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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19670
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Extremely confused about a female Chihuahua I took in about

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Extremely confused about a female Chihuahua I took in about 2 months ago. I'm not sure how this website process works. Do I just mention what is going on and you give advice? I'm pretty certain she was given to me as she has been gaining weight, has milk now, and has been digging like crazy. (clearly pregnant) Digging, panting began 3 days ago. I stayed awake first 2 nights by her side, fell asleep the 3rd night, went to her birthing area and no puppy. She is skinny just as she was when she was given to me & now is acting normal? Is it possible a puppy died inside of her?
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
How long have you had her. Is it exactly 2 months or a bit longer or shorter?
Was she around an unneutered dog when you first got her or when she was with her former owner?
I understand you believe she may have been pregnant when you got her?
How long has she been digging around?
Did you ever feel a puppy moving around inside her?
Have you taken her temperature at all?
Has she been to the vet?
Has she ever had pups before?
Does she have any bleeding from the vulva?
Any discharge of any kind?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you & no worries, I'm a very patient person.

How long have you had her. Is it exactly 2 months or a bit longer or shorter? I'm pretty certain two months maybe + a week. I also just moved, got my child enrolled in a new school, I'm a single mom, full time student, etc.

Was she around an unneutered dog when you first got her or when she was with her former owner? She had to have been b/c the original owner had a male Chihuahua they kept & took w/ them & she told me that the dog she gave me had pups 2 X's, but only 1 each time.

I understand you believe she may have been pregnant when you got her? She has to be pregnant. In the last 2 weeks she looked really round, eating a lot, & you can tell she is filled with milk. I've never even owned a dog before.

How long has she been digging around? Today is the 3rd day but it's almost stopped. She honestly looks like she did when I got her. 5lbs & just a tiny little thing.

Did you ever feel a puppy moving around inside her? I never felt anything & don't know what to feel for. Each time I do I think it's a rib or a muscle. I'm sorry I'm not more help.

Have you taken her temperature at all? As of an hour ago was the first time I learned of taking a temperature and just moved into a new home and have no idea where I'd begin to look for one. I could go buy one but honestly don't want to leave her & if I try to get her out of her box she gets aggressive & acts like she is hiding a puppy but there isn't one in there.

Has she been to the vet? She has not been to the vet since I've gotten her. I got a voucher about 3 weeks ago to help w/ the costs of getting her fixed & then I realized this is why these people just gave her to me. Shes pregnant so I still have the voucher & don't think I could use it w/ her being pregnant.

Has she ever had pups before? All I know is the original owner said she has 2 times. Each time she had 1 healthy puppy each. The owner sold each one.

Does she have any bleeding from the vulva? No, but it looks really pink.

Any discharge of any kind? I did notice last night a tad bit of light greenish drop come out & she licked it really fast. She isn't acting sick, she will walk up the stairs to my bed, she is an indoor dog and goes to her puppy pads when she needs to potty, etc. And she is eating a bit and drinking water.
Thanks for the additional information. It is very helpful especially knowing that you have never had a dog before.
Let me go over labor first and I will discuss other things as well. 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 ernest. 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 expell 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. That is why I asked how long you had her. I'll discuss more on this later. 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. 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.


Now once a dog has pups, there is usually a bright red discharge even if it is just a little bit. Before labor begins, usually the last week or so, there is a yellowish mucousy discharge present. If you have not seen any blood, or blood stains in the bedding at all or on her somewhere, then I do doubt that she had a puppy that you have been unable to find. Some dogs will eat a dead or deformed pup, but you should see some evidence of blood somewhere and she would still have some discharge related to the birth.


Sometimes if a dog is having a difficult delivery there will be a dark greenish or almost black discharge. It would not just be a light greenish color. That color would be more consistent with the yellowish creamy discharge.


Another thing that you may not be aware of is that dogs can go through false pregnancy. With a false pregnancy, the will go through all the signs of pregnancy including weight gain, milk production, breast enlargement and even nesting behavior, but just will not go into labor and deliver. They will even adopt stuffed animals or toys as their pups and be quite protective of them as well. So that may be what is happening with your dog. Without knowing just how long you have had her, it is hard for me to tell you if this is a false pregnancy. However, in the last week of pregnancy, you can usually feel a puppy moving if you put your hand on the dog's abdomen between the ribs and hind leg. You just rest your hand there and a pup usually will roll around or kick out. In many case, you can even see pups move even in a single pup litter.


The other thing that you should be aware of is that chihuahuas frequently need c-sections to deliver their pups and can have difficult deliveries. So I want to give you some sites that discuss the symptoms associated with a dog having a difficult delivery.


Since she is eating and drinking and eliminating, I don't think you have an emergency situation yet, but given that you do not know how long you have had her, whether she was mated before you got her and if she is even pregnant, I would go ahead and have her seen by a vet tomorrow if at all possible. If money is an issue, these vets may offer a free initial visit though you may have to pay for extra procedures and medications. See the next one for the coupons.


A vet may be able to examine her and tell you if she is pregnant or not without any additional testing or he may want a blood test or x-ray. An x-ray is helpful if she is pregnant because it lets you know how many puppies are there and if the heads are small enough to be delivered without a c-section.


You are probably have time to purchase a thermometer from a convenience store. Since she is an experienced mother, if she has a pup without you there, she will likely already know what she needs to do.


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. I know it is a new situation for you. I've probably been present for a hundred or more births over the years including chi births and c-sections as well as larger dogs with as many as 15-16 pups. Each one is just a little different from the next but a lot is the same.



Jane Lefler and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Thank you for all of this wonderful information. One thing I don't think I mentioned that is really concerning me is when I try to look at her on "my" terms (approaching her bed) she forces her head to her behind area (or where the puppies come out) and will not let me look at her. She gets a stiff neck like she is trying to push me away. If she comes up the stairs to my bed she will allow me to look but that isn't very often.


Also, 3 days ago some type of whining began. I've never heard a noise like this. She kept lying on her back and then began panting. After about 15 minutes I picked her up as I was certain she was in labor and I am absolutely certain I felt & saw two intense contractions when I was petting her.


If her water broke would there be a color to it? I ask b/c her puppy pads are in the bathroom where she goes and on the opposite side of the bathroom (it's very large) there is a water dish. When I went in there when this all started I saw a puddle of water but the dog water dish was almost empty so I was assuming she bumped into it.


I got old white towels that I put in her bed b/c I want to see and know exactly what color everything is. I've watched dozens of videos of how to assist in case she can't handle it and do have a 24 hour emergency clinic # XXXXX programmed in my cell.


I read that when puppies turn the female will stretch out so they get into place right. Is it possible that this may have caused her to have those contractions I felt? I have a lot of friends with dogs and I and a few friends are in100% agreement she is in fact pregnant. When I feel her stomach where you mention it just feels like a hard muscle or bone so I don't think I'm doing it right. I have seen puppies born before and in fact have seen how small a brand new Chihuahua puppy is. It's actually kind of scary how small they are. I have also watch probably 20 YouTube videos of Chihuahua births so I can help if needed and don't feel so scared.


I am in love with her and would never leave her alone. I don't even want to leave my home so no worries there. I just wish the original owner would have had her fixed or at least warned me. It's just not right and really unfair. If this helps in the last hour she is licking herself so much it sounds like a child smacking on bubble gum. Also, now I'm more concerned, I quietly peeked in her box and saw a spot on her tail, she is white, and it wasn't dark but it was a sort of light olive green color & before I could wipe it with a towel she licked it off really fast. So if she has a week left this behavior could continue? I'm going to read some of the links you sent.


If nothing happens this evening or early morning I will see if I can get her into a vet sometime tomorrow. I appreciate your help greatly.

When the water breaks, it is usually colored in some way. Sometimes with a pinkish tint to it, or in some cases, a darkish greenish color, but it shouldn't be perfectly clear like water. When the water breaks a puppy should be born within an hour or so. If it isn't then you need to get her into the vet.
Since she is continuing to lick herself, it is possible that she is in labor. It is even possible that she had what is referred to as a water baby. It does happen. A water baby is when a dog delivers an empty sac full of just amniotic fluid and not actual puppy. It isn't an every day occurrence but happens enough that most breeders have experienced it at one time or another. When this happens, the female is pretty quick at getting rid of all evidence.
I'd monitor her, but it is likely you will be taking her into the vet tomorrow. She would need to go in anyway if she reached 70 days pregnant.