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Whelping: A First Time Experience

Susie May came to Peak Lab from a hoarding situation, very pregnant, and very scared. She had never known life indoors and was just weeks away from having her puppies. The shelter had told us to expect six puppies, and I thought this was the perfect size litter for my first whelping experience.

Susie went into labor on a Saturday morning and had her first puppy around 10PM that

night. It was simply amazing watching the first puppy being born and everything seemed to be going according to plan and according to the training video I had watched. After Susie delivered seven puppies, we cleaned up, got mama and the pups tucked in for the night, and went to bed.

That night, I slept on the air mattress next to the whelping box so that I could listen for pups that might get stuck under mama. I heard a thud, followed by many puppy cries. I turned on the light to find Susie May seizing, several of the pups stuck under her. I helped the pups in distress, and immediately called our director, who walked me through administering oral calcium. After two doses, Susie stabilized, and all seemed well. The calcium had saved her life. Several minutes later, Susie delivered puppy number eight. Susie May ended up delivering seven more puppies after her seizure. My litter of six had turned into fourteen.

Despite the twists and turns of this whelp and the sheer terror of almost losing the

mama, I would do it all again. In fact, I just whelped a litter of five puppies, all healthy, and no issues. My first whelping experience is something I will cherish and has taught me how to be prepared for anything.

Whelping isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is beyond rewarding.

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