If your dog has begun the whelping process and they are ready to give birth at home, you want to know what to expect so you can detect if there is an emergency. You could save your dog's life if you know what to look for and if you know when they are in danger.
Most dogs are able to deliver safely at home on their own, but just like with human births, complications can occur. Here are some warning signs that indicate you need to get your dog to an emergency animal hospital no matter what time of day it is.
There is Discolored Discharge and Odors
If the puppies are coming out coated in a yellow or green discharge, or if the puppies aren't coming out and only the discolored discharge is coming out, you want to get your dog to the veterinarian right away. If there is a very foul smell with the discolored discharge, this means that there is an infection and there is something wrong, and the dog may need emergency antibiotics and other treatment.
The Dog Is Pushing for More Than an Hour without Puppies
If you can tell that the dog is pushing and straining to get the puppies out, but it's been over an hour and there still is nothing, call the veterinarian to see if you should come in. It's normal for a dog to rest between pushing out the pups, but once they start pushing, the puppies should come out within 10-20 minutes. The puppies could be stuck or there could be a problem.
The Dog is Having Seizures
If the dog is having seizures and isn't able to push the puppies out, or if you are afraid the dog is going to have a stroke, you don't want to wait to get help. This not only means that the dog is in danger, but so are all of the puppies that are stuck inside.
If you know it's near your dog's due date and you aren't sure what to expect, talk with your veterinarian to make sure you have all the whelping supplies and that you are prepared for the birth. You want to know what actions or issues are concerning and need immediate treatment, and what to look for to make sure both the mom and the puppies are healthy. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be for the big day.