A pug can't tell you what's going on with its body. This fact alone makes it difficult to judge whether or not your pug is going into labour. Because dogs can't verbally communicate the changes in their body or the feelings they're experiencing, owners of expectant female dogs must be vigilant in observing the physical signs of impending labour. While the signs that a pug is about to have puppies can vary from dog to dog, there are several telltale signs of labour common across all dogs that pug owners can watch for.
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Consult your calendar. Pugs are pregnant for an average of 63 days from the date of conception, but this varies from dog to dog. Pugs can give birth anywhere from 50 to 75 days after the date of conception. Become more alert and observant of your dog around the 50th day of gestation.
Check your dog's temperature. The average temperature of a pug when taken rectally is between 37.8 and 38.9 degrees Celsius. A dog's temperature drops below 100 degrees approximately 24 hours prior to labour.
Look for vomiting over a period of two to three days. Hormonal changes and the need for an empty stomach during birth encourage an upset stomach and vomiting in pugs two to three days prior to labour.
Monitor your pug's food intake. Expectant pugs will typically reject food the day before going into labour.
Watch for signs of nesting. Expectant dogs seek out isolated spots to give birth to their puppies. Dogs in nature, including pugs, are den animals. As such, they search out quiet, comfortable, protected spots to go into labour. Pugs about to go into labour may drag blankets, socks, shirts or other fabric items to their chosen spot prior to giving birth.
Observe any changes in behaviour. Pugs about to have puppies may follow you around and stick close to you at all times. Other expectant pugs may become snippy or slightly aggressive prior to the birth of their puppies. Pugs become extremely restless and uncomfortable a maximum of 12 hours before having puppies.
Note any odd actions. Pacing, panting, whining and shivering without provocation are signs that the pug is entering the first stage of labour.
Look for a gush of straw-coloured fluid coming from the pug's vaginal canal. This is a sign that the placental water sack has ruptured. The first pug puppy is usually born 10 to 30 minutes after this occurs.
Tips and warnings
- Seek emergency veterinary medical attention immediately if your pug does not start labour within 24 hours of a significant drop in body temperature, appears to be in a great deal of pain or takes more than a four hour break between delivering each pup. These signs are indicative of a complicated labour that could have deadly consequences for your dog or her pups.
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- "Clinical Textbook for Veterinary Technicians"; Joanna Bassert, Dennis McCurnin; 2009
- "The Dog: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health"; Linda P. Case; 2005
- "Canine Reproduction and Whelping"; Myra Savant-Harris; 2005
- "McDonald's Veterinary Endocrinology and Reproduction"; M. H. Pineda, Michael Patrick Dooley; 2003