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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19089
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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We have a golden retriever. We have had 3 litters over the

Customer Question

We have a golden retriever. We have had 3 litters over the past 5 years but this is this particular females first time. She is only at 64 days so I'm not extremely worried but she is the first one to do this much trembling and wants to be in either mine or my husbands lap. She doesn't like the whelping box at all refuses to stay in it even though we will stay in it with her. No discharge at all yet. Just lots of trembles whining and has to be held.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is the matter with the dog?
Customer: We have a vet in standby. But I don't want to bother her on Sunday if this just happens to be this females process.
JA: Where does the dog seem to hurt?
Customer: She just seems like she's in the first stage of labor
JA: Can you see anything that looks wrong or different?
Customer: No everything looks normal. Just the trembling is different and the fact that she is 70 pounds and wants in someone's lap rather that in a whelping area with us being close
JA: Is the dog eating normally?
Customer: She ate well yesterday. She didn't eat today which is normal on whelping day for most
JA: OK, abnormal eating. The veterinarian will know if the dog will be able to digest that. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about the dog?
Customer: No. she's had regular bowel movements today everything seems going as planned otherwise
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. I've been breeding for over 20 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Some dogs, especially first time young mothers, seem to have a hard time with the beginning stages of labor. I usually will put a pen around the whelping box and as you are doing, sit in the whelping box with the female. I usually will start massaging her and stroking the abdomen. This often helps a dog calm down.

You will need to be prepared for her to not take the whelping well. Often dogs displaying these symptoms during early labor may end up nipping a pup as they are being born. In some case, they may not stop when biting the umbilical cord. The pain of whelping can also cause them to run erratically around and damage the pups in that manner as well. You will need to be prepared for this with towels, scissors, an aspirator, etc. I know you have experience but be prepared for the worse with a dog reacting like this during early labor. Here is a great site on whelping and another on raising orphan pups just in case she doesn't want to care for them.

http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/medical/whelping.html

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1651&articleid=863

Here is a site for information about difficult labors.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/dystocia-difficult-birth-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1628&articleid=899

Now a dog can develop eclampsia before she delivers her pups and symptoms can include trembling. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, muscle spasms, tremors or seizures, limb paralyses, she needs to be seen now as it is possible she has eclampsia. Calcium supplements, Tums, cottage cheese or goat’s milk may help, but it might not reverse the symptoms quickly enough.

Here is sites with more information on this.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2109&aid=1505

http://www.veterinaryworld.org/Vol.4/January%20-%202011/Eclampsia%20in%20the%20Dog.pdf

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 months ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 month ago.

Following up to see how things are going and to see if you found my response helpful?