It’s normal for my dog to bleed before she gives birth.
When a dog is pregnant her body is preparing for the big event of delivery. The blood vessels in her uterus (womb) start to enlarge and grow new blood vessels. This process is called vasoconstriction. The increased blood flow to the uterus can cause the vessels to rupture and bleed. This is called venous congestion.
The pregnant dog’s body is also preparing for the birth by producing more red blood cells. This increase in red blood cells is necessary to carry oxygen to the developing puppies.
The majority of dogs will have a small amount of bleeding during the last two weeks of pregnancy. The bleeding is usually bright red and not very heavy. If your dog is bleeding more heavily or if the bleeding is dark red or brown she should be seen by a veterinarian immediately as this could be a sign of a serious problem.
Puppies are born with a sac of fluid called the chorion that surrounds them. This sac is filled with blood vessels. When the sac is ruptured during delivery some of these vessels are also ruptured and can bleed. This is called maternal hemorrhage. Maternal hemorrhage is usually not a serious problem and will stop on its own.
If your dog is bleeding before or during delivery it is important to contact your veterinarian immediately. They will be able to determine if the bleeding is abnormal or a sign of a more serious problem.
Is it normal for my dog to bleed before giving birth?
Yes it is normal for your dog to bleed a small amount before giving birth.
This is called “Whelp Stain” and is caused by the rupture of the puppy’s amniotic sac.
How much bleeding is normal for my dog before giving birth?
Whelp staining is usually a small amount of blood often seen on the mother’s bedding or on her hindquarters.
If the bleeding is heavy or prolonged please contact your veterinarian.
What if my dog is having trouble giving birth?
If your dog is having trouble giving birth is bleeding excessively or if the puppies seem to be stuck please contact your veterinarian immediately.
What are the first signs that my dog is going into labor?
The first signs of labor in dogs are usually nesting behavior and a drop in body temperature.
What is the average length of time for a dog to give birth?
The average length of time for a dog to give birth is about 60-90 minutes per puppy.
How many puppies can a dog have?
The average litter size for a dog is six puppies but it can range from one to twelve.
What should I do if my dog starts having contractions?
If your dog starts having contractions you should timed them and contact your veterinarian if they last longer than 60-90 seconds or if they are more than five minutes apart.
What is the stage of labor called when the dog is actually giving birth?
The stage of labor when the dog is actually giving birth is called the pushing stage.
What do I do if my dog is eating her puppies?
If your dog is eating her puppies it is likely because she is stressed and is not producing enough milk.
Contact your veterinarian immediately.
Why might my dog reject her puppies?
There are several reasons why a dog might reject her puppies including stress illness ornot enough milk production.
If you are concerned please contact your veterinarian.
One of my dog’s nipples is bleeding is this normal?
If one of your dog’s nipples is bleeding it is likely because the puppy is not latched on correctly.
Try repositioning the puppy and if the bleeding does not stop please contact your veterinarian.
My dog seems to be in pain is this normal?
Some dogs experience discomfort after giving birth which is normal.
However if the pain seems excessive please contact your veterinarian.
How often should I check on my dog during labor?
It is recommended that you check on your dog every 30-60 minutes during labor.
What are the first things I should do when my dog has given birth?
The first things you should do when your dog has given birth are to check the placenta to make sure it is complete and to count the number of puppies.
If everything seems normal you can then let your dog rest.
How long does it take for a dog to deliver all her puppies?
The average length of time for a dog to deliver all her puppies is two to four hours.
However it can range from one to twelve hours.