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PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 7704
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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I believe she is starting labor, Shih tzu, Just wondering

Customer Question

I believe she is starting labor
JA: What sort of animal are we talking about?
Customer: Shih tzu
JA: Maybe I'm confused. I thought you had a problem with a pet. Is that correct?
Customer: Just wondering how long it will take and to know if she is for sure in labor
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the animal?
Customer: She's nestling into a blanket and continuously lick herself
JA: What is the's name and age?
Customer: Mia, 3 years
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Mia?
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: Pet
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

Good morning, JACustomer. Thanks for your question.

1) Do you know when Mia was bred?
2) Do you have a due date already?
3) Were any x-rays or ultrasound taken during her pregnancy?
4) What symptoms are you seeing at this time? Anything other than nestling and grooming?
5) Is this her first litter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Believe she was bred end of April, this is her 1st litter, no ultrasound, constant licking,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just would like an idea of where she's at in the laboring process. I worked all night and don't want to go to bed if she's going to have her pups
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

The first litter always takes the longest, but the first stages of pre-labor (which is where she's at now) can take only a few minutes or hours on end. It would likely be better for you to approach this by checking in on her every few hours if you have to work today instead of staying up with her consistently, unless (of course), there are concerns. Perhaps you are able to sleep in the general area in the event that she needs your help?

Perhaps the fastest approach to knowing when she will deliver will involve taking her temperature rectally. If it has fallen below 100 degrees, she should deliver within 24 hours. It's her temp is above 100 degrees, she's still got a while to go before she will deliver. Once contractions begin, she is effectively within the first stage of labor and progression should go much more quickly.

Did my response help to answer all of the questions that you had regarding your companion? If you have other questions, please reply and I’ll help you further.

Once you're satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How long do I keep the thermometer in?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

I'd use a digital one. They beep when they're done taking the temp (usually 30-60 seconds). And you can use it as often as needed to check the temp.

Once you're satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hang on while I check her temp
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

I'll be standing by.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her temp is 99.6, she growled the whole time. Now she is shivering
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

It sounds like you're right there at the beginning of the first stage of labor. Contractions should begin next, but this can take quite some time. I would, at very least, check in on her regularly to see how she is progressing. The trembling is often first to begin and then the contractions, but the stage can take hours to get underway so watching her consistently may waste a day's worth of sleep (unless you have time to spare at which point I'd grab some reading material, settle in and prepare for baby watch).

Once you're satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do they lick constantly? Do they all pant? If so, how long before delivery?
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

I'm afraid that the time you're looking for is not set in stone, JACustomer. Just like people, labor in dogs progresses at a rate that's different with each dog. She is going to be likely to take more time because this is her first litter. It can take up to 24 hours for her to progress from pre-labor into labor. I suspect she's very close to starting contractions (within a few hours) because she's trembling, nesting and she's licking herself. But until those contractions start, you're not going to have any idea on when the puppies will arrive. It will be a waiting game.

Dogs in labor do lick themselves constantly to prepare for the future puppies and we can see that some dogs will pant. Don't expect panting, but don't be alarmed if you see it.

Once you're satisfied with our dialogue, please take the time to use the star rating system at the top of the page to leave a rating for me. Until this is done, the website will not compensate me for helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not worth $26, but thanks for the 2 cents worth of advice!!
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 1 year ago.

I don't get compensated unless you're satisfied. I'll have customer service process a refund for you. Best of luck. If you reach a point of concern, make sure to contact your veterinarian. They will be able to guide you from here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you