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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10144
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My Miniature Pinscher is now 60 days from her mating.

Customer Question

Hello,
My Miniature Pinscher is now 60 days from her mating. I am aware that birth doesn't always correspond to the day and I have been taking her temperature am and pm for the past few days. Her temperature seems to have be consistently lower the average being around 37.4 for the past few days spiking to 37.7 last night then plummeting to 37.1 this morning. Now it has just risen again to 37.4. I was expecting to see a drop that stayed that way until whelping began. She is not digging but she is restless and unsettled. Should I abandon the idea of temperature taking altogether?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

I don't think you should abandon taking her temperature for future pregnancies since the largest percentage of females will experience a significant temperature drop approximately 10-24 hours prior to labor. It often gives us an idea as to when delivery is immenent.
I don't think you necessarily need to continue taking it now though, since she's dropped to 37.1 and it's now rising again (which I'll explain below).

Since the temperature doesn't drop in all females,however, it's not a completely reliable indicator of impending delivery but it can be useful when it does happen.

How long the temperature stays low is different for every female and it can remain low for a relatively short period of time; what your girl is doing sounds about right for a female getting ready to have her puppies.
I think your confusion is thinking that the temperature remains low; it doesn't. It rises back up again, often to normal levels. In fact, stage one labor doesn't take place until or unless that temperature rises again.

I'd say that your girl is progressing nicely and you should expect her to start delivering puppies soon. As you probably know, females can stay in stage one labor from 6-24 hours so it may be a few hours more before she starts contracting and actually starts to deliver a pup.

I hope this helps. Deb
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many Thanks,

She did start whelping about 12 hours later and delivered 7 pups with no intervention needed on my part. I am concerned about one pup which is very small but I can't afford to keep asking questions and hope I can trawl the internet. Its losing weight and it looks like I may lose it.

Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 2 years ago.
You're more than welcome and thanks for the rating; it's greatly appreciated. And, big congratulations on the litter:) It nice when things work out the way they're supposed to, isn't it?? Unfortunately, the rule of thumb is that about 10% of any one particular may be lost, especially if there's a large number of pups. The underlying cause may be birth defects or environmental factors or infectious agents although in my experience, it's not always obvious what the underlying cause may be.You'll just have to do the best you can do which is to supplement with milk replacer (I like Esbilac) if the one pup isn't nursing well. Make sure she/he's not too cold but not too hot either. Drafts can be especially dangerous in decreasing their body temperatures so make sure there aren't any.Room temperature should be about 85-90 degrees. Good luck. Deb

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