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NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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What causes premature labor in dogs

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Dogs normally go 58-65 days and 63 is only an average. You count gestation from the first breeding date.
Many of my dogs deliver on day 58. I've had pups on day 56 that were fine and healthy but at that age many may not be fully developed and in particular their lungs may not be ready to work.
In some cases early delivery has to do with stress, a health issue, the death of a puppy in the uterus, a hormonal issue with the mother etc. There are also diseases such as brucellosis or canine herpes virus that can cause fetuses to abort.
In this breed normally a c-section is done. It could be you lost pups due to natural birthing taking too long.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Its awful waiting for pups and then losing them. One of the hardest things I think in breeding except for the day you let your pups leave to go to new homes.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to NancyH's Post: Thank you for your concern. Actually, I am asking this for a friend. The dog was artificially inseminated, so there is no doubt that 63 days would have been Mar. 31. The only live pup arrived on day 57. The day before that, dog went to emergency due to onset of labor symptoms. X-rays & ultrasound showed 7 puppies, 7 heartbeats, no pups in birth canal, but they started being born within minutes upon arrival home. These particular bulldogs are a healthier "style" that routinely breeds and whelps naturally. This female had natural birth last year. Owner wonders if (1) painting her kitchen or (2) walking the mother the day before may have initiated early labor. Vet said progesterone drop, but what causes that?
Its possible the paint did it - I'd be tempted to read the can for 'do not use during pregnancy' type info. or a customer service number to call and ask.
If the walk was the usual one it shouldn't have been an issue.
The progesterone drop is a possibility. With hormones it can be somethinge else out of balance such as thyroid that changes the system.
An ovarian cyst might do it too.
It could be the stress of the vet visit triggered the start of whelping.
63 days is only an average. Dogs vary from that and if the AI was timed perfectly for ovulation the shorter time would be right.
If the dog was exposed to herpes virus that could do this too
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