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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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How long after a dog starts to produce milk, does she

Customer Question

How long after a dog starts to produce milk, does she go into labor?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gen B. replied 10 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching this important health topic!

A pregnant female dog can begin to lactate as early as 1 week before her due date. This is NOT a reliable indicator of impending labor (I have a Lhasa who recently had a litter of six and she did not begin lactating until her labor was over!).

Begin taking your dog's rectal temperature the week before her due date (58-63 days after breeding). Her temperature will drop sharply 24 hours before hard labor begins. The normal temperature for a pregnant female can be between 100-101F degrees. It will bump up and down through the days before she is due, but the day before the pups come it will drop to 98-99F degrees. Taking her temp 3x each day for the last week of the pregnancy will acquaint you with her "normal" temperature and pin-point the last 24 hours of the pregnancy.

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