As the day of whelping approaches, here are a few whelping supplies that can be helpful during whelping and the weeks afterwards.
- Breeder’s Edge® Foster Care: Give to babies if they need supplementing. Be sure you have a baby bottle! Top dress mom’s food with Foster Care the first week if it is needed. Use to flavor food when puppies start to wean for flavor. Puppies know the milk flavor and will start eating the food with it, then back out of the replacer over one week until they are just on food.
- Thermometer: Keep track of the temperature for the last two weeks. The temp will go down 1ºF, 24 hours before labor begins. If it is down longer than 24 hours with no labor, see your veterinarian.
- Bulb Syringe: Commonly called a “snot sucker.” It is great for removing amniotic fluid out of the back of the throat of puppies. A requirement if you are helping birth, especially for kittens.
- Scale: Helpful for monitoring smaller puppies to make sure they’re gaining enough weight each day.
- Pooch Pads: Absorbs the uterine discharge, blood and water, giving you another way to keep liquid away from the puppies’ living area.
- Disinfectants: Keeps the whelping area clean and sanitary, preventing bacteria and disease.
- Raspberry: Especially helpful for first-time moms to smooth labor, ease cramps, and facilitate the whole birthing process.
- Nutri-Drops: Gives the puppy an energy boost to stimulate nursing and extra calories to survive.
- Brewer’s Yeast & Garlic: Add to the mother’s food to stimulate her appetite after whelping, giving her the calories necessary to produce enough quality milk.
- Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal Plus Gel: Use labeled dose when whelping starts. Repeat any time whelping is perceived to be slowing down.
- Nursing Kit: Great tool for giving milk replacer to puppies or kittens when they need supplements within the first four weeks.
- Breeder’s Edge® Nuture Mate: The small puppy should be given Nurture Mate once a day for a week, and orphans should get it twice a day for two weeks. Plus, give it any time the puppy is off with GI issues, twice a day until cured.
- Breeder’s Edge® Repeat Pad: This liner is washable and can be removed, cleaned, and returned to the whelping box. Most wash it at one week and weekly until weaned. You can wash often, but do not disturb the litter too much the first week after they are on the ground. Mom will keep it clean, but there will be some amniotic fluid on the material.
- Chlorhexidine Solution: Use to disinfect around the litter and on the whelping box. It keeps infection and fungal numbers down. Also good for cleaning mom if needed or on a baby that needs to be cleaned up.
- Latex Gloves: People say it is optional, but you need to cover up to protect mom from your skin bacteria! They can be worn to examine mom if a baby is in the canal or if you are drying off a puppy and getting the membranes off. When the fast work of a new baby is over, you just strip them off and toss them.
- Breeder’s Edge® Umbilical Clamps: These plastic clamps help to quickly stop puppy umbilical cord bleeding. These small clamps are the ideal size for newborn puppies. The clamps crimp the cord and stop umbilical infection from getting into the baby. They are a real lifesaver on newborn puppies.
- Breeder’s Edge® Umbilical Forceps: You name it, forceps do it! Use them to clamp an umbilical cord quickly that is not separating so you can get the baby breathing, pull the placenta that is halfway in and halfway out, clamp a vessel that is bleeding and needs to be clamped, and help remove claws. If you do not have two of these in the kennel, get two! You will use them, they are cheap, and they need to be accessible.
- Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Mate (Use Until Whelping): Assures that there are maximum red blood cells in the baby and healthy mom at birth. The herbs ease whelping and decrease anxiety, preventing tired moms. Tired moms do not mother well!
- Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma (During Milking): Stimulates milk production and maintains vitamin levels in the females so we recover and cycle back. Deficiency does not show up until the next cycle; it is easier to avoid deficiency rather than play catch up. Don’t start early as we do not want mom to start milking before birth and risk Mastitis.
The Revival Whelping Kit is a one-stop-shop for all your whelping supplies. The whelping kit is a collection of the items listed above along with a few other items that an expectant mom and her newborn puppies should have access to before, during and after she gives birth.
If you need help choosing what whelping supplies you will need, call us at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.