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Gina, Breeder and Health Care Specialist
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 5880
Experience:  20+ years experience in animal health care. Hobby breeder of Olde English Mastiffs and owned by an English Bulldog.
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About how long can a dog go between delivering puppies

Resolved Question:

About how long can a dog go between delivering puppies before it is a life or death matter. It is a large littler and there are 2 left inside. We were at the vet at 3pm, she''s been panting on and off for the past 2.5 hours. What would a vet do? Pitocin or something?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.


Congrats on the new litter and more to come. I start to get concerned after about 3 hours. Your girl is likely pretty tired at this point but if she is not showing stress, I wouldn't worry too much. You can try the feathering technique, this is where with a well lubricated gloved hand, you slide in your index and middle finger into her vaginal area and kind of do the "come here" signal up towards the spine. This will stimulate contractions. Also, making the other pups nurse on her should stimulate her to contract. Walking her around on a leash is also helpful. If she does not have an other pup within the hour, I would have your vet on the phone and discuss oxytocin to help move things along. BUT if you feel uncomfortable, it is always best to go with your gut feeling if you think he needs to be called sooner. :) Let me know how you make out, I will be on for about a half hour or so longer. :)

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gina's Post: Vet Tech friend is on his way to help assess. She is getting uncomfortable as if something were happening, and she propbably needs to pee.

If you stay with me for a bit, it will be worth more to me than the deposit. I am trying to avoid the $100 min visit I am looking at.
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.
I will stay right here with you. I remember how nervous I get sometimes when it goes on longer. Go make yourself a pot of coffee my friend. (and do a head count when you get back) I did that once and ended up with 2 more pups ;) oh, and if you have some tums available, go ahead and crush 2 of them up and feed them to her ;)
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.

Just a couple of questions for you:

How many pups are you expecting?

Did they do an x-ray?

Can you tell the times the other pups were born?

Where are you located?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Great! We just went out to pee and walk around a bit. We have had 8 since 6 am. Were at the vet at 2.30 with weak contractions and 1 stuck. We lost another at home, but 6 are well. The vet confirmed 2 more to go with x ray. When we got back from vet we slept (2 hours dozing), ate a small amount, and drank more water (water has been around all day). So far, she seems good and I am pretty sure I felt movement from both. The Docs always make it so hard, even when you kind of know what to do already - making the payment hurt! They say that you should go in after 12 hours to check for retained placenta - seems to me if Mom is good, then I can keep waiting, even if we lose another inside - as long as I don't go too long? We are in Mission Viejo, CA.
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.
Oh that's really touchy...she can end up with a pretty bad infection. Definitely go ahead and give her those Tums..but lets give her 3 or 4 instead of two. Can you tell me what color discharge you are seeing? How long until your friend gets there to you? Being a vet assistant, they can likely know right were to check to see if he can feel anything in the birth canal. Do hold your girl's head while he checks her as it can be a bit uncomfortable. Once she has the last two, I definitely suggest that shot of oxytocin just to clear her out and discuss hypocalcemia with your vet too...he may suggest a tums or two every day for the first week or so. :)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gina's Post: He isn't quite that experienced, but is supportive. It has been almost 7 hours now and she still seems good. I want to wait until the last safe hour, as they will tell me nothing over the phone. No discharge, just some occassional licking.
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.
I just want to make long ago was the last pup delivered?
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.

Not sure if you were able to see my last question to you so I am posting it again:

I just want to make long ago was the last pup delivered?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
7 hours ago
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
7 hours ago.
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.

Oh dear, I was under the impression that her last pup was 2.5 hours ago..I am so glad I asked you to clarify. 7 hours is much too long to go without a pup. Her condition is comprimised now. You really need to have her see the vet right now. (who knows, she might have one on the way there) but she does need to go. She may have an other one stuck, and she could end up with a really bad infection, which would need antibiotics, and meaning that you would have to hand raise this litter. It might actually be less costly to go now than later and definitely better for your girl's health. Bundle up the pups and go go go. Please let me know how you make out, and if you need financial help, you can see if you qualify for a pet emergency loan at:

Good luck :)

Gina and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.
I noticed that you were offline and truly hope you got my last message. Its now 1am here and I really have to get to bed but didn't want to leave you hanging. Please let me know how you make out with your girl and the babies...I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers that all works out in the end and you can all get some much needed rest. And do remember to discuss the tums treatment with your vet :) Wish I could have saved you that vet visit. ;)
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
7 hours ago.
Expert:  Gina replied 8 years ago.

Good morning:

How did you make out with your girl and the pups?

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