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Whelping Stories: Three Puppies Born


These were not my puppies, or my litter but I was called on to help as ”mid-woof.” If you do not have experience in whelping, it is wise to invite someone over that has some experience.

At 9 a.m. the dam has green discharge, contractions start, but are mild and almost unnoticeable.

An internal exam shows a pup at three inches.

At 10 a.m. the pup has moved down an inch; an internal exam shows the pup at two inches in the canal.

At 11 a.m. the pup has moved down one more inch, and is at one inch.

I am concerned, as contractions are weak, and this pup has been in the birth canal for two hours, which is about the limit to leave her and do nothing. Details are below. Here is a video clip of the dam in distress.

Dam having contractions; see the tail move up and to the side.

11:23 a.m.—First contractions. A pup is in the birth canal, and has been for over two hours.

I am going to start feathering the dam to see if I can make the contractions stronger.

The dam was working on this pup in the birth canal for 2.5 hours. Time to call the vet or take actions into your hands if you know how. I feathered her to make her contractions stronger.

Although green can be normal, I was not feeling good about this pup. It needed out and sooner than the dam was able.

The puppy's head is out, but it is stuck and turning blue. I rubbed the head, and the pup is alive, but unconscious. Do NOT LET THIS PUP go back inside the dam as the sack is removed.

Pulling out the puppy, gently

The puppy is out, but it is GREEN and lifeless. This is when you CAN most often revive a pup.

I got the pup out, and with help, got her breathing, and sucked all the yucky stuff out of her lungs and throat. The puppy's pads are white. I have to get this pup going quickly.

Warmed her up good. HEAT got her going, and she is pinking up. Here she is in a microwave heated rice pad.

She is thriving an hour later. Nice and pink (yippee!) and breathing on her own.

Puppy #1 is doing well.

Put pup #1 on heat.

Puppy #2 is presenting herself. This pup’s birth was fairly by-the-book. The dam’s contractions were very mild, but she needed a little help.

Pup #2 was stuck and breech. A little pulling assistance is needed. I have a hold of puppy, NOW I will pull it down and forwards, toward the dam’s belly button.

Waiting for final contraction which doesn't I carefully pull.

Pulling out the pup.

Pulling down and towards the dam’s head. Not down and outwards.

Pup #2 is out

It's now 12:18 p.m.

Puppy #2 is doing well.

Puppy #3 makes his presentation. This one was the hardest. The dam would NEVER have gotten this puppy out by herself, and the average breeder without experience would not have gotten this large, stuck breech puppy out.

FEET, breech... Shoot!

A foot!

Carefully pulling the feet and pushing from under tail. This was TOUGH, it was stuck solid. See my one hand is pulling, and the other finger is actually pushing down on the hips of the puppy.

Stuck puppy

Still have only feet, and the pup is turning blue, so I am going to pull aggressively, HARD, this one is scary, she is NOT budging. So, before you decide to whelp puppies on your own, ask yourself, WHAT would you do with a stuck puppy dying in the birth canal? Is this something you really want your kids to see? Is this something you are prepared for?

Making good progress, but still really, REALLY stuck

Trying to get the stuck puppy out

I am pulling the pup toward her belly button, not straight out or down...

…and she is finally out... A big, 202-gram puppy

It's now 12:47 p.m.

Broth, turkey and kibble and a bowl of water for the dam

All pups are thriving.


Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese



Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case