How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Smith Your Own Question

Dr. Smith
Dr. Smith, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1368
Experience:  Veterinarian in Small Animal Practice for 13 years
2410912
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Smith is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my very pregnant chihuahua is acting funny...her tummy is ...

Customer Question

my very pregnant chihuahua is acting funny...her tummy is hard very hard shes having a hard time walking and shes panting....overall she looks ready for labor...are there any impending labor signs you can tell me off hand so i can be sure im ready thank!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Smith replied 7 years ago.

Hi Tiarra, congratulations on the impending birth of your chihuahua's litter! Birthing can be a scary time, and for chihuahua owners it is INTEGRAL to have a relationship with an emergency veterinarian/service that can assist you 24/7 should you have to rely on them for birthing assistance or a possible C-Section for your pup!! If you haven't already, you need to start calling around and finding out which facilities will take your pup if she starts to have problems during labor!!

It is very wise of you to be an informed and knowledgeable pet owner . Learning about whelping and birthing BEFOREHAND is always better than feeling panicked and confused when your dog is in labor and you are not sure if all is well!

Dogs are pregnant for an average of 59-63 days from the time they were bred. Length depends on your pet's breed and environmental factors.

If you start taking your dog's daily morning temperature with a rectal thermometer it should stay relatively in the 100-102'8 range . In the day before or near birthing, most owners note a full degree DROP in body temperature and often report body temps of 99' or 98'.

In the last week of pregnancy, you can definitely expect that your pet's mammary glands should be getting more prominent, full, and swollen. If you gently express the nipples, you will be able get a milky white watery substance called Colostrum from the teats.

Most females show nesting signs and restlessness in the days prior to whelping. They will try to make a bed ( if you haven't already made them a nesting box!) and spend alot of time getting comfortable.

Your pet may pant alot more, go off it's food, or drink excessive amounts of water and whine as labor approaches. In your chihuahua, the large abdominal mass effect in her tummy is likely making it very difficult for her to walk and to breathe!!

It is important that your pet be allowed to birth in a QUIET, dry, draft free and warm environment. If possible, it is always a good idea to sit quietly and observe her for any signs of needed assistance. Birthing is a natural process and many pets instinctively do all the right things without us ever having to lift a finger. On the other hand, some new mom's may not know what to do, and you may have to assist her in removing the placental sacs, stimulating the pups and tying off the umbilical cords.

If you have several days before your pet is due to whelp, you may want to call your vet and see if he/she has a video on whelping that can be previewed by you and your family this week. Many practices also have detailed labor and delivery sheets that walk you through the birthing process step by step!

It is important after labor and delivery that you have both the mom and her pups checked by the veterinarian to be sure the mom does not have any retained pups or placental remnants, is making milk, and that the pups do not have any congenital defects that can be immediately identified. Many vets will give your pet a "cleanup" injection of drug called Oxytocin that will help the uterus contract and expel any remaining uterine contents and encourage the letdown of milk in the first few days after birthing.

Due to their domed heads, chihuahuas are one of my NUMBER ONE elective C Section patients....and a breed I see alot of on emergency!Surprised If your pet gets through labor and delivery ok, the next big hurdle will be mammary gland milk letdown and adequate production without side effects on the mom. In general, I tell my clients to start feeding their toy and small breeds a TUMS flavored calcium tablet 2-3 x daily the week before birthing and all the way through lactation/nursing. Chihuahuas are very prone to a condition called Milk Tetany or Hypocalcemia, and many times it can be prevented without need for hospitalization or treatment!

Please remember to "ACCEPT" if I have answered your question to your satisfaction.
Leaving POSITIVE FEEDBACK helps with RATINGS and EARNINGS!
I appreciate your trust and confidence in my professional experience and knowledge!

Best wishes to your and your pet, Dr. Smith

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Last | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2534
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    4544
    Vet Tech for over 30+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst

    Satisfied Customers:

    13847
    Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ER/ERPetNurse/2011-11-7_1293_b.64x64.jpg Candy's Avatar

    Candy

    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    7108
    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    4704
    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    4430
    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/VetAnswers/2013-4-5_8257_prof10.64x64.jpg Scott Nimmo's Avatar

    Scott Nimmo

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3977
    BVMS, MRCVS.