Breeding, Pet Tips with Dr. B, Whelping

How to Use Canine OB Forceps

What are OB forceps for dogs? In this how-to video, Revival’s Former Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Bramlage, shows how to use OB forceps for dogs. If you have any other questions on how to use whelping forceps or how to help a dog have puppies, call us at 800.786.4751.

How to Use Whelping Forceps

How Do Dog Forceps Work?

Dogs have the longest reproductive tract per pound of any mammal. That poses problems when you have small breeds of dogs and you can’t reach in to help by getting a hold of the head or pelvis to guide them out. Dog OB forceps are will help you do that. The dog pelvis is basically a U-shape. You actually go up, over and down to get to the cervix. You insert the dog forceps in the vulva, bring it up over the pelvis and down to the cervix, and that is where the puppy is usually at. Once you bump the puppy, you’re basically putting your eyes on the end of the canine forceps. You can use two hands then to open it up, guide it gently around the puppy, and once you do that you will grab a hold of the puppy and as mom pushes, you can guide it up and over the pelvis. This works really well if the puppy is slightly too big or stressed and just balling up on you.

When mom pushes, you put traction on the puppy and hold onto it when she quits pushing so you don’t lose that gain. That’s how we get them out. We don’t pull the puppy we actually guide it out with mom’s contractions. One or two contractions we can usually get it out of the birth canal, then it’s just a matter of a bulb syringe, get them to breathing and get the airway cleared and then from there is get them nursing. Two hands you can open it up, go around the hips or the pelvis with this part close it back up around those hips or pelvis, gives you something you can put traction on, and help mom deliver the baby.

Make sure your whelping supplies are ready before labor starts. The Revival Whelping Kit helps you shop for the whelping supplies you will need, including canine forceps, so you’re prepared for when your dog has her puppies.
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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.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.