Canine Reproduction  & Whelping Guide   by Debbie Jensen
Care of the Mother

Letter to You
Why I became an Imperial Shih Tzu breeder

Whelping Photos
See pups as they are born

Heat Cycles
First days of heat

Pre Natal Care of pups
Care of the Bitch before and during Pregnancy

Mating your dog
Best days to bred your bitch

The Stud
His ability to produce sperm and mate and artificial insemination

Is she Pregnant
Signs she is pregnant

Java Due date
Inside her body fertilization to birth

Due Date Chart
Puppies are usually born 61 days after conception

Temp Chart
Taking a dogs temperature and recording her temp to predict her whelp day

Print Temp Chart
Taking her temp to determine whelping time

Whelping Supplies
Hemostats, bulb syringes, towels tons of them

Labor Stages
Digging, Shivering and Panting

See a Live Birth
See my Shih Tzu deliver a pup

Hard Labor Begins
Whelping the puppies

Aspirating Throat & Nose
Removing Fluids from the nasal passages

Umbilical Cord
How to cut the umbilical cord

Difficult Whelp (Dystocia)
What to do if shes in distress

What Can go Wrong - Movie
Distressed Pup and Mom

Care of Bitch
Discharge, Retained Placentas, Eclampsia

Puppy Care
Fading Pup, Bottle Feeding, Tube feeding, Vaccinations

Weaning the pups
Giving the pups food

Disease of Dogs
Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus

Worms and Fleas
Roundworm, tapeworm, Coccidia, Fleas & Giardia

Selling Your Puppys
Placing your Puppies

Terms of Breeding
Common breeder terms we all should know

More Whelping Photos

Imperial Shih Tzu by Jensen
Imperial Shih Tzu breeder since 1976
Now Chinese Imperial Dog

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Care of Dam- Mother

Puppies are born time for you to relax. Thought you were done taking her temperature? Not even maybe..
Now you need to monitor the mother temperature. Why? The temperature of her body is tool to warn us if she has a infection. Your bitch's temperature dropped right before she went into labor. Now it should rise to 101 to 103. Slightly elevated temperature is normal just after having puppies. What is not normal is a temperature reading above 103. This indicates an infection somewhere in her body. Many of the infections can be deadly to your dog...

Monitor her discharge. Bleeding a few days after whelping is normal. If it is a brownish red this is ok. If it is pus streaked or foul smelling it can indicate a vaginal infection like Meteritis to Pyometra.

Retained Placenta
In the past I worried about a retained placenta much more then I do now. Sometimes it needs to be monitored When you take your dog in for her physical after she has whelped her litter. Make sure you have important information the Vet may need, such as a chance of a retained placenta and the temperature of the dam.
Your Vet may give her a injection of Oxytocin to help her expel the placenta.
Oxytocin also helps stimulate milk production. ( I use a teaspoon of dark beer to stimulate milk production )

Eclampsia ( Milk Fever )
Eclampsia can occur before delivery or up to 6 weeks after delivery. Often it appears in the first 3 weeks after delivery.
It is caused from a deficiency in her body own natural calcium supply or from receiving to high a dose of supplemented calcium.
Symptoms, are glassy eyes, restlessness, nervousness, whining, muscle twitching, rapid heat beat, shivering and teeth chattering. If nursing is what is causing her calcium supply to become depleted, puppies must be removed and hand feed. If you are giving her a supplement of calcium at to high of a dose, you may have caused eclampsia. Severe cases are treated with serum calcium injections by your Vet. Careful medical supervision of the treatment is important as an overdose or to rapid administration can cause her heart to stop.
This condition often recurs with each litter. Bitches who have had eclampsia in the past may be given calcium injections prior to and after whelping.
My dog Hoghead had eclampsia. I was laying on the floor late one night, I was watching TV and eating potato chips with my dogs. A little later, I heard a loud, roaring noise, I couldn't tell what the noise was but I thought it must be a plane getting ready to dive bomb my house. Then I figured it was the furnace getting ready to blow. I ran to the furnace ( not thinking just what I planned to do if it was my furnace getting ready to blow ) I stopped and found Hoghead laying on her side stiff, with her teeth chattering so loud it scared the _____ out of me. First I thought she was having a convulsion from a potato chip lodged in her throat, then it hit me....Eclampsia. I picked her up and flew to the Vet. Thank god he saved her in time. He gave her calcium intravenously and when I brought her home, she wasn't allowed to nurse her pups anymore.
Hoghead had 5 litters since, but with calcium added to her diet ( at just under the recommended dose ). I usually took her pups away at birth or a after a few days. Some I gave to other mothers, and help them with the additional load by periodically hand feeding. Hoggy never had Eclampsia again.
Hoghead is retired now and spoiled rotten with love.

Mastitis can occurs when a mother has a small litter or inverted nipples. Milk is not drained out of the breast and they become engorged. Breast will appear lumpy and hard or may be inflamed and red. The dam may have a high fever, refused to eat and depressed. The infected breast may be filled with bloody pus. Do not allow pups to nurse on these infected breasts cover them or wean the pups.
Antibiotics should be given to the Dam and the puppies.
To prevent mastitis make sure the pups nurse on all teats or milk them yourself.

Engorged Nipple
Photo is provided by Matthew Gomen age 14 who someday hopes to be a Vet.
Good luck to you Matthew Gomen . We need special people like you to help our cherished dogs

engorgednipple.jpg - 55144 Bytes

Acute Metritis
Vaginal infection acquired during whelping or from retaining a Placenta or Fetus. Signs are high fever, above 103, diarrhea, depression, refusal eating, vomiting, excessive thirst. Thick. bloody and foul smelly discharge. The bitch needs to be treated with antibiotics. Mastitis if left untreated will lead to spaying or death.
The pups need to be watched. Puppies may be affected and may have diarrhea and cramps, they will need antibiotics and to be hand fed. ( I give my pups yogurt and it relieves stomach cramps.)
Check for Mastitis , they can go hand and hand.

Is a Uterine infection classified as open or closed. It can occur anytime in the heat cycle. Female who developed Pyometra during pregnancy will abort.

Open Cervix Pyometra
is just as it sounds, the cervix is open allowing the uterus to drain, sticky, reddish pus which may be fowl smelling.
Closed-cervix Pyometra- pus cannot drain causing excessive thirst and urination, a high fever and a tender abdomen. Vomiting may also occur.
All Pyometra in the past led to spaying or death. Today's treatments for Pyometra constists of flushing the uterus and administering prostaglandin injections.
Bitches can be bred after treatment.