Labor & Whelping


The Stages of Labor.


The Signs of Labor are noticeable by an observant eye.

Labor begins with Labor Pains, which are tolerated fairly well by pregnant dogs, with possible occasional whining or whimpering. Females seems restless and uncomfortable, and may or may not start to ‘Make their Beds’ by frantically puffing blankets, etc.

Labor can last anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours. Labor does not mean that the female is having contractions, it means that the row of babies is moving into position. Contractions begin as hard pushes about 20 minutes apart. As with humans, intermittent contractions can last several hours.

As whelping gets closer, the female will start to ‘Pant & Pace’, and she will often walk in aimlessly circles. She may attempt to squat to urinate, which is a lower squat than delivering a baby. The female will hold her tail in an awkward position: down, but perked-up at the rump. She may look at her rump with a ‘questioning’ expression on her face.

Hard, Continuous Contractions mean that a Baby is Coming! You may notice a bulge above the females vagina, the baby is seconds from delivery. With these Hard, Continuous Contractions, the female should produce a baby within 2 hours.

It is truly beneficial to aid in the Delivery of Babies, especially for an inexperienced female dog. Brachycephalic Breeds are more Prone to Aspiration at Birthing, which can lead to Aspiration Pneumonia, and Death. Also, with Large Skulls Individual Pekingeses, it may be very difficult for a female to pass a baby on her own. Breach Births are also common in the Pekingese, and most of them become lodged in the Birth Canal.

It may be necessary to Internally Palpate the Baby’s Fetal Sac, to make sure it is not Stuck in the Birth Canal, and to also aid in Delivering the Baby Immediately.

Aiding with Whelping & Internal Palpation of Fetal Sac.

If your Female is having Hard & Continuous Contractions, and you can Visualize the ‘Bulge above the Vulva’, for longer than 5-10 Minutes - but the Baby is NOT being Delivered, you need to Assist Immediately!

Using any Vinyl or Rubber Glove, Coated with Lubrication, insert your index finger into the Vagina. First, your finger will pass through the Pelvic Bones, and then The Cervix, which is Located about 2 Inches in, and is defined by a Round Rim. This is the Birth Canal.

If you feel a Fetal Sac Immediately upon inserting your finger, the Fetal Sac is in the Birth Canal, and should not remain there too long.

If you can Slide your Fingers around a portion of the sac, thus opening-up the vulva,  you may be able to manipulate the Whelping. You do not want to pull or tug on the Fetal Sac unless you can get your fingers all the way around it. Breaking the Fetal Sac in the Birth Canal will be Fatal for the NewBorn.

If you ca NOT secure a grip on the Fetal Sac, it may be necessary to Stimulate the Female while grasping the Fetal Sac. If you can get the female to push at the same time, your chances increase on grasping the sac. It may also be necessary to get your female to stand for a better whelping position. You can massage her belly and give her kind words of praise.

If your female is having Hard Contractions that are Intermittent, you may need to allow her to rest for a bit, because Labor can last several hours and she will need her strength. OR you may need to encourage and stimulate her contractions to aid in continual progression. The decision whether to let her rest or to stimulate contractions is based on the individual female, as you know your dog the best.

If your female has been in Labor for an extended time or she is Exhausted, it may be necessary for you to encourage the delivery of the baby OR Take her to an Emergency Animal Hospital. Again, the decision is based on the individual female. You can always CALL the Emergency Animal Hospital for advice.

To encourage contractions, your female should walk around with you, preferable indoors, as a baby can ‘pop-out’ fairly quickly. You can also manually stimulate her abdomen, which also encourages contractions.





Feel Here for Bulge




Assisting with the Whelping.


Once the Fetal Sac is immerging, it will be easier to grasp. Use a towel or gauze for better traction, gently pull the Baby ‘Down & Out’, keeping close to the females anatomy.


First, use Gauze & Clear the Sac from the NewBorn’s Head to Clear the Airway.

Once the Fetal Sac is Removed and the NewBorn is Breathing, Clamp the Hemostat on the Cord, an Inch Away from the Baby’s Belly-Button Area.

Hold the Vulva Back with your Fingers and Cut the Cord, between the Hemostats and the Vulva Opening. Use Plain Gut Suture or UnWaxed Dental Floss and Tie Two Knots Tightly.

Here is the NewBorn (Dalia - DL5), after the Cord has been Cut, with the Hemostats in Place on the Cord and Ready to Tie-Off.

Here Dalia is still Wet and will be Wrapped in a Towel while Suctioning Out her Mouth.

Immediately after the Cord is Cut, I use a Suction Machine with an Aspiration Suction Tubing, to Remove the Tiniest of Moisture from the NewBorn’s Mouth.

A Close-Up of Suctioning Out the Mouth of the NewBorn.

Once the NewBorn’s Mouth is Completely Free of Moisture, use a Clean Towel to Dry them as best you can.

The Ideal Whelping Supply Kit:

Whelping Box

Whelping Box Liners

Fleece Blankets

Plastic Heating Element

Gauze Squares

Vinyl Gloves

Mosquito Hemostats

Surgery or Absorbent Towels

Sterile Lubricant

Plain Gut Suture or UnWaxed Dental Floss

Extra Small Bulb Syringe

Suction Machine

Aspiration Tubing

Laryngeal Scope

Puppy Milk Replacer

Nursing Bottle or 1cc Syringe

Pre-Loaded Colostrum Syringes

After the NewBorn is Dried Thoroughly - it’s Time to Meet Mommy!

Your Female should be allowed to Sniff, Inspect and Clean her NewBorn. It is imperative that your Female stimulates them to eliminate, as most NewBorns will have to eliminate Immediately after Birth.

If your Female is still Whelping and is Restless, it is best not to place the NewBorn in the Whelping Box.

So, you must Bottle-Feed with 2 cc’s of Colostrum orally, preferably Within the First Half-Hour of Birth.

The NewBorns are Placed on a Heating Element covered with Fleece Blankets, within the Females Reach, until the Female has Finished Whelping.

If possible, if the female is calm and not contracting, the NewBorns can be placed with the Female to Nurse.