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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19663
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog has been having pups and I can't tell if she is done

Customer Question

My dog has been having pups and I can't tell if she is done or not.. I'm not sure if she is still having contractions or if she is just shivering from delivering
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Latte aND she is 2.. she had 2 pups so far.. one of them didn't make it
JA: How old is Latte?
Customer: She is 2
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Latte?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

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

It is possible for a mother to not deliver all her pups. Usually when a pup is retained, a dog does not act normal. They may appear restless, distressed, actively straining, lethargic, non-interested in their pups.

However, if your dog is eating, drinking, urinating, nursing her puppies, cleaning them and basically acting normal, she has most likely delivered all her puppies.

If you feel there is a puppy still inside your female, then you should take her to the Vet to be sure. It's a good idea to take her and the pups in anyway for a post whelping checkup to ensure all placentas were delivered as well

I hope you find this information helpful.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm just trying to figure out if she is having contractions or if she is just shivering from all of the hard work.. she is letting the one pup nurse but she is shivering or having contractions I'm not sure which is which she took a drink of water but didn't eat anything
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

What breed is she?

How long has it been since the last pup was born?

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Generally speaking smaller dog usually have smaller litters even as small as one while larger dogs tend to have much larger litters such as 5-9 or more. My rottie had 11 this last time.

Usually trembline is an indication of pain and likely means that she is still in active labor. She will have minor contractions after all the pups are born but in most cases doesn't lead to bad trembling. Pups that are in the birth canal too long usually do not make it and it can indicate that the pups are too big to be delivered. Since she isn't eating yet, if these contractions have continued, I would have her seen by your vet to be sure there are not more pups.

Remember that small dogs that are not eating and didn't eat the afterbirths may experience a drop in blood sugar levels leading to hypoglycemia and trembling due to seizure activity. Put a drop of pancake syrup on her gums to be sure her blood glucose levels stay up.

Other things you need to watch for is eclampsia. This usually happens 2-4 weeks after birth but can happen earlier if the mother was not on puppy food during the pregnancy and in some cases even if she was. If your dog is experiences 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 a site with more information on this.

In your dog's case, I think I'd err on the side of caution and have her seen if she still has trembling and hasn't delivered a pup.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her papers say she is a mini border collie.. she is only about 15 lbs not pregnant. She has came out of her whelping box to go outside just to turn around and run back inside by her one pup. She has drank some water and has ate just a little bit. The one pup is nursing
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

I would expect a female 15 pounds to have 3-4 pups. Since she only had 2 and one died, I'd be inclined to have her seen. You can try to give her a tums and a drop of pancake syrup to see if the trembling doesn't stop. Some smaller dogs will tremble due to stress or fear. 15 pound dogs though are a little larger than the tiny breeds that tremble regularly.

You do need to make a decision on whether to wait or not. If you take her in now, then you will likely incur an office visit and possibly an x-ray. If there are pups, the vet might give a shot of oxytocin to help strengthen contraction and aid in delivery. If there are no pups, then everything is fine. The x-ray will also let the vet know if the pups might be too big to be delivered vaginally. If you wait and there is a pup stuck, it will likely die in a short time or already be dead and lead to infection as well as stopping any pups behind that one from being delivered.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it okay to take her from her pup to take her to the vet?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Usually you put mom and pup in a box with towels on the bottom and put a towel over the top to keep body heat in. That way the pup is with mom most of the time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

A quick followup to see how things went at the vet.