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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19765
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Hello. I adopted my sweet girl awhile back and come to find

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Hello. I adopted my sweet girl awhile back and come to find out she's pregnant. We have no idea of conception time. She is panting every now and then. But mostly just heavy breathing. I seen her messing her bed up about 15 mins ago. I have whelping kit ready. Just wondering if this is possible false alarm or should I start preparing for pups?
Hi Sir or Madam,.

My name isXXXXX've professionally worked with animals for over 16 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.


If you lay her down on her side and feel between her ribs and hind leg, can you feel any movement yet?

Is she having any discharge?

If so, is is a mucousy fluid or something else?

Are her breasts full yet?

Has she seemed to lose a lot of hair on her abdomen?

Do you know when she was in heat by any chance?

Is she scratching around in her bedding?

Has she had any vomiting of yellowish or clear fluid?

Is she eating grass at all?

Any loss of appetite?

How about frequent small bowel movements?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
When I lay her down I can feel puppies moving if that's what you mean, yes. A little hair loss on abdomen. Milk came in two days ago and they look fuller around tit. Last night I noticed a small string of discharge but nothing huge or noticable. She went outside this morning and I found her digging under some building outside. I brought her in and then that's when I noticed the messing up of bed. She's not so much panting as she is breathing almost like a loud wheezing. Shes resting now
Andrealle,.Thanks for the additional information. I'm going to go over labor in dogs first. 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:


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. The temperature drop is due to a reduction in serum progesterone levels and signals that the dog will start labor within 24 hours. I would start doing this now as her time appears to be very close.

You can read about this at:

Usually during the last week of pregnancy you will see some milk leakage, increase in digging at her bedding and the mucousy discharge. You also start feeling the puppies move around. So from all the things you told me, she is in her last week of pregnancy. 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 the day before labor are lack of appetite, frequent urination and frequent small, runny bowel movements. Many first time mom's will yelp with the first pup as well. Frequently my dogs will start looking at their rears when the first real contractions start.


I think you will likely see pups this weekend. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. 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 .


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much. You have been very helpful. I did do a rectal temp for first time about an hour ago and it read 97.7. My only concern is if its a trusty thermometer or not lol. So if its correct according to you labor isn't far off. Thanks again!
Andrealle,.I usually get a brand new thermometer for each pregnancy and check it with the old thermometer if it falls below 99F. The other thing to remember is that you have to be sure it is inserted about an inch and kept in until it beeps if digital or for about a minute if it is the old style. I still check temperature most of the time with my dogs but rely on their behavior as much as the temperature as a guide to when they are going to go. It does should like the next 24 hours though.
Jane Lefler and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Andrealle,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Tigger. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello! Everything is well. Tigger had 7 healthy beautiful pups early next morning. She seems to not have any milk yet tho. Is this normal? Pups don't seem satisfied and when I pull on a tit I don't see anything. Should I be patient?
Andrealle,.Are the pups gaining weight that you can tell? Are any of them becoming weak?
when a dog is not producing enough milk, the pups will fail to gain weight and will become weak pretty quickly. A dog will get a certain amount of milk in and as the pups drink that, it triggers the body to produce more milk. It takes a few days for the body to learn how much it needs to produce. You have to be sure she is on a good puppy food and has enough fluid to drink as well. If you have a tums handy, you migh give her one to be sure she has enough calcium but you also don't want to give too much.
In most cases, you won't notice much milk in the breasts the first few days because they are being emptied almost as fast as the milk fills them. That will change as the pups go for longer periods of time between eating. However, if a pup starts to look week, is being pushed away from the rest of the puppies or they don't seem to be gaining weight, then you would want to supplement the feedings with some puppy formula or some goat's milk. Do not use regualr cows milk. .Congratulations on the puppies. I know I love the newborns.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks! All puppies seem to be healthy. I don't notice any weight loss and all squeal and fight for food nipple. I understand now so hopefully its just going to take another day. You've been a great help thank. Oh and I did buy puppy formula today just in case but only will use in emergency. I live far away from nearest store so I made a trip and just wanted to be prepared. Mother is on a good balance of puppy dry food and I'm supplementing with a can of wet food

It sounds like you are more than prepared. I'm so glad everything went well. Keep me up to date on how things are going as they get older and read that site on whelping that I sent you. It goes over a lot of things that you will need to know over the next 6 weeks.