Dogs know where the puppies come from
The three stages of childbirth
- The opening phase
The signs mentioned, such as restlessness, nest building behavior, panting, trembling, wheezing, refusal to feed, diarrhea and occasional vomiting occur approximately 6 to 24 hours before birth and increase their intensity continuously. These hours, in which the bitch prepares intensively for the impending confinement, are called the "opening phase". In addition to the recognizable external signs, some changes also take place inside the bitch in this phase, which are necessary for a smooth expulsion process. The cervix expands (cervical dilatation), cervical mucus loosens (slight vaginal discharge) and the first labor begins. After the loss of the amniotic fluid or after the onset of the first labor pains, the first puppy should be born about three to four hours later.
- The expulsion phase
When the first puppy slips into the cervical canal, the bitch automatically uses the abdominal press. During this phase of expulsion, the bitch usually lies on her side or presses in a crouching position. After two to four strong abdominal cramps, the puppy is usually driven relatively easily. It does not matter with dogs whether the puppies are born head first or rear end. As a rule, the puppies are born at intervals of between 10 and 60 minutes, but longer intervals of up to two hours (especially for first-time mothers) are possible. As soon as the first puppy is born, the mother bites into the surrounding fruit shell and cuts the umbilical cord with her teeth.
- The postpartum phase
About five minutes after the puppy, the afterbirth (placenta) is excreted, which is eaten by the mother just like the pericarp. This not only serves to keep the birthplace clean, but also hormonally promotes the bitch's milk production. It can also happen that two or three puppies are born one after the other and the respective afterbirths are only then driven out. In order to stimulate the helpless puppy's breathing, the mother licks her young. The birth is over as soon as all puppies have been born and the same number of afterbirths have been eliminated. Usually this is the case in less than 12 hours.
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