Provide Canine Post-Partum Care

Edited by Mian Sheilette Ong, Robbi, Lynn, Eng and 3 others

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Giving birth is one of the most wonderful gifts a woman can have. It is also a special moment for your female furry companion. The moment she is bred, she undergoes many changes — physically, emotionally, and mentally. As her pet parent, you have to make sure that she undergoes all of those changes successfully until she stops producing milk for her puppies. The stress of pregnancy and giving birth becomes more intense for your dog when the puppies arrive. You know how demanding puppies can be, and this can take a toll on your princess. The main goal is to ensure the optimal health of your dam and her puppies. It is best to ask your veterinarian about canine postpartum care. Once you have the basic knowledge, you can apply the proper care to your new doggie mama and to her new litter.

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How You Can Give Canine Postpartum Care

It may feel like the longest two months (63-70 days) of your life when you are waiting for your princess to give birth to her litter. No matter how many times you go through it, it's always a brand new experience, for each canine pregnancy and delivery. Now that you have successfully assisted your dog in her whelping stage, it is time to give her the best postpartum care possible. Of course, it is easy to divert your attention to the puppies at this point because they do look very vulnerable and delicate. Don't you worry about a thing! Their mom will take good care of them. All you have to do is pay attention to the mom, or your dam. The following are important pointers on how to take good care of your dam after her successful delivery:

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  1. 1
    Keep an eye on your dam at all times.
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    Make sure that you regularly monitor your dam the first week after she has given birth. It is advisable to stay with your dam and her pups, even at night. You should make sure that she doesn't roll on or squish her puppies. You should also make sure that no puppy moves away from the others or that puppy will get too cold. You have to let the veterinarian see them within six hours after delivery. Doing so will ensure that the puppies and the dam are all healthy, happy, and safe. The vet will just check the dam's mammary glands to see if they are positive for inflammation or mastitis, and also assess the puppies for any deformities. Your veterinarian will also administer oxytocin to your dam so that she can eliminate all the remnants of pregnancy from her uterus. It will also help stop the bleeding. The contractions induced by the oxytocin will also help her bring her uterus back to its pre-pregnant state. It is normal for the dam to discharge green-colored fluid (lasts for eight weeks). There is no need to be alarmed if the discharge doesn't smell bad.
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  2. 2
    Give more food to your dam.
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    Do not fret if your dam doesn't have a big appetite right after giving birth. After a day, she will regain her strength from the delivery and she will start eating normally again. However, you should understand that having a litter is highly demanding on your dam. She has to produce enough milk for her puppies. With this in mind, you have to give her more food. You should increase the amount of food up to about three times her normal feeding. Always keep her food bowl full. Give her puppy food because it has more calories. Also, keep fresh water flowing for your dam. She needs it to produce more milk. See to it that food and water are always close to your dam because she won't want to be away from her puppies. After a month, her normal appetite will come back. By then, you should gradually reduce the amount of food that she takes in.
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  3. 3
    Place your dam and her puppies in a quiet, calm environment.
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    Stress should be avoided by the lactating dam. She will be very protective of her puppies at this point. A maximum of two people should be the ones to care for her to keep her calm and secure. Let your friends and family know that your dam needs her rest. It would be better to keep visitors out in the meantime, so that your dam could regain her strength much faster.
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  4. 4
    Maintain proper hygiene for your dam.
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    You should always make sure that your dam has proper hygiene. This will protect her and her puppies from any form of infection. Immediately remove the soiled cloths and other materials from the whelping box. Get soft, clean bedding to help your dam feel comfortable. Always check the bedding, so that everyone in the whelping box remains dry and happy. Always clean your dam with a clean cloth rinsed in warm water. This keeps her body clean, especially since she is nursing her pups.
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Considerations in Giving Canine Postpartum Care

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You have to consider the following when giving canine postpartum care:

  1. 1
    Your dam's discharge should normally be brown, red, or green after delivery.
    If it is black, contact your veterinarian immediately. The discharge typically lasts for a week, gradually becoming clear. If it is foul smelling, contact your vet.
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  2. 2
    There are dams that spot blood after they deliver puppies.
    This can last for one to two weeks.
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  3. 3
    The dam should nurse her puppies.
    The colostrum is a vital source of antibodies for possible diseases and infections.
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  4. 4
    Dams need extra calcium.
    This is to prevent milk fever, which can happen suddenly when the dam starts nursing her pups. It may also happen before delivery. Take note that milk fever is an emergency case.
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  • Continue giving vitamins to your dam after delivery.
  • Always have your vet's emergency number ready.
  • Keep other dogs or pets away from the dam and her litter.
  • Expand the whelping box as the puppies grow.

Questions and Answers

My dog is lacking appetite. She had delivery 6 days ago?

She didn't eat any food dry or wet, not even water. I have tried: I gave her interesting food. I think it was caused by: I am tiring, but she has good status

Refusing to eat for a couple of days is a serious sign that there might be an infection. If a dog refuses to drink for a day, then it is even worse, as canines cannot survive long without drinking. You can use a syringe without a needle to administer water to her mouth and immediately (that means, right now!) call the veterinarian for adequate diagnosis and treatment. A veterinarian may take a blood test first to diagnose the illness. Septic infections are possible after giving birth, and they should be treated with properly prescribed dosages of vitamins, medicine droppers (to make blood less viscous owing to dehydration), and antibiotics as fast as it is possible.

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Categories : Dogs

Recent edits by: salamat, Jen M, Eng

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