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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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my dog had a water bag protruding out and it broke at about

Customer Question

my dog had a water bag protruding out and it broke at about 1130pm tonight....it is now 230 and no puppy and no puppy in the birth canal...the bitch is not straining..how long should i wait to be concerned?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Pete replied 4 years ago.

Hi

This is too long. Once the “water breaks” the pup will start to lose its support through the placenta. The birthing of individual pups is normally quite a rapid process. So from the appearance of either the fluid sac or pup itself the pup should be fully born within minutes The interval between pups is not so important. From what you describe your dog could be suffering from uterine inertia where the uterus is not contracting as it should once the pup presents in the birth canal. This pup will now be blocking the birth of any other pups that she may have. The vitality of the pups and the health of the mother are at risk.

I strongly advise you to take her to a vet straight away. If it’s currently after hours that might mean an emergency clinic. The vet may be able to administer drugs to restart the birthing process.

I’ll summarise the whole birthing process as it should occur in dogs, including what needs to be watched for:

It is important to understand that there is a separate labour for each pup. Between each pup's birth there will be a "rest period". This can be as short as just a minute or two or as long as an hour or so. So the time to have all the pups can vary considerably and is not so important as the time for each individual pup's birth.
When labour is imminent the mother will lie on her side, perhaps glancing to her rear end and shifting herself as though trying to get comfortable. Often there will be some panting. Then labour commences with abdominal contractions. Once these contractions commence a pup should appear within a few minutes. If she is straining for more than a half an hour or you see a part of the pup or membranes appear at the vulva but not exiting quickly you should contact a vet. Similarly if there is any discharge (green or fluid) and no pup appears soon you should contact a vet. The pup may be born packaged within the membranes or sometimes not. The mother will usually clean off the membranes and eat them. She will chew the umbilical cord and eat the placenta. If she seems not to be managing this process you can assist by breaking the membranes open and breaking the cord (just use your fingers). Allow the pup to find her teat, assist it if you need too. Don’t take the pups away from the mother, she may get quite upset.
So after the first pup, as I said, there will be a rest period. Then labour will commence for the next pup and so the process continues until all pups have been born. Between each pup the mother may not seem fully relaxed. After the last pup she will settle down and seem much less anxious....that is how you will know she is finished. If you suspect there is more pups to come and nothing has happened within 2 hours then you should contact a vet.
Good luck, regards, Peter.

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Dr Pete
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Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)