications can occasionally occur. Contact your vet if:

  • Mum fails to go into labour within 24 hours of her temperature dropping. The lowered dog labour temperature is usually a sign that the puppies are on their way, so if they don’t come, something might be wrong.
  • Despite strong contractions for 20-30 minutes, your bitch has failed to produce a puppy. Contact your vet, and be prepared to take any puppies already born with you if you go to the surgery.
  • No puppy is born within four hours of your bitch passing a green or red/brown vaginal discharge (after two hours, be prepared to call the vet).
  • More than two hours pass with your bitch resting or having only weak contractions between pups, and you know there are more inside.
  • You can see a puppy at the vulval entrance but although your bitch is straining, it fails to deliver.
  • Your dog has been in second stage labour for more than 12 hours (second stage is when puppies are being born).
  • You Saw the Puppies’ Skeletons on an X-ray

    This might not seem like an obvious sign, but unlike humans, pups are more than one-third of the way through their gestation before you can confirm a pregnancy. Typically, dogs are considered full term at 63 days, and an ultrasound can detect the pregnancy at 25 days, according to Kelly Dunham, DVM, the Indevets area medical director for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

    However, she explains not all veterinary hospitals may be equipped to perform ultrasounds, and a referral may be needed. “By day 45 of pregnancy, the puppies skeletons can be seen on radiographs,” she continues. “This is typically a more affordable, accessible, and reliable method to determine the puppy count.”

    If you could see the puppies on an ultrasound, you can estimate your girl is at least 45 days along and could go into labor within the next two to three weeks (and theres nothing cooler than seeing little puppy skeletons on an X-ray!).

    Like people, some dogs may go into labor a little early or late. However, since 58 days is the full-term marker, Dunham recommends that you monitor your dogs actions once they reach this milestone.

    If it has been more than 70 days from breeding and labor has not started, this can be an indication that something is wrong, and you should seek immediate veterinary care, she says.

    A Laundry Basket Lined with a Heating Pad and a Blanket

    This is for the new puppies immediately after they are born. You’ll want to get them out of the mom’s way as quickly as you can — but be sure to leave the basket where the mother can see it and the pups.

    Monitor the temperature by listening. If the pups get too hot, they’ll cry, and if they get too cold, they’ll whimper.

    How do I know when my dog is done whelping, How do I know if there are any puppies left to be born.

    Whelping, which is what the canine birth process is called, is something that should only be handled by people with prior experience, but if you ever do find yourself having to oversee the delivery of a litter of pups, here’s what you need to know to assist.

    Whelping can be a stressful process for both the humans and animals involved, although dogs are usually perfectly capable of getting themselves through these things alone. Still, it’s a good idea to understand the process in case you ever do wind up overseeing canine birth.

    With that in mind, here are some things that every expecting Pack Leader should know about puppy births.