Dog Pregnancy and signs of labor in dogs|updated 2020

There are many cases where a Bulldog and the litter have died from, during, or after delivery, or during pregnancy from some sort of complication. We hear those stories way too often. Please be cautious and understand fully what risk may be involved. You must be aware of your dates as there have been several cases where puppies were taken to early and the litter dies since the lungs are the last thing to mature.

Veterinarian Emergency Care

Know your veterinarian’s emergency procedures before the delivery. If your vet refers emergencies to an emergency clinic, make sure you know where it is and how to call if you need help. If your veterinary hospital staff covers its own emergencies it is still important to know the procedure for contacting someone before the need arises. Write the phone numbers down where you can easily find them.
Providing a safe environment for the puppies is important. More puppies die from hypothermia than anything else. Making arrangements to ensure the puppies will stay warm is important. The puppy heating pads are nice and sometimes other arrangements can be made to safely supply a warm spot for the puppies without making it too hot for the mother. Breeders are a good source of information in most cases and it would be a good idea to continue to try to talk to yours. They often have practical information that vets don’t have experience with.

emergency pet care

False Pregnancy

False pregnancy symptoms are normal in dogs that have an estrus and do not get bred, due to the way in which they cycle. It is not usually necessary to treat for symptoms of false pregnancy but they can be so close to those of a real pregnancy that the two can be very confusing. It is usually possible to feel distinct lumps in the uterus representing individual embryos from about the 28th day of pregnancy to about the 35th day of pregnancy. Before and after that it can be hard to identify a pregnant uterus easily.

After 45 days or so when the skeletons begin to calcify it is often possible to feel the distinct hardness of a puppy skull when palpating the abdomen or to identify the puppies on an X-ray, if you wish to take her to the vet’s office prior to the home visit, or if your vet has a portable X-ray machine. By now, if your dog is NOT pregnant, your vet will probably be able to tell you that, since she should be pretty far into the pregnancy and at least uterine enlargement should be palpable.

Bleeding from the Vulva

In the first part of heat you will notice bleeding from the vulva, swelling of the vulva, possible increase in urination and the most noticeable, male dogs hanging around the house. During this period (proestrus), females will not allow the males to breed with them although the males will be very persistent. The second part of estrus is the time in which the female will allow the male to breed her and this can last anywhere from 4-10 days. A female, most of the time, will allow most any male to breed during this time. As the female starts to go out of heat or enter the diestrus, she will be less willing to breed. Again this stage can last 4-11 days but averages approximately 7 days. The next cycle usually begins about 7 months from the start of the last heat cycle, not the end of that cycle but again this varies from dog to dog. The interval stays the same even if she becomes pregnant.