Normal gestation of puppies lasts 65-72 days, depending on the size of the future mother and the number of babies. Premature birth in a dog implies the presence of labor before the onset of 65 days of pregnancy. Self-abortion of offspring always has a reason, however, it is difficult to establish ex post. Dog forums are teeming with the question: “Why do preterm births occur in dogs,” let's try to sort things out in order.
Features of pregnancy in dogs
A successful pregnancy is first and foremost a thorough preparation for mating and proper care for the expectant mother. Before mating, both parents must undergo a general examination, procedures for the prevention of worms and parasites.
Important! The future mother is not recommended to be vaccinated during pregnancy, the risk is incomparably greater in relation to the benefit, it is easier to overexpose the bitch to quarantine than to endanger future babies.
The gestational age varies depending on the size, age and state of health of the mother, up to 72 days, only large dogs carry the offspring and not always. Small and miniature pets give birth and on 61-62 days, statistically, the litter is considered premature, but in fact the puppies are healthy and viable. Another factor affecting the gestation period is the number of babies and their size. The risk of miscarriage increases if the litter has more than 10 puppies.
Causes of Preterm Birth in Dogs
Often there are angry statements of breeders addressed to veterinarians who did not stop the birth or did not save the babies. In fact, it is unrealistic to stop the process of childbirth, which is under way, that nature cannot be deceived. The question is also relevant, but is it necessary / possible to stop childbirth if they have already begun. Arguing without emotion, the owner understands that the main thing is the life and health of the dog.
- Non-viability or death of litter - Fetal developmental pathologies are far from uncommon, and if the pregnancy is not going according to plan, the dog’s body itself gets rid of hopeless offspring.
- Intrauterine infection, brought in during mating or estrus, also threatens the death of the mother, therefore, the body, protecting itself, gets rid of puppies as an additional burden.
- Hidden pathology - diseases of the kidneys, liver, heart and other organs that were not diagnosed before pregnancy.
- Brucellosis - A serious, secretive disease, the obvious symptom of which is a miscarriage of non-viable offspring for a period of 7-8 weeks.
- Herpes and staphylococci - Both diseases cause mutation of the fetus and provoke miscarriages. Pathogens can be detected before pregnancy by taking blood tests.
- Toxoplasmosis - A disease due to which pregnancy breaks down in the later stages. Even if the dog informs the babies, they will not be viable.
- Hormonal disorders - the body does not produce enough hormones responsible for the development of puppies.
To stop childbirth in all the above cases means to risk the life of the dog! The only option when medical intervention is really relevant and necessary is premature birth due to fear or excessive physical exertion.
Important! Water procedures, including washing, should be carried out only with warm water. The temperature contrast causes spasm of the uterus, which can trigger labor.
What to do if a dog has premature birth
First of all, decide whether you will try to save the puppies. In fact, most premature babies die in the first 5 days after giving birth, even if all the necessary procedures have been performed and the puppies' lungs have opened.
Important! The chances of survival of the litter are directly dependent on the gestational age, if you are determined to try to save premature puppies, contact your veterinarian urgently. The doctor will have a cesarean section and resuscitation procedures - injections to open the lungs.
What should I do if the contractions start amid stress, fear or a jump from above? Gather strength and try to prevent the tragic consequences.
- The dog needs to be reassured, provide comfort and drink.
- Call your veterinarian and keep a telephone call until the alarm goes off.
- Do not panic and clearly monitor the situation.
- Prick up antispasmodic drugs (No-shpa, Drotaverinum). The dose is calculated by the weight of the animal.
- Papaverine in injections or tablets will help relieve uterine tone. Even if the contractions temporarily ceased, the puppies are threatened with hypoxia (suffocation), while the muscles of the peritoneum are in good shape.
- Traumatine (veterinary) and Traumeel C (human) are complex drugs that mobilize the body and reduce the risk to the health of the woman in labor.
- With rapid delivery, any drugs that relieve attempts and contractions (Partusisten, Ginipral, Fenoterol). Keep in mind that the use of such strong drugs is a very big risk, which is only relevant in a hopeless situation.