Possible Complications During Labor in Cats and Dogs

Many pregnant cats and dogs have healthy litters without any health issues or concerns. Sometimes a healthy delivery is difficult or impossible, putting newborns and mothers in peril. A difficult birth requires veterinary care.

Animals’ labor varies. A litter of puppies can be born in three to thirty-six hours in dogs, but just six hours in cats. Understanding the typical timing of this process is critical to identifying dystocia (difficult labor). Your cat may need emergency veterinarian care if she takes more than seven hours to give birth. If it takes your dog more than an hour to give birth to her first puppy or if the puppies arrive more than four hours apart, get her to an emergency animal hospital.


Signs of Labor Related Problems

In addition to indicators that one or more placentas have not been removed, foul-smelling vaginal discharge is a marker of infection. A fever of 103 or higher should be observed in cats, even if the babies are born on time. In addition to the mother’s vomiting and exhaustion, prolonged labor contractions lasting more than 24 hours might be lethal. So, here is some basic information for delivery:

Labor Time Onset

The usual amount of time that passes before a dog or cat goes into labor is 63 days. The length of the tail on a dog of a smaller breed tends to be shorter, while the length of the tail on a dog of a larger breed tends to be longer. The average duration of a pregnancy in a cat is between 59 and 67 days. If the symptoms do not improve within this range, a puppy boarding near me should be considered or you should make an appointment with your veterinarian.

During the Course of Labor

One or two days before labor, female dogs will feel a dip in their body temperature. However, everyone has a unique internal temperature, and you will need many readings before this time to make an appropriate comparison. It is normal for cats to cease eating between 24 and 48 hours before birth. During the early stages of labor, both dogs and cats may vomit. It’s been observed that dogs tend to pace and pant while cats purr and groom themselves to an unhealthy degree. Attempting to transfer your pet during delivery is a bad idea.

Duration of Delivery

Although every pet is unique, it takes an average of six to twelve hours for a dog to give birth to a puppy which requires a dog wellness plan. Once the mom starts having contractions, a kitten should be born within an hour. The time between puppies is normally 45-60 minutes, with 10-20 minutes of heavy straining per puppy, but it’s not unusual for dogs to take a four-hour respite in the middle of labor – but they shouldn’t be straining hard. Cats normally labor faster. Kittens should come every 30-60 minutes, and labor should last six hours or less. Take the cat to an emergency veterinary hospital if she has contractions without a kitten for more than an hour.

Delivery Expectation

Dogs and cats are born in an amniotic sac. The mother generally tears this sac open and licks her kids to induce breathing, but you must if she doesn’t. A towel can be used to rub the sac away from the puppy or kitten, just like their mother does. If your pet doesn’t cut the umbilical cord, you can tie it about an inch away from the baby’s tummy and cut it yourself with dental floss. Dogs and cats consume placentas, but it’s OK if she doesn’t. A retained placenta can create issues, so you should count them anyhow. Each puppy or kitten should have one placenta. Contact our Emergency Veterinary Care facility now if you have questions about labor care for your pregnant pet.


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