What three things should you do to help your dog prepare for whelping?
Give Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate Prenatal vitamins for the same reason your mom took them! This supports a healthy pregnancy and healthy puppy development (okay, you weren’t a puppy). During the last week of pregnancy, switch from Oxy Mate to Breeder’s Edge Oxy Momma to stimulate milk production. Start giving Oxy Momma seven days before a scheduled C-section, or three to four days before a natural birth. We want puppies born fighting to live and moms lactating from the first day.
Use Fenbendazole dewormer (labeled for pregnant and nursing moms) after day 50 of gestation for 42 days in a row until the puppies are 14 days old. Fenbendazole is safe, and it gets five major parasites. If mom doesn’t give parasites to her puppies, we don’t have to worry about sick puppies!
When the female starts nesting (early labor) or her temperature drops one degree, give mom the first dose of Breeder’s Edge Oral Cal Plus calcium gel. The goal is to get three to four doses in mom before the first puppy hits the ground. This supports consistent contractions that efficiently dilate the cervix and get the first puppy on the ground quicker. Getting the litter on the ground in less than 12 hours helps with puppy stress and mom’s stress. Slow whelping is uterine inertia and may lead to C-sections to deliver the last few puppies; this is not desirable and hard on mom. Slow-whelping puppies are short of oxygen at birth, show weakness and failure to nurse well. Being short of oxygen contributes to failure-to-thrive puppies, and we do not want to see that either!
Those are my top three things to help mom do her job. You may do more and should add prevention to avoid issues you are seeing in your puppies. It is all about getting puppies on the ground effectively and helping mom recover, nurse the litter and raise some healthy happy puppies! I truly believe if mom is not happy, no one is, and we don’t want puppies to pay for us not managing mom!
If you have more dog whelping questions, call us at 800.786.4751.Article originally written by Donald Bramlage, DVM, Revival’s Former Director of Veterinary Services.
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Written by: Marty Greer, DVM
Director of Veterinary Services
Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has 40+ years’ experience in veterinary medicine, with special interests in canine reproduction and pediatrics. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in 1981. She’s served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services since 2019. In 2023, Dr. Greer was named the Westminster Kennel Club Veterinarian of the Year.