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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17650
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my pregnant dogs temp has dropped from it usuall 38.5 to 37.5

Customer Question

my pregnant dogs temp has dropped from it usuall 38.5 to 37.5 would this be the drop before labour she isnt eating much and just sleeping pups are very active , she is notshowing any sighns of nesting or of any discharge
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I've been with Just Answer since 2006. Over 13,000 of my answers have been accepted by customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you.

There are three stages to labor. During the first stage the cervix dilates and contractions begin. Your female will be uncomfortable, restless, pace and pant. This lasts 6-18 hours. During the second part of labor, your female's contractions begin in earnest. Her water breaks and puppies are delivered usually after 10-30 minutes of pushing. All puppies are born during this stage.


The third stage of labor is after all pups have been delivered and is when a dog still has small contractions to expel fluids and/or placentas from the uterus. You can read more about this here:


A dog’s gestational period (pregnancy) is approximately 63 days from breeding. Having pups before day 59 usually results in most pups not surviving. One way of knowing when your dog with have her puppies is to take her temperature twice daily at the same time each day as her due date gets close. Keep a record of this. A dog’s normal temperature is between 101-102.5F degrees. Her temperature may rise and fall during this time, but once her temperature falls below 99 degrees, she should go into labor in the next 24 hours. By my calculations, she needs to drop below 37.2C before it would signal labor to start in 24 hours. The temperature drop is due to a reduction in serum progesterone levels and signals that the dog will start labor within 24 hours. You can read about this at:


You may also notice her breasts swelling during this last week of pregnancy and some milk leakage. Dogs will usually become restless and increase their digging and nesting behavior during the last week. You will notice an increase in her panting as well as a mucous discharge. You may also notice some abdominal contractions or rippling as her time grows closer. Do not be surprised if your dog is very restless and vomits as few times during this last week. Once your dog's temperature has dropped, please do not leave her alone in case of complications. As she enters actual labor you should be able to see her contractions and most dogs will begin looking at their hindquarters. An increase of licking of the genitals is normal before and during labor. Be sure and have an emergency Vet’s phone number readily available just in case of an emergency during the birthing of the puppies. Here is an excellent site about whelping.


Some other signs that my dogs always seem to exhibit are lack of appetite, frequent urination and frequent small, runny bowel movements in the day before labor starts. Frequently my dogs will start looking at their rears when the first real contractions start.


If you have more questions or need clarification, just respond. I hope you find this information helpful.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hi thanku for ur answer i am measuring in celcius as cant work out the farenhight so from normal temp being 38.5 what would be enough of a drop ? as for eating she really isnt eating much how long shall i let this continue before i start to worry ? i know u cant tell me 100 percent when she will go into labour its just i had planned to sedn children to stay with a friend when she whelps just so she has a quiter enviroment and so im free to get her to the vets immediatly if needed during whelping
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Ja Customer,

As I mentioned, when her temperature drops below 37.2C, then she should whelp within 24 hours. In Celsius my dogs typically drop to 36.8, but all it needs to do is drop below 37.2C. Now you do need to be sure you are using a good thermometer. Larger dogs tend to have less issues during whelping, but it is good you are planning on having the children taken care of in case you need to get her to a vet.

Since her temperature is still high and she isn't scratching the bedding, showing signs of nesting or discharge, then it doesn't sound like she has started labor. Most dogs will stop eating and start having frequent small bowel movements, possibly eating grass and vomiting some bile the day before they deliver as well.

Now most vets will want to see your dog if she reaches 70 days from her first mating without whelping. I'm going to include sites on problem deliveries so you know what should trigger a vet visit.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17650
Experience: Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
Jane Lefler and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
hi nikitas temp has been down for 4 days at about 37.4 today its gone back 37.9 up she is restless but yet today has wanted to eat and eat for the first time in 10 days .. she is seeking alot of attention and licking everyone , she spent this morning sleeping and pups have beenvery very active but this afternoon has been restless she came to me for a fuss and i touched her stomach and she yelped , she really wants to sit outside in the yard i can see the yard and it is well lit,should i let her sit out side ? she is panting slightly so i have turned heating off , she keeps liking her rear end ,is she in labour or is she simply hot and botherd and seeking attention so i let her out ??
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry that I wasn't online until now. Is she still exhibiting the same symptoms? How many days since she mated?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
My 64 day dog is in definite labour has been since four this afternoon she is really digging and panting in her whelping box sleeping for ten minutes and then doing it again her eyes are blood shot and she feel really warm she is only young and this her first litter have a vet on stand by but how long shall I wait before taking her in how long can this stage last ??? Also her heart is pounding and she won't go outside for the toilet but has wee in the house something she never does x please answer ASAP
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.

This stage can last for hours. However, if she is actively pushing for over an hour, or has a black or greenish discharge for over an hour without a pup being born, then she should be seen. The digging and panting can go on for up to a whole day. It doesn't sound like she has that long to go though since she can't sleep. Here is the site on difficult deliveries that spells out what signs should signal a difficult delivery and a visit to the vet.

I have to go pick up my son from school, but I'll be back in about 45 minutes, so if you have other questions, just respond. I'll also stay on late tonight in case you need me.

I hope you find this information helpful.

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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Dog Behaviorist/Trainer/Breeder/Health
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Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist