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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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Hi: I have a female that is 63 days pregnant today. Her temperature

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Hi: I have a female that is 63 days pregnant today. Her temperature dropped from 99.8 to 97.1 about 36 hours ago. She didn't go into labor yet. I hear heartbeats and the puppies are moving around a lot. Is this a cause for concern? She is acting normal, eating good, but sleeping a lot and wants to be around me all the time.
Thank you for your question.

I would not be concerned at this stage based on what you are seeing. Sixty-three days is an average, so there will be dogs who deliver normally in the days before and after that timeframe. And with her drop in temperature, it is quite likely that she will begin to whelp shortly (again the 24 hours is an average number and guideline, not one that is set in stone) but as long as she is not showing any non-productive straining and is not appearing distressed then I would advise monitoring her but I would not be concerned at this stage.

We do sometimes see labour inertia with this breed when they are carrying a single pup (where the pup's labour triggering hormones don't meet the level her body will react to) but if you are hearing multiple heart beats then this will be less of a concern here.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can have a feel of her cervix with a gloved/lubed finger to see if there is dilation at this point. But since she has not shown any indication on labour onset yet, this is not necessary.

Overall, if she were distressed or straining but failing to produce pups, then I would advise an immediate visit to her vets. But in this case, with the history you have provided, I would advise monitoring closely but would not that there is no cause for concern at this stage.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

Dr. B.


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Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
Dr. B. and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Sorry, I didn't answer your question before it was opened up for other experts to answer (I had a slight emergency with one of my dogs!) but I did want to say that I completely agree with Dr. B's response.
The 24 hour rule is a guideline but if it's been 48 hours since that temperature drop and still no signs of active labor then I would have your girl seen.
Keep us posted, if you have a chance. Deb
Dr. Deb, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Dr. Deb and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi: I hope your dog is ok! Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX me feel better. Will keep you posted. I didn't think my girl was in trouble but it is always good to check!

My dog is fine, thanks for asking...a little encounter with grapes which I never should have left on the counter!!!! Even we vets make stupid mistakes sometimes!

I'm glad that you feel better about the situation; I wouldn't be in panic mode just yet but the pups should start coming pretty soon, I would expect.

You're probably going to be very busy very soon (hopefully!) but keep in touch when you have a chance...I'm going to want a number and gender count:) Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I will let you know once they are settled in! Thanks for your help!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.


She had her first pup (a boy) at 2:50 a.m. this morning. On the 67th day since her first mating. She never nested, never lost her appetite. She even ate right after the boy was born. Waiting on the others now. Will let you know!

Thanks for the update. Pups are always so exciting, (when they aren't nerve-wracking), aren't they!!!

That's a little unusual ....that her temp would drop so low about 4 days ago and she's taken this long to deliver. I guess she didn't read the textbook on that one:)

But 67 days isn't surprising since the small breeds tend to whelp a little later than the large breeds do and many of my dogs never nested or lost their appetites either.

Good luck; I'll be thinking about you:) Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Now, I have another issue!!! She hasn't had the second one yet. It's been 7 hours. She was resting comfortably for 5 or so hours and now she is panting off and on, but not pushing at all yet. She didn't even pant at all for the first one, she just started pushing!
Well, clearly she's not proceeding according to plan, now is she?
Pups usually are whelped every 30 minutes or so.
If there has been more than 6 hours since the last pup, this is a little worrisome.

Active straining for one hour or more is definitely something to worry about but she's not doing that, obviously.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the panting just yet, but if she hasn't produced a baby in another hour, then she may need a c-section. Not all dogs whelp naturally, which is probably something that you know. Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok! Will do. The roads are very ICY today. I will have my husband take me to the vet!

Be careful! And let me know what happens.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She had a girl. 2 in all! Vet gave her a shot. No C-section! Yippee!
I have to get better at listening to heartbeats! Maybe that why vets prefer palpation early or ultrasound or finally, X-rays !
I never see them checking for heartbeats the old fashion way!
Thanks for your great advice!

Oh, that's such good news!
I'm so glad you avoided a c-section!

Yes, I usually advise x-rays 7-10 days prior to the whelping date so you have a good idea of numbers. Heart beats can be a little deceiving at times:)

Big congrats to mom and you; have fun!! Deb
Dr. Deb, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 10449
Experience: I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Dr. Deb and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you