When preparing to take birth with a German shepherd without the appropriate experience, it is better to invite a veterinarian to help. But even in this case, you must first properly prepare the place for childbirth. If you decide to do everything yourself, you should know what items you may need during childbirth, how to take puppies and bandage the umbilical cord correctly, and what to do so that the dog does not eat its puppies. These and other related things will be discussed below.
Choose a room in advance where the shepherd will give birth. Equip a suitable place there so that the dog is comfortable, warm, and dry. It should be free of drafts and direct sunlight. Keep the room temperature at about thirty degrees, otherwise newborn puppies may catch a cold.
How many puppies can a German shepherd give birth? It all depends on the individual characteristics of the body structure. The average number of newborn puppies is seven.
If the birth occurred in the winter, then you need to install an additional heat source – an infrared lamp is just right.
When the birth begins, there should not be strangers to the dog next to the dog, otherwise, it will begin to get nervous and show aggression, especially when the appearance of its first puppy.
For normal birth, a special maternity box is suitable. It should be raised above the floor by five centimeters, and have walls in height from fifty to seventy centimeters. The size is about two by two meters, you can slightly smaller, depending on the size of the pet. Best of all, if one of the walls will be removed – convenient for cleaning. Choose the right material – so that it is easy to clean and does not absorb odor.
It is worthwhile to familiarize the German shepherd with a suitable place for childbirth in advance, about ten days so that she does not decide to choose another angle that is completely unsuitable for this important moment. If you bring a dog to the chosen place just before the birth of the puppies, she may get agitated, refuse, and give birth where she wants. This will bring you inconvenience, but it is unlikely that something will change.
No matter how many times your dog gives birth, make the crate as convenient as possible to make it easier for her to give birth. Do not forget about the ledge around the perimeter of the block, so that the German shepherd could not pin her puppies to the wall.
Several obvious signs can tell about future births.
Firstly, a month before the start of the process, the pregnant shepherd’s stomach is rounded. Secondly, for three weeks the genital swelling, discharge appears. Thirdly, in two weeks the nipples begin to swell. Milk appears two to three days before birth.
From the fifty-seventh day, periodically measure the body temperature of the shepherd, morning and evening. The normal temperature for a dog is 38.5 degrees, but if you notice that it has decreased by two degrees, you should know that no more than a day is left before the offspring appear.
If the temperature has dropped, but there is still no contractions, then you need to urgently consult a specialist. It is necessary to do this if the German shepherd has an increase in temperature, which threatens the birth of dead puppies.
The closer the birth, the stronger the changes in the psychological state of the German Shepherd. A week before the birth of their puppies, the dog begins to get nervous, prepare a place where he drags his favorite things.
Perhaps she will refuse to eat or eat selectively. In this case, divide the daily ration into small portions and give her a little, sure to check the condition of the stool. If you notice that the stool has turned yellow or dark green, with a bad and pungent odor, urgently show the shepherd to the veterinarian. Remember to tell me how much time has passed since your last meal.
A few days before the birth, you need to remove raw meat, fish, and almost all salt from the diet. Otherwise, there is a risk of provoking eclampsia – a severe process of toxicosis, which can develop due to poor liver and kidney activity. Signs of eclampsia are swelling, cramps, a sharp jump in pressure.
Each dog has individual characteristics, therefore, childbirth can take place in different ways. If the shepherd gives birth to puppies for the first time, then she will definitely need your help. If she already has the experience, then, most likely, you will only have to watch the miracle of birth.
If you doubt that the birth will be normal, it is better to get advice from the veterinarian in advance and agree that he will also participate in the process.
Whatever happens during the birth of your pet, prepare in advance for possible situations. Prepare a set of items next to the maternity ward that may be needed to assist during childbirth:
- sterile wipes;
- disinfectant solution for tools;
- hand sanitizer;
- cotton wool;
- medical petroleum jelly;
- disposable medical gloves;
- heating pad;
- box for puppies;
- sterile harsh threads;
Before giving birth to a litter, it’s a good idea to have a special notebook to write down all the necessary information about the litter – the birth time of each puppy, gender, weight, all possible individual characteristics of each puppy. This notebook can be used as a future diary of monitoring the psychological and physical development of the litter.
After giving birth you will need the following things:
- multi-colored threads to indicate puppies;
- goat milk;
- meat broth to maintain the strength of the shepherd.
Prepare drinking water with a margin – it may be needed at any time.
Hygiene before the process
Before giving birth, gently wipe the German Shepherd with soapy water, remembering to thoroughly rinse the foam with warm water. Then you need to treat the vagina and external genitalia with a weak solution of furatsilin.
Do not forget to cut your nails, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and rub with medical alcohol. These manipulations are necessary in case your help is suddenly needed.
Before the very birth, the behavior of the German shepherd changes dramatically – it retires, whines, scratches its litter. Lies as long as it takes time before childbirth, eats nothing, and often breathes. At first glance, you can notice the trembling of muscles in the dog, you can see the puppies moving in the womb.
If you have prepared the maternity box well and thoroughly and you will be there for as long as you need, then all these manipulations will help the shepherd get rid of excess nervousness.
The birth process itself can be divided into three parts:
- before childbirth;
- the birth of puppies;
- after childbirth.
Contraction of the muscles in the uterus – the process of contractions – can last up to thirty hours. Due to frequent contractions, the cervix begins to open, which is outwardly completely not noticeable.
The cervix fully opens and contractions with attempts – contractions of the abdominal muscles – help the fetus move along the birth canal for a subsequent birth.
As soon as the puppy is born, the mother herself bites off the umbilical cord and begins to lick her baby, thereby stimulating life. Do not rush to the birth of the first fetus; you yourself will only harm puppies and the shepherd. Give as much time as you need for a natural birth. A German shepherd is able to give birth to an average of seven puppies.
After the birth of the puppy leaves the last that the dog eats. It contains extremely important substances for the continuation of a normal birth and the appearance of lactation. Two consequences are enough to maintain health, do not let the dog eat more, otherwise, it will start diarrhea.
Try to change the litter for the convenience of the shepherd as often as possible.
Normal birth lasts up to twelve hours, the interval between the appearance of puppies on average equals an hour. If more than two hours have passed after the birth of the last baby, this means that the birth is over. But sometimes the last puppies are born several hours later. For a German shepherd, the birth of seven puppies is the norm.
The last afterbirth can come out within an hour. You can give a German shepherd an injection of oxytocin. Thanks to the medicine, the placenta will come out quickly and easily.
After delivery, there may be green discharge or bleeding. Why is the highlight green? Hemoglobin can stain in such a shade due to the formation of hematomas in the placenta. After seven days, the discharge becomes transparent, within a month they will stop.
Be always ready to help your darling if something suddenly went wrong during the birth of the offspring. If the fetus is stuck, you will have to pull out the babies yourself.
Puppy goes head
Depending on the tact of contractions and attempts, gently and slowly pull the puppy’s head and legs, gently rocking it from side to side. You easily straighten the bent legs of the baby with your index finger.
If you pull the fetus too sharply and too much, you can damage the puppy’s spinal cord.
Puppy goes hind legs
In this case, you should hurry up, otherwise, the puppy may suffocate from squeezing the umbilical cord. Pull him by the tail and hind legs.
If the birth canal is too dry, immediately lubricate it with medical vaseline using a syringe.
Your veterinarian should be warned in advance what time the dog is scheduled to give birth so that he has the opportunity to come at your request.
German shepherd gets tired during childbirth. Let her eat from time to time – a pre-prepared warm meat broth is just right. If it does not help, try taking her for a short walk to relieve her natural needs. In this case, do not forget to bring a towel with you – the shepherd can give birth during a walk.
If your dog gives birth for the first time, she may not know what to do with her puppies. Perhaps the shepherd is so tired that she does not have time to help her babies. Need outside help.
Quickly and accurately release the puppy from the membranes by removing mucus with a gauze swab from his mouth and nose. Then lift the umbilical cord so that the liquid in it, rich in vitamins, glass back. Having retreated two centimeters, bandage the umbilical cord with a special thread. After these manipulations, wipe the puppy with a towel and massage to stimulate blood circulation and breathing.
It’s time to put the newborn to the nipples of the mother and wait for the puppy to start eating. Indeed, in the first hours of his life, a puppy assimilates a large number of antibodies from mother’s milk. After the baby has finished eating, wrap it in a dry towel, and put it in a separate box in front of her mother.
If puppies are already born, but the shepherd still does not have milk, then feed them with pre-prepared goat milk from a pipette.
If your dog begins to breathe normally and finally calms down, then the birth is over. It is necessary to walk the dog until one of your relatives removes it in the maternity box. After the walk, wash the shepherd with warm water.
Diseases after childbirth
On average, about seven puppies are born in German shepherds, but their number can easily reach fourteen. It happens that a dog eats its puppies. Why is this happening? When a dog gives birth for the first time, it may experience postpartum shock, which lasts several hours. Carefully monitor the behavior of the shepherd to help puppies in time. You will also have to stay with the kids for several days so that the shepherd does not eat them. If the dog did not eat the puppies during the first day, then this will almost certainly not happen. But it does not hurt to play safe.
If your pet behaves too nervous after childbirth, leaves puppies, breathes often, has cramps, excessive salivation, then the German shepherd has postpartum titanium. These symptoms may continue throughout the day. If the dog does not eat anything and does not want to cope with its natural needs, it is necessary to wrap it up more warmly and urgently call a veterinarian to provide medical assistance.
Why is it necessary to feed the shepherd with food with a high content of minerals, vitamins and remove raw meat from the diet before giving birth? This is done to prevent titania after birth depression. Sunlight and calcium also help a lot.