The puppy is delivered on an average on the sixty-third day of conception once the bitch is pregnant. Thought he period may stretch for week before or after the specified time period, once the D-day arrives, your bitch will show one or more signs of labour. The bitch feels restless around 5-6 hours before giving birth. You need to prepare a bed for her immediately, which means providing for a suitable place to give birth.
The bitch is likely to vomit once she experience labour pains. She also can have a drop in her body temperature. You will see a change in the shape of vulva, it gets large and looks reddish. The hind legs slacken and show less movement.
The labour process takes about seven-eight hours like the delivery of a puppy. You will see your bitch feeling more and more nervous about one hour before the birth. Abdominal contractions will be visible, occurring once every ten minutes and getting more frequent as the birth approaches. The several stages of labour which follow are listed in steps for your convenience.
1. The bitch will lie down on the floor once she experiences repeated contractions.
2. The foetus will enter the pelvis, making the bitch feel extreme strain and stress.
3. A water bag will come out the vulva slowly. It will be grape black in colour.
4. The bitch will rupture the bag and the puppy will come out after some time.
5. In certain cases the head comes out first, although it is equally normal if the tail appears at the first instance. The point is to make sure the intact baby is out two minutes after the head or tail is out. If it doesn’t happen, you can pull the baby, gently. The bitch will keep trying throughout.
6. Some puppies are born with membranes intact. The bitch will eat the outer membrane usually. If she doesn’t, you remove it. On the other hand, sometimes the bitch, after eating the outermost membrane, wants to try her hand on the inner covers too. Don’t let her do that. She might eat the puppy itself that way.
7. As soon as the puppy is membrane-free, check for any substance in its mouth, remove it if present so that it has no difficulty breathing.
8. Breathing should normally start automatically. In case it doesn’t, rub the puppy with a towel. When that doesn’t work give mouth to mouth respiration. Be very quick in all this other wise the puppy might die. The last rescue is a warm water and then cold water treatment immediately afterwards.
9. Once the breathing starts, let the puppy lie near its mother. She will like it dry and give her love and milk.
10. The bitch might discharge a greenish fluid after the birth. This is pretty normal and should not make you worried, even if it continues several hours after the birth.
11. In another extreme possibility, miscarriage might occur. It could be due to an infection or an accident or some imbalance in the hormones. A miscarriage is a condition when a baby is born before a gestation period of sixty-three days. The symptoms would obviously be labour pains before the due time. The vulva may bleed followed by a discharge which is blood free. The embryo comes out easily, is unformed and soft and dead mostly. You need a vet’s help to handle the situation. A first aid can be putting lots of cotton on the vagina where the bleeding has or is present.