What should I do if my dog is overdue?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

If your dog is overdue, meaning she is pregnant for longer than the normal gestation period of 63 days, it is important to take action and seek veterinary advice. While it is not uncommon for dogs to give birth a few days before or after the expected due date, an extended pregnancy could potentially indicate a problem.

One of the main concerns when a dog is overdue is the possibility of dystocia, which refers to a failure to progress during labor. Dystocia can occur due to various complications, and understanding the underlying causes can help you make informed decisions regarding your dog’s health.

One possible cause of dystocia is the shape and size of the pelvic canal. Just like humans, dogs have different anatomical variations, and some may have a smaller or narrower pelvic canal, making it difficult for the puppies to pass through during labor. This can lead to prolonged labor or even complete obstruction, preventing the puppies from being born naturally.

Another potential complication is the size and position of the puppies. If the puppies are unusually large or positioned in a way that makes it challenging for them to pass through the birth canal, it can result in dystocia. This situation may require medical intervention to ensure a safe delivery for both the mother and the puppies.

Additionally, hormonal imbalances or uterine infections can also contribute to dystocia. Hormonal imbalances may affect the uterine contractions necessary for labor, while infections can cause inflammation and hinder the normal progression of birth. These conditions often require veterinary attention and may involve the use of medications or, in severe cases, surgery.

If your dog is overdue, it is crucial to contact your veterinarian promptly. They will be able to assess the situation based on your dog’s specific circumstances and provide appropriate guidance. In some cases, your vet may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination to determine the cause of the delay and formulate a plan for intervention if necessary.

Remember, every situation is unique, and it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet’s health. By seeking veterinary advice promptly, you can ensure the best possible outcome for your dog and her puppies.