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Whelping Box | Whelping Problems

Using a whelping box

Whelping Box | Whelping Problems In the vast majority of situations, the pregnant bitch will be aware of the impending onset of labour; but there are circumstances when she may be deceived, particularly if she is young. She will start to feel restless two to four days before she starts whelping, and she will look for a private spot to give birth in. If you’ve prepared an area for her to give birth in and exposed her to it in the right way, hopefully it will be her chosen whelping area. Her body temperature will drop significantly in the last twenty-four hours before she gives birth (as a result, it is always helpful to be checking her temperature several times during the day in order to receive a “heads up”) before she gives birth to her puppies.

Puppy whelping box


what normal whelping looks like!

Whelping Box | Whelping Problems: After that, she will proceed to nest at her chosen location which is likely to have a whelping box setup prior and begin the process of whelping. The bitch consists of three phases, which are as follows:

  • Whelping Stage 1

During this stage, the bitch is preparing the pups to be born by arranging them in a row. It can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours on average, but you can’t see from the outside that her uterus is starting to contract even though it’s happening. At this stage, she will typically be well entrenched in her nest / whelping box and will refuse to consume any food. As the process continues, she may experience a vaginal discharge that is watery as her cervix opens.

  • Whelping Stage 2

This is the moment when the puppies finally arrive! There are obvious and powerful contractions, and she can yell or pant as they progress. It should not go on for more than two hours, and in most circumstances it should go on for less than one. In Stage 2, the vaginal discharge might be clear, red, or green; nevertheless, all of these colors have the potential to be normal. The contractions that occur during level two are often mild and irregular at the beginning, but they should gradually grow stronger as the stage progresses.

  • Whelping Stage 3

After the puppies are born, the placenta, often known as the afterbirth, is delivered. In many instances, the bitch will consume this. Despite the fact that, according to widespread belief, it is not actually all that significant to her in terms of her nutritional intake. In a typical scenario, we anticipate that this will occur around 15 minutes after the puppy.

Whelping box with Puppy

Whelping Box | Whelping Problems: The majority of the time will first deliver a puppy, then the placenta, then another puppy, then the placenta, and so on. This pattern will continue until the bitch has finished giving birth. However, it is not unheard of for there to be two or three puppies, followed by two or three placentas, then another puppy, and so on. It is essential to ensure that you do not lose count. If you have more pups than placentas, this indicates that one of the puppies still has its placenta inside. If this puppy does not pass its placenta, it might cause a deadly infection.

Which potential complexities may there be?

The great majority of deliveries are completed without a hitch. Nevertheless, there are three frequent issues that you need to keep an eye out for since they have the potential to be lethal to the pups and/or the bitch.

  • Uterine Inertia 

This takes place when the pups have reached their full term. The cervix has opened, but the bitch does not push them out. There might be a lot of reasons for this, one of which being extremely limited litter sizes. Exhaustion or calcium levels that are slightly below normal also bring on this condition. Nevertheless, veterinarian care is always required regardless of the reason.

  • Dystocia 

Failure to give birth, most commonly caused by a puppy getting trapped during delivery. This is a potentially fatal situation, immediate medical attention from a veterinarian is required. The rescuing of the puppies and the mother may need to take place.

  • Eclampsia 

A calcium level in the blood that is dangerously low. It common for this to happen a few weeks after the birth although it can happen during labour as well. It might result in uterine inertia or dystocia. An excessive amount of calcium in the diet during pregnancy is one of the primary causes. The body of the bitch is unable to regulate calcium as well during the times of whelping. This enables it to drop to an unsafe level. This can be missed right before labour since it manifests as panting and restlessness. Nevertheless, it eventually develops to tremors, shaking, collapse, and convulsions or fits, which requires immediate veterinarian attention.

What symptoms of problems should I watch for?

  • Strains for more than an hour without resulting in the birth of any pups
  • Does not generate another puppy two hours after the last one and has not produced any since her temperature plummeted.
  • Is experiencing intense labour contractions that come and go at regular intervals
  • Appears to be worn out or dejected