Whelping is a difficult process for new breeders but you have to be there to help your Cocker Spaniel get through it all. It’s easier if a vet is around however, you have to be ready with the possibility that you would have to be the one to help your pet through this arduous process. If you really are more hands-on, it would be less stressful if you know when your female dog will whelp and if you have already prepared everything for this eventful occasion.
First off, the whelping box you constructed for your Cocker Spaniel should be in an area that is comfortable and away from too much noise or activity. For your sake, choose an area that will be easy to clean. Let her stay there a few weeks before delivery so that she will get used to the environment and be at ease while giving birth.
Another Cocker Spaniel whelping chore that you should be ready for is an area where you can put the puppies once they are born. It could be a basket or a box that should be adequately warm- with thick cushions, blankets or a heat pad. If the area is too hot, the pups will cry out loud but if they are cold, they will whimper. Make sure it is always near the mother.
Other preparations include having a suitable disinfectant (iodine) near and something to tie the umbilicus with (some use dental floss). Clean towels, nasal aspirator and a weighing scale are also needed. Some Cocker Spaniel dams might be too tired to breastfeed after labor so have a milk supplement ready. Have your vet’s number ready as well to call regarding any complications that may arise.
Observe the dog. They will get restless- changing position, scratching things, or digging a nest. If the rectal temperature goes below 98 F, then you have about 2-12 hours. If she refuses food, whelping is definitely close to come. She will start panting and lick her vulva for relief when mild contractions start.
You don’t have to worry too much since Cocker Spaniels whelp alone and won’t need too much assistance. If you fuss over the dam too much, it will get nervous. Again, all you’ll have to do is observe that all is well. Abnormalities and complications like heavy labor attempts with no puppies seen may occur. You just have to know what these are and call your vet as soon as possible.
Once the puppies are out, note that they will need heat and food. Make sure they have both or else they will complain by crying all the time and might lead to their early demise. In the next few weeks, check their body temperature (97F to 100F is normal) and weight gain. Some dams have less breast milk so be ready with supplements.
Cocker Spaniel whelping is tiring, but you have to remember that dogs have a natural instinct to bear down and do it all on their own. Your role is to make everything easier for them and make sure that the dam and the puppies are safe.
Source by Shaun Plympton