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What are Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems?

If your dog is displaying signs of labor and it is close to her due date, you should monitor her for a while. If the pain goes away, watch for a dark green liquid (placental fluid) and make an appointment with your veterinarian right away. Similarly, if your dog has already birthed at least one puppy, but stops for several hours even though she has more puppies to birth, you need to call your veterinarian right away. Although in some cases, a stalled labor can be due to your dog’s individual situation, such as having been ill or if she is a toy dog breed. No matter what, if you feel your dog is having trouble giving birth it is best to call your veterinarian.

Stalled labor and delivery problems (primary and secondary uterine inertia) is defined as the lack of successful contractions by the uterus during labor, making delivery of the fetuses difficult or impossible. The two kinds of uterine inertia are primary uterine inertia and secondary uterine inertia. In the case of primary inertia, the bitch does not start contractions at all and the only way to notice is the appearance of placental fluid appears. If the mother dog originally has strong contractions and they decrease in strength or disappear, this is considered secondary inertia.

 

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Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

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Symptoms of Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs

The symptoms of stalled labor and delivery problems depends on the type of inertia she is experiencing.

Primary Uterine Inertia

  • Failure to go into labor within 70 days after ovulation
  • Signs of pain or being uncomfortable
  • Appetite loss
  • Straining to give birth
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dark green vaginal discharge

Secondary Uterine Inertia

  • Prolonged labor
  • Straining without producing a pup
  • Longer than two hours between pups
  • Delivery of a dead pup
  • Distress or illness of the mother
  • Pup visibly stuck in the birth canal
  • Dark green vaginal discharge

 Types

There are two kinds of stalled labor and delivery problems in dogs.

Primary Inertia is failing to go into labor in the appropriate time range.

Secondary Inertia is the failure of progression of labor and contractions during birth.

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Causes of Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs

The causes of stalled labor and delivery problems in dogs depend on which type of inertial is involved.

Primary Inertia

  • Single puppy syndrome – if there is only one puppy, it may not make enough ACTH and cortisol to start the labor and contractions
  • Inadequate amount of calcium in the mother
  • Large litters can stretch the abdominal muscles too far so they cannot contract properly
  • Toy breeds can become too excited or nervous at the beginning of labor, stopping it from progressing enough to cause contractions

 Secondary Inertia

  • Poor muscle tone can slow or stop the contractions because the muscles are not able to provide enough strength; this is usually caused by obesity or age
  • Improper placement of puppies in the birth canal
  • Large litter can exhaust the mother so she cannot continue without assistance
  • Extra-large puppies can get stuck in the birth canal
  • Birth canal blockage such as from previous injury or infection
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Diagnosis of Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs

Your veterinarian will first give your dog a thorough examination to determine if there is an underlying condition causing the stalled labor or delivery problems. Be sure to give the veterinarian as much information as you can about the situation. For example, when the problems started, if they are intermittent or consistent, and if they have gotten worse. Your veterinarian will also need your dog’s complete medical history and any recent changes in her health or behavior. Some tests will be necessary to determine what is causing the uterine inertia, such as:

  • Blood chemistry panel to check oxytocin, albumin, calcium, and glucose levels
  • Urinalysis
  • Vaginal examination to check for amniotic sac, presentation of the fetus, tone and dimensions of the vaginal canal
  • Fetal heartbeat
  • Ultrasound to find the number and health of the puppies
  • Radiographs (x-rays) of the abdomen to check for position of puppies and any blockages that may be causing the inertia
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Treatment of Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs

The treatment for primary uterine inertia is usually hospitalization and cesarean section right away. It is important to the health of your dog and her puppies to deliver them right away to avoid more stress and shock.

In the case of secondary uterine inertia, the veterinarian may try to restart the labor and contractions. Depending on the progression of the labor and length of gestation, calcium and oxytocin will be administered, but only if your dog and her puppies are in good health and not in distress. If the labor and contractions do not start on their own, your veterinarian will perform a cesarean section.

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Recovery of Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems in Dogs

If your dog is able to birth the babies on her own, she will be able to go home after a short observation time. Once at home, she will need to be placed in a comfortable and quiet place where she will not be bothered by others. The prognosis for her and the puppies is excellent.

If a caesarean delivery had to be performed, the veterinarian will probably want to keep her overnight for observation. Once she is allowed to go home she will need rest in a quiet and stress-free area. She will need to have help caring for her puppies while recovering, but will usually be back to normal within 24 hours.

It is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions and bring your dog in for a follow-up visit within 30 days.

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Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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German Shepherd

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One and a half years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Labor

She had her first pup approximately 1 hr ago it was still born and she hasn’t delivered another since

today

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. An hour between puppies is not a long time, and as long as she is comfortable and not actively straining to have a puppy, you should be fine to continue to watch her. It can be an hour or two between puppies. If she is straining actively, pushing down and nothing is happening for 20 or 30 minutes, then that is an emergency and she would need to be seen at an ER. I hope that all goes well for her and the puppies.

today

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Siberian Husky

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11/2

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Gave Birth To One Pup Over 30 Hrs Ago But It Seems Like She'S Have Contracting

What can I do to help her have the puppies when a vet is not around

Sept. 20, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If she is having contractions periodically and seems relaxed, she may be fine and the puppy May deliver normally. If she is having contractions for more than 30 minutes and no puppy is produced, then there is nothing that you can do at home, she needs to see a veterinarian, as that maybe an emergency for her.. I hope that all goes well for her and her puppies are healthy.

Sept. 20, 2020

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Pit bull mix

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1 year 3 months

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Unknown severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Laying On Her Side Breathing Hard And Seems Uncomfortable

My dog is in labor I think but she isn’t digging or panting she has been doing that in short stages but just seems like she isn’t going into full labor

Aug. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. It can be normal in the first stage of Labor to become restless and then stop. That can go on for a day or two. If your dog continues to do this, or if she starts to strain and no puppies are coming, then it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian right away. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 27, 2020

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Husky

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2 years old

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Labor

Been in labor for awhile and still no contractions

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Without being able to examine your dog, it is very difficult for me to say if there's a problem. If she is in labor and there is no signs of puppies, it would probably be best for her to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can determine if there is a problem or not. Sometimes it can take a little bit of time for them to have puppies, and she may have puppies as soon as you stop watching. If she is actively having labor, and no puppies are coming, that is an emergency, and she needs be taken to the ER. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Miniature Australian Shepherd

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Stalled Labor

My female is having her 3rd litter of puppies. We had an X-ray done and saw at least 5. She has had two puppies, and has not had another in 2 hours now. She had never had trouble before. I have her goats milk about 30 minutes ago. She is more worried about the two she has delivered than pushing. Should I be worried yet? No green discharge, no excessive blood loss. All placentas (2) have been delivered so far.

Aug. 2, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, I recommend taking her to your vet. No puppies in 2 hours after the last one can be a problem.

Aug. 2, 2020

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Remy

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Panting
Restless
Labor
Whelping

My dog is on day 63 of pregnancy. On Day 60 her temp dropped- we are at 48+hrs after temp drop. She appears to go into early labor (panting, restlessness) for about two hours and then sleeps and repeats the cycle and has done this about four times. I have called her Vet and they advise to keep waiting. Anything I can do to aid the process or help her along? I keep her hydrated, go for walks, rub her belly. She is still eating also.

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Shadow

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Red heeler

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Panting
Restless
Nesting
Steering Into Space Glazed

I just don't know if I am being paranoid or there is a labor problem. My dog has been panting almost constantly since yesterday morning (almost 24 hours).... Last night, she began nesting an all signs of labor are there except vaginal licking. She is acting VERY uncomfortable and has to go outside and potty many times today. I saw a very small about of clearish/cream discharge a few hours ago, and she has been acting like she is having contractions for hours. I know some say stage one can last up to 18 hours, but I don't know if that is where we are still or if something is wrong. The amount of panting is what has me so worried since it has gone on for so long.

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Malana

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maltipom

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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Fair severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Has Symptoms

I have a Maltese/Pomeranian she started labor at 8 this morning she’s given birth to 3 puppies 1 every one she’s resting now she’s been drinking water now she’s sleeping no signs of any more contractions but she tends to shake just a little bit how long after do you think and if she still has more puppies will she give birth again

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Payton

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Great Dane

dog-age-icon

Three Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Panting
Still Born Pups.
Delayed To Little Contractions
Sleeping Through Contractions

My dog Payton has been in laybor for about five or six hours now but had only delivered two puppies that were both still born, I have no clue what to do and I currently don’t have enough money to get her to a vet. I can still see some puppies moving but I’m still concerned on if they will make it or not due to how long I have been waiting with her. It’s a very large litter and I’m worried.

Stalled Labor and Delivery Problems Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $500 - $5,000

Average Cost

$1,800

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