Watercubs & Kivisilmän
working show-quality newfoundlands
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The delivery begins with the opening phase. The duration of this phase completely depends on the bitch. Vera’s took 26hrs, so a bit over a day. She was slightly uneasy during this time, but otherwise she was normal: slept for most of the time, every once in a while stood up and went to check her “dens” she had dug in our back garden. It is completely normal for the bitch to prepare her “dens” in this phase for the arrival of the puppies. Vera started panting heavily about 22:00 on 24th November 2009.
body temperature dropped a few days before the puppies were born. The
prolactine in the dog’s body is at its highest at this point, and because of
this the bitch’s appetite is practically non-existent. At the end of the
opening phase, the pelvis is fully dialated and loose. The most important
thing for you to do in the opening phase is to keep the dog calm and
relaxed. If the dog is calm, do not pay any attention to it and let it sleep
in peace. The next night will be tough and exhausting for both of you.
Remember to keep the dog hydrated!! Offer the dam food which contains a lot
of energy, so that you need to only give a little. Do not worry if the dam
does not eat anything.
If the puppy has liquid in its lungs, it is better if you rub its chest and “push” the ribcage (what the dam would do) instead of swinging the puppy. Also let the dam lick the puppy hard to get the liquid out of the lungs.
You can let the bitch eat the placentas, as it gets precious energy and nutrients from them. The placentas also contain hormones which stimulate milk production. We let Vera eat two placentas, as eating them may cause diarrhoea for some bitches.
The bitch may drip coagulated dark blood for about a week, do not worry as it is completely normal (as long as it does not smell bad). It is a good idea to wash the bitch’s behind as soon as possible after the birthing, and keep it as clean as possible for the coming weeks until the bitch does not drip coagulated blood. You can also cut the dam's coat into a more hygienic cut, meaning shorter fur especially on the paws and teats. The feathers should also be cut, so that the bitch brings less mud and dirt inside to the puppy room.