If your dog has gone into labor, you should be there in case of an emergency, but you won't want to crowd them. Dogs have the natural instincts to take care of the birthing process and the new puppies on their own. However, emergencies can arise. Therefore, it is a good idea for you to be there just in case something does go wrong and you need to intervene. You can learn about some of the signs that your dog may be in need of emergency veterinary assistance in this article.
Your dog will show signs they are in labor. The first is that they will go to the whelping box and stay close to it. They may also lose their appetite and start panting. Then you should see some progress in about 24 hours, which includes your dog beginning to push. If labor goes longer than 24 hours and your dog still isn't getting to the point of pushing, then you should make a phone call to the vet and see about bringing them in to make sure everything is alright.
There are different reasons why your dog's labor may not be progressing as it should. The puppies may be large and not working their way down the canal properly, your dog may be under an extremely high amount of stress, they could have a calcium deficiency or there could be another problem.
If your dog isn't able to birth the puppies on their own, the vet will need to intervene and deliver them via cesarean section.
Unproductive hard labor
Pay attention to the time when your dog starts to push. You don't want to see them pushing for longer than a couple of hours without seeing signs of a puppy. You can try walking your dog for a short period of time to see if this helps. If it doesn't help, then it is unlikely they will be able to birth the puppies without a veterinarian's intervention.
A breech puppy
When a puppy starts to make an appearance, it can come out head first or feet first. In a dog birth, the position you don't want to see the puppy coming out in is with its stomach facing upward. In this position, the puppy's head and legs are only going to be pushed into the mother's pelvic wall. If you notice a puppy in this position, you want to rush your dog to the veterinarian immediately.
While it is normal for your dog to experience pain during labor, you don't want to see them in an exceptional amount of pain. If your dog is severely yelping or just doesn't look right to you, the safe bet is to take them in to the vet.
Contact an animal emergency hospital, like Denville Animal Hospital, if you notice any of these things or think there may be a problem with your dog in labor.