Can dogs have false labor?? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 11/11/04, 06:56 AM
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Can dogs have false labor??

We have a black lab/springer spaniel who is due ANY DAY.... and I swear last nite, was in first stage labor... panting, some mild contractions... but after several hours, settled down, and went to sleep for the night.... of course, I slept on the floor in the livingroom next to her in case she needed me.... (oh, my aching back!!) but I have to say, I don't see any signs of labor this morning at all..... She is quite energetic and playful... makes good eye contact...

Does this happen??? I have looked at so many web sites this morning I am seeing double!! But I was unable to find anything that hints at false labor....

Any advice is helpful....

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Old 11/11/04, 07:35 AM
Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs
 
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Location: VT
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Yes, a dog can have "false labor," but they can also experience discomfort from the sheer weight and pressure of the puppies. By now your girl is probably carrying a load of kids on her vital organs and things are getting a wee bit tight in there!

That said, you want to keep an eye on her. If she continues to behave this way, clawing out a nest, restless, discharge, obvious contractions... and nothing is moving, you either want to do an exam yourself (if you know what you're doing) or get her to a vet for a quick check. Sometimes you can have a big puppy stuck like a cork in a bottle... on occasion we've lost the first puppy simply because of the position he (it is almost always a he) is stuck in. It crushes the cord.

Remember that your girl needs LOTS of food during the lactation period, and an astonishing amount of water. She should also be wormed within a few days of giving birth, and your pups should be wormed at 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 weeks. You probably know this, but in case someone is reading this post who doesn't... there it is.

You'll also weigh the pups every day for the first couple of weeks to make sure everyone is gaining at the same rate, so if there is a problem you'll catch it long before it is a crisis.

Good luck! Nothing like puppy breath in the morning!

:-)

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  #3  
Old 11/11/04, 07:38 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Mid Michigan
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Tami,

What you descibe is quite common. It's probably not false labor but the first stages of labor. A dog's normal temperature is 101.5 - when it drops below that, they generally whelp within 24 hours. A dog usually goes off feed for a period before whelping as well. They will pant, mild contractions, try to tear up nesting papers, etc. all in preparation. It can actually take over a couple days from these first signs to actual hard labor when the puppies start coming and from first to last puppy can take quite a few hours as well. The only time I would be concerned is if they strain hard over a period of time - that might mean they need the intervention of a vet - but that's usually not called for.

Just relax - enjoy the fun..........

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Last edited by goldenlady; 11/11/04 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 11/11/04, 08:02 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by texastami
We have a black lab/springer spaniel who is due ANY DAY.... and I swear last nite, was in first stage labor... panting, some mild contractions... but after several hours, settled down, and went to sleep for the night.... of course, I slept on the floor in the livingroom next to her in case she needed me.... (oh, my aching back!!) but I have to say, I don't see any signs of labor this morning at all..... She is quite energetic and playful... makes good eye contact...

Does this happen??? I have looked at so many web sites this morning I am seeing double!! But I was unable to find anything that hints at false labor....

Any advice is helpful....
Tami,
The normal gestation is 63 days after breeding. Prior to labor, the bitch will pant and and then settle. The temp drops 1 degree. After that temp. drop labor with delivery is imminent within 12 hours if all goes well.
My dog's litter came pretty close to that timing. She panted with the normal temp. and settled a while. Next day the temp dropped 1 degree to 99. By afternoon she had first pup after the contractions. About every half hour she had 4 more pups and went outside to pee. I thought all was finished when 5 hours later the final pup popped out!
Good Luck.
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Old 11/11/04, 11:55 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Alaska
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How large do you think this litter is? Helped a friend with whelping once and the bitch only had one pup. Not enough hormone in a large dog with a small litter to get a full delivery in swing but she did have some contractions. We ended up having a c-section done. If you haven't been taking the temperature right along, you may have already missed the drop. My own lab never went off her feed for her litters. She even stopped her labor herself during one delivery when I fed the other dogs. She refused to go back to the whelping box until I fed her. She ate, then went back to work whelping. Hope it works out smoothly!

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Old 11/11/04, 03:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorrisonCorner
your pups should be wormed at 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 10 weeks. You probably know this, but in case someone is reading this post who doesn't... there it is.
I'm sorry to dispute you... ??? (I don't know What med you are using)..
BUT... Veterinary advice for worming of pups WITH Strongid (yellow liquid) is at ages 2, 4 and 6 wks. Then at 8 wks. heartworm preventative should be started. A fecal exam should be done to determine if there are any other worms that could require another worming medication.

All your other advice is great!

On the topic for the original poster of False Labor.. If it is 'time' (63 days) to deliver and the dog shows the signs mentioned (or maybe doesn't if first litter) WATCH LIKE A HAWK. If she starts pushing and nothing is coming out within the first half hour of pushing (with a visible 'bump' near the vaginal opening) GET HER TO THE VET IMMEDIATELY! (I lost a litter of Chihuaha pups this way, once.) It's best not to take chances.
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  #7  
Old 11/11/04, 04:16 PM
Zone 7B
 
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I did a belly check when we first discovered she was pregnant and I am guessing about 6 pups...

It is her first litter.... and I am watching like a hawk!! She hates it when I leave the room.... so I am literally tied to her right now.... If I don't sit right by her box, she howls and whines terribly... but as soon as I come in and sit down... she lays down and goes to sleep.... she's a LOVEY DOVEY BIG BABY....


I am ready for everything!!

Thanks for all the great advice!!! I 'll let everyone know when it happens!!

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"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

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  #8  
Old 11/11/04, 08:10 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 91

My chichuaha had a false pregnancy. Good luck. Keep us posted.

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