The Phone Rings… …She is in her whelping box and the contractions begin. What comes next? Part III

Rottweil Xpress / November 1989

Keep her quiet in the whelping box. She will pant and want to walk around the room. I had a litter last week and the female kept wanting to go up on the couch to have her puppies.
Make sure she knows what the whelping box is and that she must have her puppies in there. Some bitches have no problem at all delivering puppies; but there are some who are klutzes or have problems getting the puppies delivered.

Make sure the room is quiet, with very little traffic of people. I know how excited everyone in the household will be, but it is imperative that she has privacy to concentrate. When she starts contracting the puppy should be delivered soon. She will strain, then push. You should start seeing the puppy coming out. The puppy should come out by itself, in a little sack with the after-birth (placenta). If it doesn’t, put on your sterile gloves and very gently assist the puppy out while she is pushing. When the puppy comes out, she should immediately start opening the sack by chewing on it, then licking up the fluid. Keep watching and assisting her if it’s need-ed, but let her do most of the work. Take a couple of Q-tips and clean out the mouth and throat of the puppy while she is still cleaning it. Make sure all the fluid is out of the mouth and nose. She will start chewing at the cord and eating the afterbirth (placenta). Make sure she does not chew the cord too close. If she starts doing that or not cleaning it at all, then take your hemostat and clamp the cord. If you do not have the hemostat, tie it with string (dental floss is best). Then cut the cord leaving about an inch on the puppy. If the mother does chew the cord and separates the placenta from the puppy, then check to make sure it is close enough where she can’t continually chew and pull at the cord, causing a herniated belly button.
Put the puppy immediately on the mother’s nipple and let the puppy nurse as long as he can. She should be licking the puppy clean and drying him up. If she does not, you need to if she allows you to. Take paper towels and dry the puppy the best you can. Let the mother relax with the puppy on her and clean up the area and get ready for the next puppy to be delivered. I usually give the mother the liquid electrolyte in between each puppy. We want to make sure she has strength to deliver all puppies.
When the other puppy enters the birth canal, she will start the contractions again. Make sure you color-code the first puppy -colored collars work best. Make notes on the weight, any back dewclaws, how much the puppies ate from the mother, whether she passed the placenta, and sex of the puppy.
When the next puppy is ready to be delivered, she will start concentrating and licking at herself. Make sure the first puppy is in a safe area where she doesn’t crush him. When she starts delivering the next puppy and she is clumsy with the first, then take him away from the mother without her knowing it. Put the puppy in the box with a heating pad. Give him V2cc of the high calorie liquid diet in his mouth, and let him rest.
If she strains for a long period of time and looks as though she is having problems then take her for a walk. This is supposed to stimulate delivery. Some people have said walking up and down stairs also helps.
A good idea, also, is to have someone available to give “pit shots” (oxytocin). This will also help induce labor. Let your veterinarian know you are now delivering a litter so he or she can be on call if any medical assistance is needed. With Rottweilers I do not go more than 2 hours in between each puppy.
When the puppy is delivered continue the procedure as it was with the first. When she is all settled with this one and everything is clean, put the first puppy back in with the mother and have both of them nurse from her.
Keep continuing the procedures with all the puppies until she’s delivered a full litter of hopefully healthy, happy pups. Keep her rested. Make sure all the puppies nurse often and well. Keep them warm, dry and away from underneath her. Until next month, RRRRRING!

Article written by Evie Lynn