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Third Stage of Labor

Whelping and Raising Puppies


Presentation of puppy and delivery of placenta. Puppy may or may not be still in his sac. The sac needs to be removed immediately; just rip it with your fingers, clamp off the cord (cut and tie), and start rubbing the puppy till you hear him gasp. Then let him nurse till the next puppy comes (which could be minutes or a couple hours). Make sure you count one placenta for each puppy. Some breeders let the dam eat half the placentas. I put the pups in a warm box (with a hot water bottle) while the dam is working on the next delivery, but keep the warm box where she can see her puppy as she will get concerned. (I also give her back all the puppies between deliveries.) You do not want her to tramp on a puppy while trying to deliver another.


Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese

This is Kate after giving birth to her litter of puppies. I let her eat only one placenta. The placenta provides the dam with a good boost of nutrition, but eating too many can cause her to get sick making it hard for her to care for her newborn pups.

Dam eating a placenta

Dam eating a placenta

Dam eating a placenta

Although this section is based on a whelping of an English Mastiff, it also contains good general whelping information on large-breed dogs. You can find more whelping information in the links above. The links below tell the story of Sassy, an English Mastiff. Sassy has a wonderful temperament. She loves humans and adores children. An all-around mild mannered, wonderful Mastiff, Sassy, however, is not the best mother toward her puppies. She is not rejecting them; she will nurse them when a human places them on her to feed, however she will not clean the pups or pay any attention to them. It is as if they are not her puppies. This litter is getting mom’s milk with major human interaction, manually giving each and every pup what they need. In return, the pups will be super socialized and will make remarkable pets, however the work involved is astounding. It takes one dedicated breeder to keep this situation healthy. Thankfully this litter has just that. Read the links below to get the full story. The pages within include a wealth of information that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.


Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case