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Old 04-23-2010, 07:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have a pregnant mom GSD I am fostering who seemed to be in early labor at 9pm last night. She was heavier breathing, panting more, uncomfortable and looking back there a lot. As the night progressed so did everything but she never seemed to show active signs of labor as far as contractions/pushing/etc. Never seemed distressed at all. Around 1am I took her out to potty, walk her around to see if it would get things moving but nothing. Also gave some icecream then just incase she was just tired and needed a boost. She continued to lay in her whelping box spread out on side, heavy breathing/panting/etc. Kind of a glazed/far away look on her eyes throughout all this. Around 3 she seemed to have settled more and breathing/panting slowed down, not laying in box anymore but just sitting in kennel area and ate her food. This morning, she's as if nothing ever happened last night. Not distressed at all which makes me think a puppy isn't stuck in the canal.

Has anyone had similar expereinces? I'll be talking to the vet in a bit and seeing if we should xray (as she came into the shelter pregnant a week ago and xrays weren't done) or if we should let her be for now and not stress.

I've whelped a couple litters before but never had one such as this where once she's started she stops and goes back to prior to starting.

Any thoughts/expereinces are appreciated
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Raven did something similar whelping her first litter. On and off signs of stage 1 labor for 1.5 days before labor started in earnest and pups were born. We were worried (not to mention very sleep deprived!) with all the false starts but since she was obviously not in distress we just waited it out and watched her closely. Once things really got going with real labor, the whelping went fine.

Looking back in hindsight, I think that she was delaying and halting labor herself because it being her first litter she wasn't sure what was going on, and I'm pretty convinced the reason she was holding off labor was that she thought she had to go to the bathroom and didn't want to make a mess in the house. This is a dog who's so festidious I think she'd explode before she had an accident indoors. When we'd take her out in the yard for a walk she'd squat as if to eliminate (but she didn't have to pee or poop) and immediately start having contractions and show more advanced signs of labor, so we'd bring her in as we didn't want a pup delivered in the yard, and then she'd stop the active labor, but want to go to the door to go outside again. She didn't have to go to the bathroom, but seemed to think that she did. When she did finally birth the first pup she was a bit panicked for a second thinking she'd messed in the house, then realized it was a pup, mothering instincts took over and from there on out it was a quick easy delivery of the rest. For her next litter we were prepared to just let her deliver the first pup in the yard if something similar happened again so as not to delay labor again, but that wasn't necessary. Apparently the second time around she knew the difference between the "I'm gonna give birth" feeling and the "I gotta take a dump" feeling.

So I'd just keep an eye on her and so long as she isn't in distress, just act normal, keep her comfortable and avoid stressing her out (bitches can stall and delay labor if they feel stressed or disturbed), and things will probably be fine. I'd bet you'll have puppies tonight as they can only delay so long before nature takes it's course.
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Chris, makes sense. She's had a stressful week, being surrendered to shelter (a breeder with way too many dogs that law enforcement was looking into) when so far along then coming home with me. I said that too- since I was up all night last night, she'll probably have tonight so I'm up all night again
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