Care and management of pregnant
For first five weeks of pregnancy
no special effort is needed except
for taking extra care of your bitch
in subtle ways like guarding her against
picking up infection and avoid putting
her for the special performances like
dog shows, on the beam or jumping.
Your veterinarian can confirm pregnancy
on 21st to 28th day by palpation and
45th to 50th day by ultrasonography.
Bitch will start revealing pregnancy
symptoms from fifth week onwards.
From fifth week, she should be given
one third more of her normal food,
which should consist more of protein
and green vegetables rather than carbohydrates.
An additional supplementation of calcium
(100 - 200 mg) and multivitamin may
be given if vegetables can not be
provided in sufficient quantity.
From seventh week onwards, abdomen
is markedly enlarged. Since puppies
occupy most of the abdominal space,
animal looses appetite. Meals should
hence be divided in three to four
Exercise and food should be given
as much as bitch wishes.
Avoid stressful condition from seventh
Some times even though bitch does
not conceive after mating, the hormonal
changes occur like in pregnant animal
and animal exhibits signs of pregnancy.
The absence of pregnancy can possibly
be detected on seventh week onwards
due to lack of enlargement of abdomen
and from 50th day through X - ray
or ultrasound. It is advisable to
wait till 64th day since mistakes
may occur. If animal does not whelp
till 64th day then consult your vet
for appropriate treatment.
Sometimes bitches that have given
every indication of being pregnant
suddenly cease to look that way. This
may occur because bitches can reabsorb
their puppies before formation of
bones. This may be due to injury to
bitch, stressful condition, or any
kind of infection.
Preparations for whelping:
A secluded, easy to clean, well -
ventilated cozy room with adequate
source of light. Arrangements should
be made to maintain the optimum temperature
of 23 - 26o C.
Soft but disposable bedding. An old
carpet cushioned with news papers
should serve the purpose.
Clock to record time intervals between
Sufficient amount of food to be kept
in the room during whelping.
Adequate amount of fresh water
Iodine solution to paint newborn's
Old/disposable but clean turkish towel.
Sterilized stainless steel scissors.
Soft paper roll
Pen and book for record keeping.
Bitch should be examined one week
before the due date. If any abnormality
is observed in mammary gland then
prepare for milk replacer.
Bitches with normal hereditary record
whelp normally and mostly on its own.
As the time for whelping approaches,
vulva enlarges and softens, white
discharge becomes profuse and the
food intake reduces drastically. Around
eight hours before whelping, bitch
may start shivering and panting. The
cervix dilates and mucous gradually
emerges from vulva. As the time approaches
bitch starts manifesting labor pains
by tearing with mouth and paws. (provide
a newspaper for this). A water bag
(a fine skin bag, filled with liquid
and puppy) appears at the vulva at
this stage - if green stained discharge
appears before this water bag then
it is a serious matter of concern
and a veterinarian should be consulted
immediately. As soon as the water
bag comes out, bitch breaks this and
the fluid gushes out exposing the
puppy in the New World. Bitch licks
this puppy to clean it as well as
to stimulate it to take the air. See
that the nostrils get cleared at the
earliest and the puppy starts breathing
at the earliest. If the dams fail
to do this, then you have to use your
turkish towel to finish the process
and welcome the puppy to this new
Normally next puppy should follow
the previous one within 1 hour. Prolonged
time in whelping accompanied by constant
pain and struggle of bitch reveals
a serious condition and a veterinarian
should be consulted immediately.
After the whelping
Once whelping is over, clean the
bitch, clean the room and change the
Offer good meal and plenty of water.
Don't force her to eat or drink.
Bitches have blackish or red discharge
from vulva for first 36 hours, which
then converts into bright red. This
may continue for first few weeks.
Discharge should be clean and odorless.
Black, tarry, offensive discharge
needs quick veterinary attention.
Observe puppies regularly for any
kind of deformity. Handle them gently.
Check each day to see that navels
are dry and healthy. While holding,
puppy should feel full and solid and
should not feel chilly / hot to touch.
Observe puppies while feeding. A weakling
may not be able to overpower others
and get its share of diet. Assist
him to do that and see that he is
Observe teats of bitch for normal
milk flow. Puppies crying continuously
indicates insufficient milk flow.
Keep an eye on bitch for Eclampsia
Eclampsia:Occurs due to calcium defeciency:
Leaving puppies and hiding under
Biting nonliving things like plaster
Cessation of movement - complete
Can be prevented by continuing calcium
dosages 1 month after whelping.
A veterinarian should be consulted
immediately, since if left unattended,
the condition may become fatal.
Mastitis:Inflammation of udder due
to physical injury or infection.
Condition may be fatal for puppies
due to consumption of infected milk.
Puppies should be stopped feeding
on dam. Feed puppies with milk replacer.
To avoid mastitis, trim puppy's sharp
nails and maintain proper hygiene