? about care of dog close to having pups.

Help Support CattleToday:

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
Long story short, we have a female Heeler about 22 months old, bred to our 12 yr old Border Collie.
She is starting to show underneath, she was in heat around the week of the 21 of June. I have had very limited experience with dogs and pups, only a Pyrenees from about 15 years ago, and as well as I remember she just had them in a corner of a shed and did ok. This little Heeler is more of an inside dog, but is out some during the day. I am wondering if she needs any certain food or accommodations to whelp in?
 

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
7
Location
Kentucky
I would feed her a regular diet. You should build a whelping box or setup a whelping area. Something that the pups can lay on before their eyes open. They need a cloth that their paws can grasp with out slipping. The mother needs to feel that her pups are safe and secure. A place she can access and away from interference from other dogs. As the pups get older they will need water and a puppy food to wean on.
 

aprille218

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
151
Reaction score
5
Location
northern MN
If you would like to have her inside with them a plastic kiddie pool with a beach towel on the bottom works pretty well. Also after she has them start mixing her food with puppy food gradually until she's just eating puppy food. The extra calcium and calories in it are good for milk production.
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
Some very good advice in all the above posts. I only thing I would say any different is to start her on the puppy food about 2 weeks before she whelps. I have brooders set up bc I raise pups outside. I use heat lamps in winter and fans in the summer. Puppies need to be kept around 100 degrees for the first 3 days. It’s not like hatching eggs, it doesn’t have to be exact. But make sure they don’t get cold for those first 3 days. It’s good if you can keep them in the dark as well. Don’t worry about momma being able to see them. I promise you she knows exactly where they are. Also make sure you’re whelping area is not too big. You don’t want them to be scattered.

I also sprinkle milk replacer on top of her feed. Same kind I use for calves. Most of the time heeler pups will be eating puppy feed by the time they are 4 weeks old. Wet it to soften it and sprinkle some milk replaced on it as well. They figure it out quick.

Watch for coccidia. All pups, but especially my heelers are bad about eating crap, no matter how clean you try to keep it. If they look weak or failing and they have runny crap/diarrhea on their tails (also check to see if their butt is always wet, as a good momma dog will constantly lick it to keep it clean), get some Albon or Baycox, or take them to the vet. It’s cheap and simple to remedy but left untreated it will kill them quickly.

Start worming them at two weeks, then 4, then 6, etc. not trying to throw too much at you. But these are just a few important tips.

One more thing. Some momma dogs are funny. Some are not. If everything looks to be ok I don’t handle the pups at all for the first week or two unless it’s necessary. Some don’t mind. Some do.

Attaching a picture of a raised brooder I have. Not the best pic but it shows the inside of the box with the whelping rail, carpet in the floor, and the door to the outside run. I feed inside. Water bowl outside. I have flooring out of an old pig farrowing pen so I can wash it out easy. Concrete underneath brooder with a track on the back that’s is piped to a lagoon. You don’t need all this for a few litters of pups but it may give you an idea that helps you somewhere along the way.
 

Bright Raven

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
7
Location
Kentucky
JMJ Farms":1gb7i438 said:
Some very good advice in all the above posts. I only thing I would say any different is to start her on the puppy food about 2 weeks before she whelps. I have brooders set up bc I raise pups outside. I use heat lamps in winter and fans in the summer. Puppies need to be kept around 100 degrees for the first 3 days. It’s not like hatching eggs, it doesn’t have to be exact. But make sure they don’t get cold for those first 3 days. It’s good if you can keep them in the dark as well. Don’t worry about momma being able to see them. I promise you she knows exactly where they are. Also make sure you’re whelping area is not too big. You don’t want them to be scattered.

I also sprinkle milk replacer on top of her feed. Same kind I use for calves. Most of the time heeler pups will be eating puppy feed by the time they are 4 weeks old. Wet it to soften it and sprinkle some milk replaced on it as well. They figure it out quick.

Watch for coccidia. All pups, but especially my heelers are bad about eating crap, no matter how clean you try to keep it. If they look weak or failing and they have runny crap/diarrhea on their tails (also check to see if their butt is always wet, as a good momma dog will constantly lick it to keep it clean), get some Albon or Baycox, or take them to the vet. It’s cheap and simple to remedy but left untreated it will kill them quickly.

Start worming them at two weeks, then 4, then 6, etc. not trying to throw too much at you. But these are just a few important tips.

One more thing. Some momma dogs are funny. Some are not. If everything looks to be ok I don’t handle the pups at all for the first week or two unless it’s necessary. Some don’t mind. Some do.

Attaching a picture of a raised brooder I have. Not the best pic but it shows the inside of the box with the whelping rail, carpet in the floor, and the door to the outside run. I feed inside. Water bowl outside. I have flooring out of an old pig farrowing pen so I can wash it out easy. Concrete underneath brooder with a track on the back that’s is piped to a lagoon. You don’t need all this for a few litters of pups but it may give you an idea that helps you somewhere along the way.

Outstanding recommendations.
 
OP
Ky hills

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
Thank you all for your replies, I very much appreciate it all. Special thanks to JMJ Farms for the in depth details. Another question that we have is, what are some signs to watch for when whelping is imminent?
 

wbvs58

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
5,883
Reaction score
1,021
Location
S.E. Queensland, Australia
I wouldn't fuss to much with her. They are tough dogs and their origins here in Australia has them working all day long leading up to whelping, they go home, have their litter and are looking to go back to work the next day and they thrive like that. Working as a veterinarian I have seen more health problems and whelping problems, small litters, oversize puppies in these working dogs when they live a sheltered and pampered life when kept as a pet in suburbia.

Ken
 

Boot Jack Bulls

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
1,238
Reaction score
114
Location
NW WI
I second what JMJ says. The major difference is we use the kiddy pool (small one at first, big one at about 2 weeks). Ours are on concrete floors in the barn office though, so we put a heating pad under part of it, the concrete stays very cool even during the summer up here. We switch our bitches to puppy food 2 weeks before due date (more if it is a younger bitch), then add ground turkey or chicken, eggs and milk when they whelp. Heelers are notorious for the puppies pulling tons of calcium from the dam, so adding milk, cottage cheese, ect. is a good move, especially if this is her first litter. Also, when the puppies are about 6 weeks, adding extra calcium to the diet will help their ears stand/ stay up. They are hardy dogs, and I've yet to have one not be a fantastic mother. Aside from her teats starting to fill, watch for nesting behavior. Pulling blankets together, digging a whole, hanging out in an out-of-the-way corner are signs she is very close. She may also get super Velcro to her humane, or be very standoffish. Watch for her belly to drop down and back. When she is super close, she will likely be antsy, not eating or drinking a lot and may whimper for no other reason. Hope this helps!
 

JMJ Farms

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 1, 2015
Messages
4,812
Reaction score
24
Location
Middle Georgia
Ky hills":30p3cc94 said:
Another question that we have is, what are some signs to watch for when whelping is imminent?

As a general rule she will go off feed. Also I’m pretty sure their body temperature will drop one degree 24 hours before whelping. But I never take the temps. I generally just kinda watch their behavior. Kinda like cows. May be restless and anxious.

And like Ken said, you do need to pamper them. They’re tough. Problem is, if they’ve been pampered all their life up till this point, you can’t just exactly stop all of a sudden either. But she will probably do just fine. Keep her environment as close to normal for her as possible. Minimal changes and distractions and all will be well.
 

Boot Jack Bulls

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 5, 2015
Messages
1,238
Reaction score
114
Location
NW WI
JMJ Farms":2wkig9cg said:
Didn’t see BootJacks post. Dead on. Anybody that can raise goats that look like hers could raise pups in their sleep!
I appreciate the kind thoughts! The funny part is, I've been breeding ACDs for nearly 30 years, we got the goats in 2006!
 

Ohio Cowboy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Messages
96
Reaction score
0
Good advice so far. Some of you should look into a heated whelping bowl. Nothing beats it for a litter. Heat lamps are inconsistent and dangerous. Build ya a nice whelping box with some rails and put a heated whelping bowl in the center. Dosent get much easier then that. It's always the perfect temp for the pups.

Here is a box I made pre heated bowl.
 

skyhightree1

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2009
Messages
20,331
Reaction score
579
Location
Free Rent ,VA
im a little different i let mine just stay in her kennel by herself no special accommodations diet is the same till she has the puppies then i feed her high protein food and mix in peanut butter in her food.
 

76 Bar

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
1,612
Reaction score
217
Location
South Western Oregon
Ky hills":3t9tn72z said:
Long story short, we have a female Heeler about 22 months old, bred to our 12 yr old Border Collie.
She is starting to show underneath, she was in heat around the week of the 21 of June.
Did she whelp?
 
OP
Ky hills

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
76 Bar":3tan0bfi said:
Ky hills":3tan0bfi said:
Long story short, we have a female Heeler about 22 months old, bred to our 12 yr old Border Collie.
She is starting to show underneath, she was in heat around the week of the 21 of June.
Did she whelp?

Not yet, I am not sure exactly when she got bred. That's part of the long story, the two dogs didn't really get along very well although it had gotten a little better. They were jealous of each other when ever we were around them, or they tried to herd each other most of the rest of the time.
She is getting very close, she is getting more developed and is more cautious and not as ambitious when helping me with the cattle.
 
OP
Ky hills

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
JMJ Farms":3t0x62y6 said:
Still no pups?

Not yet, she is getting bigger and showing increased mammary development each day. I must have been off some on the time that she was in heat.
 

TedH71

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2006
Messages
48
Reaction score
0
Location
Wichita, KS
I built an indoor whelping pen while my catahoula was giving birth in the kiddie swimming pool then when she was all done, I moved 14 pups to the whelping pen and not have had an issue then when the pups were 4 weeks old and starting to get weaned, they got moved to the outdoor kennel and they did fine.
 
OP
Ky hills

Ky hills

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2016
Messages
4,125
Reaction score
1,917
Location
Clark County, KY
Believe she is close now hasn't wanted to eat much since yesterday, and spends most of her time in her bed. She is panting and breathing harder today.

Edited to add that she now has 4 pups, and all seems to be going well so far.
 

Latest posts

Top