Childbirth in a dog requires a responsible approach to their preparation, especially if the owner of the animal decided to take part himself and help newborns to be born. The efforts of the owner of the pet should be aimed at maintaining the health of the female and getting viable offspring. Some dog owners believe that there is no need to interfere with the natural process of giving birth. But it is worth remembering that childbirth is stress for a bitch and she needs moral support. In addition, different breeds of animals have anatomical and physiological features, fixed by selection, which can complicate childbirth.
How to prepare for childbirth
Before giving birth, you should consult with a professional - if there is any pathology, and whether the birth will pass safely. You need to take the contacts of a veterinarian, in case something goes wrong.
For 1.5 weeks before giving birth, you need to equip a "Rodzal" for the dog. It is necessary to carefully monitor the behavior of the animal so as not to miss the time of preparation for the approaching birth. It’s best to choose the “birth nest” according to the size of the dog so that it is comfortable to rest against the walls during fights.
Along the perimeter of the box on the inside, it is necessary to strengthen the bar at a height corresponding to the lying female in order to prevent injury to puppies crawling along the bottom of the box. The bottom needs to be lined with a soft natural fabric in light color so that spots are visible, and it was possible to change the soiled diaper in time. It is better to place a thick mattress under the diaper.
The outer wall of the box should be lower, but a threshold is needed to prevent puppies from leaving it. Additionally, prepare a separate box for sitting newborn puppies. At the bottom you need to put a warm heating pad, covered with a diaper.
In addition, the dog should be accustomed to the box in advance so that at the crucial moment she does not leave to give birth to a secluded place, which may be inconvenient for observing the owner's birth. Immediately before delivery, place the necessary tools and medicines in the reach zone. Tools should be like this:
- thermometer for monitoring the temperature in the dog;
- a tray with sterile instruments - sharp scissors, a medical clamp, syringes;
- sterile dressings - cotton wool, gauze napkins, bandages, surgical threads.
- medical alcohol;
- hydrogen peroxide;
- several ampoules with 5% glucose solution;
- ampoules of the drug "Traumeel" for pain relief, stop bleeding and relieve inflammation;
- 10% Synthomycin ointment.
Other medications may be needed, a list of which a veterinarian should make. The dog also needs to be prepared for childbirth:
- wash with warm water and blot the genitals and belly of the dog with a towel;
- if the hair on the stomach is long, then you should cut it in the area of the loop and “panties”;
- if the hair on the muzzle is long, it is also trimmed so as not to prevent the dog from biting the umbilical cord.
You should be guided in those signs that indicate an approaching birth, so as not to miss the moment the first puppy appears.
Signs of an approaching birth
A couple of days before the birth, the dog is nervous, rushing around, shows signs of anxiety, as increasing intra-abdominal pressure and still weak contractions cause the dog pain. From the birth canal, a sticky mucous fluid is released - a cork. The dog worries, licks the genital area. Rapid, shallow breathing and increased palpitations become noticeable.
A sign by which the owner can find out that several hours are left before delivery is a decrease in the body temperature of the animal. If you put your hand on the dog’s stomach, it will become noticeable that the puppies have stopped moving, which means that fights will begin soon. If after these signs of contractions there are no more than a day, then you should seek help at the veterinarian.
During childbirth, some dogs push up while standing, but the majority occupies a characteristic posture - lie on their side, with extended paws and back rest against the walls of the box. A few hours before birth, amniotic fluid leaves, which "disinfect" the way the newborns exit.
Amniotic fluid, which fills the external or “water” bubble, serves to waterproof the puppy. The external bubble bursts itself; in some cases, the dog gnaws it. You should not try to break through the bubble so as not to damage the inner shells. After the amniotic bubble has opened, prolactin is released into the blood, which stimulates the contraction of the walls of the uterus and abdominal muscles.
Read more about signs of childbirth in a dog .
Stages of the birth process
During the bout, the inner bubble "pushes" out. Sometimes the placenta, which is attached to the inner wall of the uterus and connects the umbilical cord with the puppy, is separated inside the birth canal and comes out with the bladder in which it is located. The most difficult moment is the exit of the shoulders and withers - the widest part of the body, beyond the pelvic ring. After the appearance of each subsequent puppy in fights, there is a pause and only at the next fight does the last come out.
Between two newborns, the muscles of the uterine wall contract, the damaged blood vessels “subside”, which prevents bleeding. At the same time, the uterine pharynx continues to remain open, and at the next fight, the placenta leaves through it. If its exit is delayed, then the subsequent puppy, being born, pushes the last out.
A puppy, as a rule, is born in a bubble, which the dog breaks itself. Then he bites the umbilical cord. This is a natural instinct; the dog should be allowed to do everything herself. The exception is breeds of dogs with a short muzzle. Their jaws are poorly developed, and it is difficult for them to independently release the puppy from the bubble surrounding it. Dogs with a disproportionately folded torso can have difficulty reaching the umbilical cord until all puppies are born, so they need help with childbirth.
Dogs who puppy for the first time may not properly bite the umbilical cord, yanking it after it has already had a bite. Do not let the female do this - this can lead to a hernia.
The owner sometimes thinks that the dog is rude to the newborn puppy - turns him over, pushes his nose, licks. This is normal behavior that stimulates all the functions of a newborn - breathing, blood circulation, and feces. A healthy puppy immediately looks for the nipple, some, still connected by the umbilical cord, fall to the rear nipples. At the same time, uterine contractions are stimulated and labor is accelerated.
The reflex action of a dog that is common to all predatory animals is eating the placenta. The question under discussion is whether the dog should be allowed to do this. In the placenta, there are many nutrients and hormones that contribute to lactation, accelerate labor. Experienced dog breeders believe that a bitch can be allowed to eat no more than three afterbirths. A greater amount will lead to colic, diarrhea. Perhaps that’s why veterinarians are against eating a female placenta. They believe that, unlike wild animals, a domestic dog has enough good nutrition and no afterbirth.
The owner must know how to give birth to a dog, for example, to follow the process of releasing newborn babies from the amniotic fluid. The dog should be helped to do this, and if she refuses, then free the puppy herself, wipe it with a warm natural rag and then only proceed to cutting the umbilical cord. An experienced dog breeder will never allow the puppy to crawl with the umbilical cord, otherwise pulling the umbilical ring may result.
Even if the child’s place followed the baby, the umbilical cord may be too short. Then cutting the umbilical cord is a must, as the dog can injure the newborn by biting the umbilical cord.
It is better to tear the umbilical cord - there is a place on it where it is easily torn, while the vessels fall and prevent bleeding so as not to weaken the puppy. To do this, the host presses the umbilical cord 2-3 cm below the loop using a surgical clamp. This will prevent the placenta from returning back into the body during the next bout. During the next bout, carefully pull the tip of the umbilical cord and pull the child's seat out.
It is necessary to intercept the umbilical cord in two places - 2-3 cm from the puppy’s tummy, “overtaking” the blood from the umbilical cord to the newborn’s body, and 5-6 cm further. Pulling to the sides, the umbilical cord is torn, and if there is no bleeding, then there is no need to bandage the umbilical cord and treat it with peroxide. If the umbilical cord is too strong and had to be cut with sterile scissors, bleeding is noted and the cord is bandaged with silk-treated silk.
If the puppy does not breathe due to the fact that blood or mucus has got into the airways, then it is urgent to release them and let the dog lick the puppy, stimulating breathing. Prolonged childbirth can weaken the dog so much that she refuses to lick the puppies, then the owner needs to do this with a heated towel.
In addition, the owner should carefully monitor the number of afterbirths. There should be as many as puppies were born. Sometimes at the birth of the last puppy from the litter, the placenta may remain inside the uterus, which will cause its inflammation and serious condition in the dog. If it was not possible to remove the last, it is necessary to urgently consult a veterinarian to administer a medicine that stimulates the expulsion of the afterbirth.
Before delivery, it is recommended to undergo a radiography to find out the exact number of puppies and subsequently control their output. Sometimes the last, weakest puppy cannot come out, and the dog is too weak during childbirth. Then there is a chance that the puppy will die and blood poisoning will begin.
It is also important to know how to feed the dog after childbirth .
Puppies can be jailed for the duration of the birth, but it is better to leave them with the dog, as this will be useful for both the bitch and the puppies. Attentive attitude to the dog and knowledge of the birth process will ensure the health of the dog and offspring.