Signs of a Dog Losing Her Puppies at Five Weeks

Updated November 21, 2016

After careful consideration, you decide to breed your female dog. She begins to exhibit signs of pregnancy, and an ultrasound examination confirms how many puppies the mother is carrying. You expect a litter after nine weeks. Sometimes, either nothing happens, or she delivers stillborn puppies before term. This is spontaneous canine abortion, or miscarriage. There was something wrong with the mother or the unborn pups that made it impossible for the pups to survive. At five weeks, it is a late-term miscarriage and there will be clear signs of what is happening.


At five weeks, the mother may develop a vaginal discharge, experience contractions or expel stillborn pups before her nine-week gestation period is complete.The mother may also have no symptoms at all, but may deliver fewer pups than were counted on the original ultrasound. If this is the case, her body reabsorbed the nonviable pups fairly early in the pregnancy. After a miscarriage, your veterinarian should examine your dog to determine the cause and treat the problem in order to prevent a future miscarriage. Save any stillborn pups for the veterinarian to examine, as their bodies may contain clues to the cause of the miscarriage.


Miscarriage can be the result of embryonic or fetal defects, genetic abnormalities, a viral or bacterial infection, a vitamin deficiency, thyroid disease, hormonal imbalance, traumatic injury, exposure to drugs or chemicals or a stressful environment for the mother. Your veterinarian will be able to do cultures, blood tests and other tests to determine the cause of the miscarriage.


Once a miscarriage begins, there is nothing you or your veterinarian can do to stop it. After the miscarriage, however, your vet may be able to guide you in preventing a future miscarriage. Begin by ensuring that the dog has enough space and lives in sanitary conditions. Separate breeding animals. Make sure a pregnant dog gets enough high-quality commercial dog food to eat, and feed her increasing amounts during pregnancy so that she gains 30 per cent of her normal weight. Make sure your dog's vaccinations are current. Your vet may also recommend vitamin supplements, and in some cases, thyroid medicine or other hormone supplements.

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