Saturday, September 15, 2018

What to Expect When Your Dog is Expecting: Part 6 - Possible Health Issues

There are health issues and complications that may arise out of a dog’s pregnancy, we have unfortunately experienced some of them and it is terrifying, specially because we weren’t as educated about the issues back then as we are now. So we’re sharing it to you guys so you wouldn’t experience being terrified of what’s going on. Here are some of the most common issues we hope you never have to experience. Majority of which can be fatal to the mother, so it’s best to be educated.


Yup, miscarriage can happen to dogs to, the causes of this are, but not limited to;

External Causes
excessive activity, stress, pregnant dog falling or bumping into hard objects, 

Internal Causes
  • B. Canis – This bacterium is extremely widespread among kenneled dogs, as it can be easily transmitted. This disease causes both stillbirths and conception failures.

  • Mycotic Abortion – This fungus most commonly causes excessive bleeding in the uterus and can lead to an aborted fetus.

  • Fetal Death – If the dog has a hormonal imbalance it can lead to the fetus' death, either causing a stillbirth or a spontaneous abortion.

  • Neospora Caninum – This is a parasite generally found in dogs. It can be transmitted if the dog ingests contaminated water, food, feces or infected animal flesh

  • Canine Herpesvirus -  It’s a dog’s sexually transmitted bacteria, that ff the bitch catches the virus during mating, there is a chance that the virus will lead to an early-stage miscarriage of the litter. Pre-breeding testing for both bitch and dog can be performed in order to prevent this.

  • Canine Brucellosis - Another sexually transmitted disease. The condition presents with virtually no symptoms in most cases and the bitch may appear well and the pregnancy proceeding normally-however, canine brucellosis can lead to late-stage miscarriage, or stillborn pups.

  • Toxoplasmosis - a parasitic infection that can be passed on through improperly cooked or stored meat-raising. This can cause miscarriage in the early stages of gestation particularly, and potential birth defects in litters carried to term.


Vaginal discharge that are any color other than clear or slightly cloudy, the mucus caused by miscarriege is often described as tinged with blood, and has a bad odor. When Khaleesi had her miscarriage, her mucus was almost black in color, when the vet touched it we found out it was green and red combined.

Another possible sign is early labor. If your pregnant dog gives premature labor before day 57, and the fetus came out dead or underdeveloped, it’s a miscarriage.


Just take extra careful of your dog, have the necessary tests to see if she has none of the internal causes, and have the stud tested for any sexually transmitted disease as well.

    Eclampsia (Milk Fever)

    This is a life threatening condition most common in small breeds with a large litter.

    It’s a glandular problem in which the parathyroid gland does not secret sufficient calcium-releasing hormone, in layman’s term; the problem arises from low blood calcium as the mother’s body prepares to produce calcium-rich milk

    • Dam becomes disoriented, stiff, nervous, and restless
    • They will loose interest in the puppies
    • Fever and a rapid heartbeat
    • In worst cases, they will have muscle spasms, seizures, and is unable to walk


    Adequate amounts of calcium need to be consumed by the pregnant bitch, but not so much that the production of parathyroid hormone is reduced. Parathyroid hormone is essential for maintaining adequate blood calcium levels. This means calcium supplements are generally not recommended. Also, it is important for the calcium and phosphorus in the diet to be at the correct ratio of 1 part calcium to 1 part phosphorus and vitamin D must also be present. Puppy foods are formulated with the correct ratios of calcium and phosphorus, so these are the best option to feed your bitch.


    This is best describe as a scenario when your dog is having a hard time delivering via natural labor.


    • The shape and size of the pelvic canal - If the pelvis is narrow, either due to breed conformation or because of a previous fractured pelvis, delivering puppies may be difficult. This is especially true if the dog has a large head relative to the size of the pelvis.

    • The Breed - Breeds predisposed to dystocia include British Bulldogs, French bulldogs and boxers.

    • Uterine inertia - can also cause dystocia. Uterine inertia occurs when the uterus is no longer able to contract and push the puppies through the vaginal canal. It can occur at any stage of labour and may be associated with uterine exhaustion.

    • The size of the pups -  can cause dystocia. If the puppy is too large, it will not fit in the birth canal. This can be common when there is only a single puppy in the litter.

    • Puppies’ position - are normally born either head first or rear legs first. If the puppy is sideways or bottom first, they become stuck.

    • Developmental defects - that result in enlargement of certain body parts can make birth difficult.

    • Death of the puppy in utero - can result in abnormal positioning and can affect uterine contractions.


    •  Your dog has been pregnant for over 63 days.
    • Stage 1 labour has gone on for 24 hours without producing a pup
    • Steady strong contractions have continued for over half an hour without producing a pup.
    • Prolonged resting phase continues over 4 hours when there are more pups to be delivered.
    • There is a foul smelling or bloody vaginal discharge.
    • The mother-to-be has excessive vomiting or is extremely lethargic.


    There is little that can be done to prevent dystocia, but having good knowledge of what to expect from the birthing process and detecting problems early - resulting in prompt veterinary assistance - will give the mother the best chance of delivering live, healthy puppies.


    If your bitch experiences a heavy significant flow of blood any time after whelping, call your vet immediately.  This is a very serious emergency.

    Retained Placenta and Pups

    This is a complication wherein there is a lack of placenta (1 placenta = 1 pup) or one or more pups are retained inside the dog’s womb
    • persistent vomiting
    • dehydration
    • lack of appetite
    • depression
    • weakness
    • green vaginal discharge

    Metritis means inflammation of the uterus (womb), and is usually associated with infection.  Uterine infections are emergencies that can be fatal if not treated quickly.  Metritis sometimes follows after long or difficult labor.


    • Fever
    • Weakness
    • Depression
    • Dehydration
    • Dull eyes
    • Reduced milk production
    • Foul smelling discharge from the vagina.
    This condition is very serious and requires immediate veterinary attention.


    Mastitis refers to swelling, inflammation, and infection of the mammary gland and is typically caused by three kinds of bacteria: E. coli, Staphylococcus, or Streptococcus. Mastitis is most often seen in dogs during the first two weeks after delivery.  


    • Affected mammary glands are typically hot, swollen, firm to hard and may be painful to the touch
    • Severely infected glands may be black in colour or even rupture, leaking a foul-smelling pus discharge

    Mastitis is fairly easy to treat but can be deadly if left untreated. Seek veterinary advice immediately.

    If you missed Part 1: Signs of Pregnancy, Click Here
    If you missed Part 2: Your Responsibilities, Click Here
    If you missed Part 3: Stages of Pregnancy and Gestation Cycle, Click Here
    If you missed Part 4: Labor and Whelping, Click Here
    If you missed Part 5: Recovery, Click Here

    Thank you for reading, Please make sure to follow us on Instagram and on Facebook for daily updates. We now have a Youtube Channel and an Twitter Account, where you can subscribe to, and get early access to pet vlogs and DIYs.

    XOXO The Kardogshians

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