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WHELPING VON CEY PUPPIES
"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

SIGNS OF ONCOMING LABOUR

On the evening of April 21st Libby began to get restless and uncomfortable. She made many trips around and around the kitchen. She would want in the house and then outside. When you went outside with her she wanted in. She would whine and head for the deepfreeze (where her raw meat is kept) to show us she was hungry, but wouldn't eat or drink.

She was constantly changing her body position and cleaning herself as the evening went on. It seemed pretty clear that she was going to be whelping on day 61 rather than 63. We brought in the large tub so that she could whelp in the house. She is familiar with this drill so she constantly moved in and out of it...enjoying the blanket and the attention. She didn't seem to be nervous (as opposed to the first litter), but seemed very aware of what was about to happen.

BIRTH

After the pup had passed through the pelvic canal it entered the world covered in a thin whitish membrane. Libby licked and nipped at this membrane and intermittently cleaned herself. It is hard at times not to intervene and get that sac off of the puppies face- which of course we would if Libby was unattentive to the situation. But nature knows best and Libby does her job instinctively and with precision.

Below: Libby is biting off the membrane that covers the puppy.

Libby chewed through the cord that is attached to the black/green afterbirth- and quickly devoured it. She continued to stimulate the new puppy to breath by licking it vigorously and rolling it around. The puppy could be heard making fairly soft protests to this new form of "handling" and was quickly looking for nourishment.

Each new pup came about 45 - 60 minutes a part. We continued to offer her water. She gulped down some raw meat and took a long drink of the water.

 

LABOUR

The gestation period for dogs is approximately 63 days. Dogs have ways of letting you know that they know the date or arrival is near. Several days ahead of Libby's whelping date she had acted on her "denning instinct" and dug another large hole under the whelping shed. We have learned to leave it alone as filling it in at this point only leads to more holes dug. We make sure to keep her in the house where we can watch her, and to keep her from going under the shed to whelp where her puppies would be very difficult to get to.

Libby is a very strong dog and in very good shape. She could whelp alone and really does the job without assistance, but we like to supervise to make sure that all is going as nature intended. She appreciates the company it seems. The GSD breed, unlike some other breeds, is not so domesticated that it requires intervention unless things become obviously abnormal.

Along with the other signs of shivering and whining, it was clear that labour was in full swing by the sound of continuous panting. Contractions could easily be felt along her abdomen. Thankfully she didn't vomit during her labour as some dogs do.

Usually by this time she literally has milk dripping but not this year. She is dry to the touch.

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. Ben Williams

Six GSD Puppies Settling In

Three Females

Three Males