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sarahm

Siberian Husky Novice Pregnancy Case Study

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Hey all,

If you are reading this post, you are either intrigued or you are in the same position my partner and I, fearing our dog was pregnant and what would we do?

Ok... let’s wind back to the start.

Signs your dog is definitely pregnant (from approx 4 weeks before labour all will be present)



  1. Look from the top down on your dog, is she misshapen?

  2. She will look filled in her body before her back legs.

  3. A noticeable sign is her losing fur on her underside/belly and growing teats.

  4. Her attitude may change from normal. She may be either very clingy or want to be alone.[

  5. She may start having trouble with the toilet and make a mess in the house (especially over night).

DSC03866.jpg

If you are already past this stage and you’re wondering how long she has left then the following will help.

Approximately 2 weeks to go



  1. She may start raking at things. Mysti slept down the side of the bed on a quilt and she would rake this to get comfy.

  2. She may start eating more than usual.

  3. She may lie down and want her belly rubbed lots.

  4. She may want to be anywhere you are, settling down next to you by the sofa/chair and follow like a ghost. Alternatively will want to be alone and find a nice quiet spot to be.

I’m unsure of how far gone she is, how can I tell when she is starting labour?



  1. If she is not panting and seems still quite relaxed then this is the perfect time to start taking her temperature. If you know how far gone she is then start taking it from around the 56 day. Both morning and evening this should be taken. It is best to record these down on a spreadsheet/calendar so you remember. Anything over 100deg(f) or 37.9+ is normal temperature.

  2. When the temperature drops below 100deg(f) then this is the start of her labour. Temperature readings should be taken every few hours. I tended to take it every 3-4 hours. Most articles suggest every 2 hours. My vet advised too much temperature readings will make the girl distressed.

  3. See the chart below that I created which shows the temperature change when labour is about to start. If you have read articles on the internet, they will all highlight the temperature will drop below 100deg(f) whilst she is in labour. This isn’t entirely accurate as Mysti’s example below shows. I think the real help in temperature readings is when the temperature drops considerably, this identifies she is starting.

MystiTemperatureChart.jpg

I think she may be in labour, how do I tell?... what do I do?



  1. OK, the best thing you can do is stay calm as she will sense you getting stressed and it will stress her out also. This can cause her to hold on much longer.

  2. You will find she starts raking much more. Be careful if you have carpet as this will probably get wrecked. Also your sofa may get overturned and cushions thrown all over the room. Ultimately she will decide where she wants to have the puppies. She will select somewhere out of the busy passages of the house and as enclosed as possible. My dog selected the space in between the two sofas.

  3. When she starts labour a very noticeable sign is her panting. This means she is not too far away and be sure you are ready! In my case she was in labour for 31 hours before giving birth. It should be between 2 and 24 hours generally. If you go anything more than 24 then I recommend you call your vet.

  4. At 26 hours (9am) we phoned the vets and they advised us to wait a little longer as Mysti was comfortable and didn’t show signs of distress or pushing.

  5. At 28 hours (11am) we took her down to the vets who checked her over, checked her passage was not blocked and the vet felt the puppy with her finger inside Mysti’s birth passage and advised she was very close to giving birth and all fine.

  6. At 30.5 hours (1:30pm) we felt worried as the vet advised she should have them by 1:30, if not then to take her back to the vets as she may need a C-section (suzerain section). We checked Mysti out and decided to give her until 2:30pm as she still was not pushing or in distress and the vet had give the all clear for any problems with natural birth.

  7. At 31 hours (13:58pm) Mysti gave birth to the very first pup (Skye) weighting 600g or 1.5 pounds.



    DSC03877.jpg



    • The sack had already burst so you will notice she came out showing us her tongue. Cheeky :P

    • It is VITAL that when the puppy comes out that the sack is removed from the nose and mouth immediately.

    • The cord will need to be cut off. This can be simply done by holding it an inch from the puppy and tearing it with your hands. You can also cut it and tie it if you feel more comfortable with this.

    • Both of the above the mother will probably know how to do and will do straight away. You may find she looks to be aggressive or biting the puppies. She won’t be, just watch what she is doing and enjoy her bonding with her puppy.

    • Be sure that if she has decided to have them somewhere enclosed that she does not lie on the puppy whilst having the next one or suffocate it. You will probably find it to be a little disoriented for the first 5 minutes and then will start trying to suckle on the mother.

    • You will find them having the puppies in succession between every 10 minutes to an hour and a half. If it reaches 2 hours then you must phone the vet immediately!

    [*]At 14:54pm (an hour after Skye) Storm was born. She came out weighing 500g

    [*]At 15:55pm Rogue was born weighing 550g. He was the only male of the bunch and a spitting image of his dad.

    DSC03897.jpg

    [*]At 16:44pm the last puppy was born named Jet. She is mostly black with a white underneath. She weighed 500g

    DSC03906.jpg



    • You may be wondering if there are any more or that is the last (if you’ve not had an x-ray or scan and know). The best way to tell is simply to watch the mother and see how she acts. If she’s finished then you’ll see she starts to relax, maybe even close her eyes. She will also lie down and allow the new born to suckle. She will seem a lot less stressed. It is best to wait just over the period of the longest birth and re-assess her (In my case this was an hour).

    • If you are confident to touch her underneath. Carefully feel the area the pups were and make sure there are no bulges or structures still inside her. If you can feel something and she is not pushing to give birth near to 2 hours then immediately phone your vet. This may be a still birth or stuck.

Please say hello to the new members of the family.

Skye

DSC03920.jpg

Storm

DSC03918.jpg

Rogue

DSC03919.jpg

Jet

DSC03921.jpg

DSC03924.jpg

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This is a really great post Sarah, very informative. In the case of my female, she had nine puppies and the first was born at 2 am, the last at 4pm. She also took a really long break in between, because she had so many puppies she took a rest. A pup was born at 9 am, and she didn't have another puppy until 2 pm. Then the last little girl was born 2 hours after that, at 4 pm. I was also there when my male caught her, so I kept track of her due date. She started nesting and becoming very restless all day on Monday October 25th, and at 2 am on the 26th, she wouldn't lay down, she just kept getting up and walking around the whelping room. Then she laid down and started pushing, and I saw little feet! She never needed any help except for me to help her move the pups who were nursing while she was cleaning off subsequent puppies. She did a great job, and all of her puppies were healthy. She did have one stillborn, which is common in such large litters, so there would have been ten puppies. Our vet was so pleased with how she did, needing no assistance at all. I'm very glad to hear that Mysti did great as well, and that all her pups are gorgeous and healthy!

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Absolutely fantastic post +1 hun,

we are not having puppies so i was just being nosey,you've done really well,and mum and babies are gorgeous :)

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excellent and really informative!!!! +1

will pin this as well :)

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Very well done , been through puppies myself and know the most exhausting time is staying awake while they give birth to them. Enjoy the quiet times untill they start being noisy!! lol but most of all enjoy your little bundles while you have them, they are moments you never forget !!

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Really helpful post! My OH likes the idea of letting Millie have puppies (Im not too keen on the idea) but will definatley come back to this post when (if) the time comes :)

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ok im gonna upset the apple cart here.

thats a great post, very imformative, full of good info....but.....

unless you have planned the breeding, done all the checks on the parents, their parents etc...checked the bloodlines being used for prospective genetic problems, hips, eyes etc etc, had your dog hip scored, eye checked and gonioscopied, dna tested, researched the bloodlines, have excellent examples of the breed that have proven themselves in the working/showing/or both areans, plan on at somepoint in the pups lives, from 8 weeks to 16 years, having those dogs back at a moments notice to you ( yes even at 16 years old some of come back to their breeders!), have KC registered dogs on both sides with no 'R' restrictions, the permissions of your dogs breeders to breed from your dog and a very good reason to breed, be prepared to loose your bitch during pregnancy, loose the pups even after birth, pay thousands in vets bills for any problems during labour and still not have pups or even your beloved bitch and a very very very good reason for breeding and producing puppies....(other than it would be nice for them to have puppies, it would be nice for my dog to sire a litter, its good for a bitch to have one litter - wives tale, its not!!)......DONT BREED! in the strongest possible way!!!!!! DONT BREED!

if your dog does get 'caught' by your/another un-nutured dog, then please dont just think, yey! puppy time! consider taking to the vets within 3 days for the morning after jab! the breed is being wrecked, over bred and there are far too many puppies being churned out and bred in the UK at the moment.

its not all its cracked up to be having puppies, its very stressful for you and the dog, can be dangerous for the bitch, can add to the thousands of unwanted dogs being bred and ending up in welfare and to do it properly you should have some very good reasons for doing so, as well as being prepared to have some deep pockets.

the cost of one breeding that went to plan as an example, we bred our bitch lolly, we wanted to 'further' our already proven working lines. we have been working and racing siberians for over 11 years, lolly has been on my main team for many years, has been instrumental in helping us win many many races, championship placings, has proven herself in the show ring and is an excellent example of the breed. KC registered with lines we can trace back to the 1940's. we deciced to bred from her as our other bitch we felt was to old, even at 7 years old, has irregular seasons, dispite being our all time leader from top lines with an amazing working abilty. it took months of research of lolly's lines and the prospective father of the pups lines, who was a proven leader on his owners championship winning team, an amazing working dog with stunning show results, again with an exemplary bloodline.

after extensive tests we got the results, eyes 100% from full gonioscopy, hips 0/0 for the prospective dad, lollys also 100% eyes from full gonioscopy and 0/7 hips, the 7 was awarded due to an x-ray problem that caused an unclear image of her hip joint. the vet performing the test informed us it would have most likely been a 0/0 if the image had been better. you cant get much better than that!

so both dogs are exemplary examples of the breed, with incredible, proven abilities on the trail backed up by show results to match. with all this in place along with 2 prospective experienced owners lined up for any pups we didnt plan to keep, we went ahead with the breeding, our reason, we wanted more dogs for our kennel and racing teams and planned on keeping the majourity of the litter and the breeding would result in furthering the bloodlines as the matches on all fronts were perfect for these two dogs. we had 5 pups, 1 absorbed by lolly during pregnancy, of which we kept 3, the other 2 went to friends who we have known and who have worked their dogs for years. the breeding cost us the best part of £3000 with no complications, not including the KC affix and its mainatance or feed bills and fuel bills to vets, dads owners, for the pups up to 8 weeks. the countless sleepless nights and alot of very hard work during and after the pregnancy. the two pups we sold, both being of top bloodlines (seppala/zero etc) we sold for £600 each, so we made a loss monetarily of around £2000, were not bothered about that, it was the last thing on our list, but ended up with pups that have already proved themselves with 2 x 2nd place absa championships (points gathered over the seasons championship classes racing results) over the past 2 seasons racing, 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 seasons, several wins and dozens of top 3 places in races over the last 2 seasons. plus some good results in the show ring as well. im my book a good reason for breeding.

i know it sounds like a great idea to breed a litter and its nice to have pups and sounds like a nice idea for you to have offspring from your dogs, but unless you are prepared to go to the lengths you should be going through to ensure you are not doing damage to the breed you love, or any breed and cannot back up your dogs credentials with excellent results and KC registrations, especialy with an acceptional and established working breed such as a siberian. then its probably best to not breed from your dog.

if you want another sibe, why not get a rescue or research and buy the a puppy from a top established kennel, you wont find these advertising in the free ads, papers, internet, websites im afraid. but honesty, hard work and attending some working rallies or shows will allow you to see and chat to some of these owners who can put you on the right track to a top quality dog. i know its not what some of you wanted to hear and its not like the other replies to the excellent original informative post, but its the way it should be done, not by breeding for financial gain or because you think it would be nice.

thanks for reading - matt

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Very informative post Sarah:). It will inevitably come in handy for someone who is finds themselves the situation of having a pregnant female.

Matt - also very informative. You will find that most people on here will agree with you wholeheartedly about not breeding without doing it correctly. You are still fairly new but you will soon see that the topic of breeding normally insights some pretty heated debates:), with the majority of active members falling on the side of not doing it.

and :welcome: both of you to the forum:D

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hey dygo, ah we know that one all to well lol! thanks for the official welcome!!!

ive been keeping and eye but not posting or just occasionaly for a good year or so and joined while ago now to defend a post about how evil us mushers are and on the request of other members to help offer advice and information to others, i have been an active member of other boards for many many years, we ve been intrenched in the sport of mushing and the breed for 12 years or so and know the usual arguements and what will cause heated debates, and certainly arnt here or do not want to cause trouble or start arguements, but to offer help and advice to the many new owners of the breed and those looking into working their sibes. if it helps just one person in the breed, or stops one irresponsible breeding, thats good enough for me! you have to ask though, why do people get so heated and defensive about them breeding non kc dogs/back yard dogs if they dont have a good reason for doing so. looking forward to reading other posts and will help when and if i can. best wishes - matt

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To answer the above post of Danielle's - This is normal. Leaking clear fluid is a good sign. If it is brown or bloody then you MUST take her to the vets immediatley.

I have edited the first post so the pictures now appear again correctly. They were broken links before due to me moving the folder.

I have created a post to show the progression of this pack of puppies:

http://www.husky-owners.com/forum/threads/puppies-progress-catchup-now-8-months-old.30811/#post-491371

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What food did you have your female on while pregnant and nursing?

This is an extremely old post so unsure if you will get a reply or not :)

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