Expectant canine mothers may run into difficulty at birthing, or whelping. There are numerous reasons why whelping may not proceed as expected, including oversized puppies, inappropriate positioning, or a lack of energy or uterine tone to deliver the puppies.
At the time of distress, saving the mother is of utmost importance , but the ability to deliver live, healthy pups is an obvious added benefit. Early intervention to save mother and puppies is paramount. Immediate attention is necessary if active contractions do not produce any pups, or if there is a green/black vulvar discharge. Please contact your veterinarian immediately if you see these symptoms.
Planned surgeries are also performed on those females who have had higher risk factors for problems with whelping. These include previous problems with delivery, single puppy litters, oversized litters, and also females of certain breeds that are physically unable to deliver naturally. Hormonal blood tests can be taken before whelping actually starts to determine the best time for mom deliver live puppies in these cases. These surgeries are planned through normal office working hours to ensure adequate trained staff are available, increasing the likelihood of a healthy litter.