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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19603
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My 5 year old cockapoo just had 5 puppies. between puppy 3-4

Customer Question

My 5 year old cockapoo just had 5 puppies. between puppy 3-4 there was no placenta. Puppy 3 was born and the cord was still attached and really really close to Mom. Mom was dragging her so we clamped and cut the placenta. Puppy 4 was born quickly with a placenta. So we are missing one. We are not entirely sure Maddy is done giving birth? Or perhaps she will deliver the placenta?
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Is the dog bleeding a lot?
Customer: Not a lot but a little bit. She seems to still be having some contractions/shaking.
JA: What is the dog's name?
Customer: Maddy :-)
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Maddy?
Customer: Last puppy was born at 8:30.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 9 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 so I'm very familiar with whelping. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

While it is great to count placentas and a good idea to do so, often before you know it, your dog has sucked it up and ingested it before you ever see it. This can definitely happen if she is already trying to clean the pup before the placenta is out. They will pull on the cord and end up ingesting it. It may also have come out right before pup 4 and she when licking the area ingested it.

Once she is done whelping, the pups suckling will cause post labor contractions which serve to push the fluids and other substances in the uterus out. She will be bleeding up to 5 weeks after delivery though it will be heaviest right after birth and over a few weeks change from bright red to lighter color, pink, tan and eventually stop. Some stop after a week or two, while mine usually go between 2-3 weeks and some as long as 5 weeks.

What you will want to do is monitor her closely. If your dog has intense abdominal pain, pale gums and tongue, sudden drop in temperature or collapse she needs to be seen as soon as possible as she may have uterine torsion.

If your dog has a Green, smelly discharge from her vulva, fever, loss of appetite and listlessness, it is possible she has a uterine infection due to bacteria or a retained placenta and needs to be seen immediately. It is likely she has metritis if she has those symptoms which is a uterine infection.

No matter how close you watch your female it is easy to miss a female ingesting the placenta. In most cases there isn't a problem. So monitor her and enjoy your pups. If it has been more than a few hours since the last pup and you feel she is still having contractions, you may need to have her seen by your vet. A puppy can become stuck. You can read more on this on the following pages.


Here is another article on dystocia.

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 9 months ago.

Hi Again,

How is Maddy doing? Are you enjoying those puppies? I'm hoping my answer was helpful and she didn't experience any problems.