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Dystocia in Bulldogs

Dog owners should be better acquainted with the normal process of whelping. This is very important in order to be able to determine if your dog is experiencing any problems while delivering its puppies.

Whelping is broken down into two stages—

Stage 1. Occurs during the 6-12 hours of labor when the dog exhibits nesting behavior and there is a subsequent drop in her body temperature. Contractions may be present but these are not yet as discernable. At this stage, the dog may be restless and panting.

Stage 2. The bulldog puppies will now begin moving through the birth canal and you will find your dog straining. There is the subsequent contraction of its abdominal muscles.

Dog owners should be quick to ask for veterinary assistance whenever any of the following situations arises—

•Your dog has not yet given birth and has been pregnant for more than 70 days
•When Stage 1 has been going on for 24 hours and a pup has not been produced
•The dog has been continuously having strong contractions for over an hour without delivering a pup
•The resting phase stretches for over 4 hours and there are still more puppies inside the uterus of the mother
•There is a foul-smelling discharge from the dog’s vagina
•The dog is suffering from excessive vomiting and extremely exhausted
There are many conditions that may predispose the occurrence of Dystocia. These include—

1. Maternal Causes—

•narrow pelvis either as a normal anatomical structure or due to a previously fractured pelvis
•uterine inertia which is characterized by the failure of the uterus to contract and propel the puppies through the birth canal. This condition is usually attributed to uterine exhaustion

2. Puppy Causes

•Too large puppies won’t fit in the birth canal
•Puppies are abnormally positioned. Normally, puppies are born with either the rear legs or head first.
•Puppies with birth defects particularly those that result in abnormally large body parts

Your dog should receive immediate veterinary attention in order to determine the cause and the appropriate line of treatment for the Dystocia. Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical exam including an x-ray test in order to assess the size and number of puppies. A vaginal exam will help determine whether the birth canal is large enough for the puppies to pass through.

If medical treatment is not effective, your veterinarian may choose to deliver the puppies by cesarean section.

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