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Signs of Retained Placenta in Mother Dogs


Among one of the complications that may affect the bitch after giving birth is the issue of retained placentas.

What Is the Placenta?

The placenta plays a vital role during pregnancy, connecting the puppies to the mother's uterine wall. It is thanks to the placenta that the puppies are supplied with oxygen and food and that their waste products are disposed of.

What Happens to It Normally?

When puppies are born, the placenta is no longer needed, and it is expelled from the mother's body. Generally, this occurs within 15 minutes from the time each puppy is delivered.

Each puppy should have one placenta, so it is important to count the numbers of placentas to ensure none of them stay inside.

Why They Are Retained

Cases of retained placentas are quite uncommon in dogs, however, there appears to be a predisposition in toy breeds. Generally, it is mostly seen in large litters and sometimes in difficult deliveries.

Difficulty in Counting Them

The main issue is that it may be difficult for the breeders to count the placentas because mother dogs will instinctively ingest them after they are expelled. It is believed that the placentas will provide the mother with extra energy that will help her go through the first days of nursing the pups. This is why some dogs develop soft stools for a few days after birth.

Retained placentas have the potential to cause uterine infections and toxicity. A dog exhibiting signs of illness or one that has not expelled all the placentas should be seen by a vet.


Normally after birth, the mother will develop a greenish-black discharge that will gradually become an odorless reddish-brown within 48 hours.

The main symptoms suggesting a retained placenta are:

  • Development of green, fetid vaginal discharge for more than 24 hours after giving birth
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Sometimes a retained placenta may be felt as an abdominal mass


To diagnose your dog, the vet might palpate the uterus to feel for abdominal masses, conduct blood tests to see if there are signs of infection or do an ultrasound.


Treatment is only necessary if the dog is ill. Generally, it consists of an injection of oxytocin, a special medication that causes contraction of the uterus, which will help the mother expel the retained placenta.

If there is an infection of the uterus (metritis), a spay surgery may be recommended.

Take your dog to the vet to be advised on how to proceed.


While there is no way of preventing retained placentas in dogs, owners must keep a close eye on the placentas being expelled after each puppy is born. They should watch the bitch carefully for possibly ingesting them.

While it may be difficult to keep count of the placentas in very large litters, it is certainly worth the effort for priceless peace of mind.

Note: All dogs should see the vet 24 hours after giving birth regardless of symptoms. This article does not replace the advice of a professional veterinarian.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: Will a retained placenta be expelled by the mother dog?

Answer: A retained placenta means just that; it's retained and not being expelled. Generally, a retained placenta is not truly considered "retained" until 24 hours post delivery. If 24 hours haven't passed, there are chances it may be still expelled naturally. If it's getting close to 24 hours, then it's time to ring the vet. To be expelled you will need to see the vet. Your dog may need an oxytocin shot to get it out. Left inside a retained placenta will lead to the risk of complications (metritis) that can spread to the bloodstream and become a major complication.

Question: Can a female dog not have a puppy and then deliver it when I'm not around?

Answer: It can happen that a mother dog has a puppy when you are not around, and then one day, out of the blue you discover the puppy. Hormonal changes in the pregnant dog as birthing time approaches, drive her to want to seek areas to give birth and sometimes these areas are private and out of our reach despite the wonderful whelping area we have purposely built for her.

© 2009 Adrienne Farricelli


Lina on July 14, 2020:

Hi my dog give birth 1 week early to due date and the first puppy comes out literally premature

And we know that there’s still a baby in her womb is it ok to dog have a long time birth interval?????

Kris Carla on July 01, 2020:

Hi, my puppy get birth around 5pm, and as of 12midnight her placenta is not yet coming out.. So Im worried that it may cause something bad to the dog.

Dee on March 31, 2019:

I have a Presa Canario female she is three years old this is her first litter of pups. She had a total of nine but, five were stillborn and seems to be fine with her and the pups. She us eating and drinking well no issues with pooping or peeing and she does not have a fever. My concern is has been four days since she gave birth and she us still panting do you have any suggestions

Judy Ruble on March 24, 2019:

My dog gave birth to six pups and one died ever since after the delivery she is breathing hard vomiting ever since and that has been 3 weeks She won’t feed them or care for them at all.she is taking an antibiotic but no change..What’s wrong with her please help if you can.

Charmaine Hester on February 17, 2019:

I believe the uterus is hanging out of my dog. She just gave birth and its the weekend. Will it go bacl im on its own

Amber on December 31, 2018:

Please help me my yorky/ shih Tzu just had a litter of 7 puppies, she is now bleeding should I be worrying? I have been feeding them to help her but she is very protective,

Anita Abanto-Pretty on December 08, 2018:

My dog panting 36 after delivery

Gomolemo on September 22, 2018:

Is it possible that a dog can deliver still biths and still have some unborn puppies left after a week?

Melissa on September 04, 2018:

Problem is taking a dog to the vet you run the risk of picking up an illness from sick dogs at the vet.

Don on July 22, 2018:

My dog had one puppy and there's a red bag hanging out what do I do.

daniella on June 01, 2018:

what is that things that came out on the mommy dog, after giving birth it looks like an


Shanna whitchurch on December 03, 2017:

What happens when the momma daschound has a baby and it's been almost ten hours since and she has had about 4 seperate contractions but can't seem to push it out. And is pooping black greenish stool.

Deb on September 18, 2017:

Why does a dog have a bad order comming out of her after giving birth to one puppy and passing a blood clog 7 hrs ago

Shelley on September 09, 2017:

My chihuahua had 3 puppies but one died and the other two are doing well and she not eat much and not drinking water. She has really soft stool and this is her first puppies and l have never had a dog with puppies before what to do.

Robyn hunt on July 18, 2017:

Hi my pug had 1. Healthy pup yesterday at 1pm. She seems. All night quiet. And contempt feeding the one pup she has had. A litter before wich was cesarian tho had this time. On her own. Tho I have authority and have a shot of oxytocen. . Though unsure to give it to mum as didnt seee placenta or tho shes not doing no panting or etc. Signs to no if shes only had one pup as she has. . Should I give her the oxytocon to make sure placenta was passed ? Or. Would oxytocin now 24 hours after one pup born have risks into the mums milk and harm one pup.

Lori on July 18, 2017:

If my b**** has mated will she still bleed a little bit and still be swollen

diann on June 25, 2017:

My Chihuahua gave birth to 7 puppies two days ago and 4 were very thin and 2/3 the size of the others. The momma I had noticed placed those 4 puppies off to the side and by the 2 day she had placed them completely out of the bed and whined till I found them. My point is her glands are very engorged,red, and her belly is swollen alone with her stools being dark and she is bleeding. I know the bleeding ect is part of giving birth I am just afraid that the other 3 will not make it.

Misty on May 31, 2017:

My dog just had her puppies 3days ago. Not sure why there is a smell now coming from there area. I know she ate 1placenta but had 6pups? What should I do?

Maurie on May 23, 2017:

Hello,My miniature dashound gave birth 3 days ago ,with 5 pup's, now she is waking me up to go outside an has a big explosion of bloody diarrhea/ almost like water an sounds like there's gas with it if ya know what I mean an she is doing it every2-3 hours ,She is acting normal,She did eat all afterbirth also. Everything is fine but the bloody diarrhea?

Jesse on May 16, 2017:

My dog has had 11 pups there is a leaking pinkish red leaking from her is this normal

Mar on May 06, 2017:


you need to take your dog to the vet- the toxins in the blood will kill your dog and her milk with not be any good. It is like a blood poison when babies and placentas are left inside, they start to rot.

Becky on April 30, 2017:

My anatolian sheppard just had 7 puppies 4 days ago, there is still slimy discharge coming out, not a lot, but it's still there, is this normal?

Steph on April 17, 2017:

My dog gave birth to 6 puppies Friday night 4/14 then she delivered another one Saturday morning puppy had past away then she gave birth again Monday morning 4/17 she don't have an appetite, I have been giving her Pedialyte to hydrate her I'm still worried

Briana on March 09, 2017:

My pitbull just had 6 puppies Monday night. She ended up delivering two more yesterday, Wednesday, both dead by the time they exited her womb. I can feel something in her stomach, I'm not sure if it's a retained placenta or another puppy that may have already passed. She is very skinny, has no appetite, walks very slowly, doesn't really respond, over salivating, and won't even drink water now. What can I do? I don't have money to take her to the vet at the moment, but I'm worried.

Briana on March 08, 2017:

My pitbull just gave birth to 6 puppies two days ago, Monday (3/6/17). Today I noticed she is over salivating, and she threw up. It's the first time I am noticing this, but I'm worried. Is this normal after birth?

rob on December 27, 2016:

the day after my yorkie gave birth to only one puppy she has started acting like she is having another one but it has been hours and she cant seem to get anything out and i dont have any money for the vet what can i do

andrea saracco on September 20, 2016:

My american bulldog boxer was in labor. One sac came out and hours later no puppie. The ve to did what they could but never could get one out. Now the want to put her to sleep. I brought her home and shes laying her pushing, fighting for her life. Is there Anything i can give her to gdt the puppiesbout. I live for my dog Prima, i cant imagine life without her.

lizette on August 03, 2016:

hi my pug who is 3 years old had puppies 2 days ago about 2 oclock in the morning by the time we noticed she had 4 and they were dead already, then two more came out and we helped her with the other 2 and we broke the bag for her and those two survived .. this is her second litter and the first time she did the same thing if we are not there to brake the bag they die ?? so is this normal or is it an issue that she has because with out help her pppies die

lyka on May 28, 2016:

my dog always slip and the bad thing is her tummy was the first part too hit the floor. How would i knoww if her puppies is still alive? thanks

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 24, 2016:

Please give a call to your vet or emergency vet to play it safe.

Courtney on April 24, 2016:

Hey my Maltipoo just had 4 puppies and they are great. It looked like my dog popped a bag of water but nothing's come out. She looks like she's still having contractions but nothings happening. What should I do?

Joana O. on October 10, 2015:

This morning I found one of my Chihuahuas baby dead on the floor, placenta still attached a lot of blood on that area. Did my dog had a hard time taking it of it died ? Or did she kill it? I then see my dog pushing but 30 min have passed and no other puppy. There was a greenish stuff near her with some of the food I fed her the day before.

Barbara on September 17, 2015:

I have a puppy that just gave birth she ate all the placenta but her sac is still inside her i want to know if it will come out on its own or should i see the vet in the morning

Lisaallen1 on June 12, 2015:

hi there, i have a yorkie who gave birth to one puppy 5 days ago, both mum and baby are doing well, i took them both to the vets a few days ago for a check up and whilst there i mentioned that the mother has a fishy smell coming from her, the vet looked and said she could see some puss down below but to keep an eye on it and if it hasn't improved by next week then to take her back, im not sure about leaving it that long, she seems well otherwise is not lethargic and is feeding her baby well. but this vet also advised me to supplement with bottle feeding the puppy as she said her mum only had two teats at the back which had milk. the puppy is plumpand seems really healthy and is always feeding and content, but as asked i tried to bottle feed my puppy and it didn't go well. personally i think i was being forced to overfeed it. so instead ive been keeping an eye on the puppys weight each day with the view that if she stops gaining weight then i'll step in and bottle feed, at the vets on wednesday the puppy was 278g and today she is 338g so she is gaining steadily. But im worried about this fishy smell with the mother honey. should i take her to a different vet or do as she says and wait until next week. i saw the placenta come out and she eat it. also a blood test was done at the vet to check her calcium levels and that was fine. advice would be much appreciated thankyou

Mark on May 24, 2015:

Eli and Tracey, would you leave a woman die of birth complications and not take her to the doctor? How would you feel if you were giving birth and nobody helped you? These are living animals, not giving vet attention is neglect. Why is your dog having puppies in the first place if you cannot afford a vet? Please take your dogs to a vet, and if you have no money, find it, do a garage sale, ask family for help, get a loan, but don't let your poor dogs die of birth complications!

Eli on May 24, 2015:

my dog had puppy's something is stuck I have tryed to get it out and I can't I can't afford a vet

Tracey on May 23, 2015:

My schnouzer just had pups Thursday,today she has a greenish discharge from her vagina and I swear I can still feel another puppy in her belly she is eating fine going out to pee and poo very good momma is this normal or is it vet time concerned and vet will not be in till Tuesday

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 18, 2015:

It's hard to say. It could be she has eaten the placentas and these have caused digestive upset. It could be the first signs of a problem. I would watch her closely and see the vet if the vomiting continues or other symptoms appear.

Amber on April 17, 2015:

My pit just gave birth last night so unplanned and everything went well no problem but tonight after eating abt 3 he's later she has thrown up twice is this normal she is drinking and eating and using the bathroom and very attentive to puppies should I be worried first time for her and me

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 30, 2015:

It's hard to tell as this can be a fluke, something environmental and possibly genetic , so to really know the answer your would have to carefully evaluate what could have gone wrong. Was she fed a good diet? Was she tested for brucellosis? was she stressed? was she seen by the vet before breeding? any exposure to chemicals? vaccines, medications?

Dani on March 30, 2015:

My Yorkie had two puppies last night. First one was born with no sack and not alive. She did pas the placenta. The second one delivered normal with the placenta but it's intestines were outside of its stomach. It did not survive. Is it okay to breed her again? Will she have more deformed puppies?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 30, 2014:

This doesn't sound normal, best to see the vet and play it safe.

Felicia on December 29, 2014:

My Boston Terrier had her first pup lat night at 10 pm... she continued till about 7 am by then she had 4 perfect pups... she went to sleep woke up i fed her took her out side... cleaned her up.. come back in she went back to her pups and 8 hrs later she had another one......! i was just shocked no signs of labor nothing just all the sudden out pops a head! After she had this pup.. an hr later she starts pushing again off and on.. i called the vet he said its normal for them to have there last pup 8 hrs apart or more.. that she is prolly just trying to deliver her after birth / Placentas anyhoo it's been 8 hrs since the last pup and she is still pushing here and there.. do i have a big concern should i take her to the Emergency Animal hospital? Any help would be appreciated.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 14, 2014:

I see, I imagine your vet is already closed. I am not a vet so cannot make recommendations, but here is what a vet tech recommended for somebody in a similar situation

Sheila Cero from Concord, North Carolina on December 14, 2014:

Im aware that she will have to go but Im more concerned over to take her to an emergency clinic tonight or wait to see her vet in the am

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 14, 2014:

All new moms benefit from a post-whelp check-up and wellness exam to ensure there are no placentas or other pups still inside.

Sheila Cero from Concord, North Carolina on December 14, 2014:

My boxer mix gave birth to a pup at 5 this morning but as of 5 this evening still hasn't giving birth to any other pups. She is attending the pup and drinking water. She has had several bowel movements. As of the past hour she has been bleeding fairly heavy(dark red blood, clotty). She has looked like she was contracting a couple times without any luck. I cant feel any other masses either. I'm not sure if I should take her in or hold off and wait. She is her happy go lucky self still. Thanks for any help-

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 04, 2014:

I would have her see the vet since she does sound sick and needs to feel well to properly take care of her puppies.

Jpage on December 04, 2014:

My dachshund gave birth on Thanksgiving to four pups... Since she has been depressed acting and not feeling well.. she has lost weight and passes a thick light pink substance from her vagina.. I have been feeding her an egg once day.. giving her calcium and Pedialyte to make sure she stays hydrated..

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on December 03, 2014:

That temperature is very high! Please have her see the vet.

jess ie heidler on December 02, 2014:

My four year old lab whelped 14 pups 7 days ago. Whelping went fine with no complcations. Pups are all doing great and mom was to.but this afternoon she started acting strange very restless not eating but drinking very good. Also looks like her stomach is contracting. I cked her temp and its 106.8. She has been acting completley norml up to this point.

Nat on December 02, 2014:

to the first comment how many is 5+3 = 8 not 6

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2014:

Because of her age, I would definitively have a vet check her and the litter to ensure things are proceeding normally. Are you sure the blood was coming from the stool? The bloody stool is not normal for new moms. It can be due to having eaten the placentas, dietary changes, parasites. Bringing along a stool sample for your vet is helpful.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on November 07, 2014:

Erin, sounds like something is not right, to be on the safe side, you would need to have her see the vet, there could be a retained fetus or placenta and a possible beginning of a womb infection,which isn't uncommon when dogs give birth to stillborn, only your vet can really help.

erin on November 06, 2014:

My dog gave birth about 8 hours ago the last 4 was stillborn now she is lethargic and won't eat no fever what could be wrong?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 30, 2014:

Anytime new foods or supplements are added, there are chances of an upset tummy, however, have her seen if this continues or she develops other symptoms, I hope she gets better soon!

Brittany B on October 30, 2014:

Hello, my Bea-Tzu dam had a litter on Saturday. All are fine and well. They came quickly and I counted all 5 placentas out of mom. After her whelping, she's been eating and drinking fine. I did follow up with our vet 24 hours after she was finished. All pups healthy, mom healthy too. I've doubled her eating and even been giving mom a milk supplement for lactacting dogs. I've followed the directions, 2 scoops for her body weight every 3-4 hour. Vet said this was a very good idea and would help her keep up her weight and the necessary nutrients for her as well. However, today, not even a week after having pups, she's been throwing up. She's eating some and drinking as well. She's still doing her job as a mom. Could she just have an upset stomach? She is srill doing the bedding, which I know can be normal at this time. I've taken all precautions. Please, any information would help.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on October 13, 2014:

Take her to vet, only him can determine what is going on and give her an oxytocin shot in case there are retained placentas.

Romchelyn1 on October 12, 2014:

Hi I hope you can help,my cocker spaniel whelped 5 healthy puppies tonight and I'm no novice but I'm SURE I can feel more babies...

At one very short point she was contracting but not pushing (would have been 6th) and it all stopped..she's now leaking green discharge very dark green...all placentas but one came out,is it possible what I'm feeling could be just a swollen uterus or a retained placenta? Or worse a dead puppy? She seems relaxed and content with her babies...thank you in advance

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on September 30, 2014:

A vet visit is in order if she seems to have a fever and is weak at this point. Best wishes.

chote on September 28, 2014:

My shytzu had 3 puppys but they where dead when they came out she cleaned them i gave her time whit her and then i took them away from her now shes uncomfirtable due to the milk she produced how can i help her.she feel hot and seems weak.she eats and drinks water.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 26, 2014:

Dani, I no longer work for the veterinary section of Just Answer if that's what you mean.

dani on August 26, 2014:

are you still answering questions?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 23, 2014:

It's a good practice and a sign of a responsible breeder to have them seen so mother dog can be checked for any signs of trouble. When I worked for the vet, many great breeders had their dam seen within the first 48 hours. During this exam, mom is checked to see if she delivered all the pups and doesn't have retained placentas. Puppies are checked for for cleft palates, the vet listens to their hearts, and makes sure there is good milk supply. Many things can go wrong in the first 48 hours and it's a good idea making sure all is going well.

ashley on August 23, 2014:

Alexandry that is not always true that they need to be seen my shih tzu gave birth to 6 pups Wednesday and her vet said just watch for signs of fever etc and if puppy acting funny. Other than that they do not need to be seen until 6 weeks for shots and sexing.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 10, 2014:

All new pups and mom should always see a vet 24 hours after whelping to ensure everything is fine. This is highly recommended to anyone who breeds dogs. Normally dogs who have whelped have viaginal discharge that may vary in color, generally, if the discharge doesn't have a foul smell and mom looks fine, it shouldn't be an issue, but see your vet to ensure all is well.

Crystal on August 10, 2014:

My dog just had 3 puppies but in the last push she threw some green liquid , is that normal ?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on August 06, 2014:

Is she a young? Some young mothers at times aren't mature enough to raise a litter properly.

charlene on August 05, 2014:

My staffy gave birth on 31st july when her pups crawl out of bed she wont pick them up she will stay in her bed or she will start digging in her bed is this normal she had 8 pups

marybeth on July 16, 2014:

I have a 2 year old boxer. She gave birth to 1 puppy at 830 this morning. Around 9 this evening I went to check on her and she had another puppy but unfortunately it was dead. She is panting heavily again. It's if normal for her to wait so many hours in between puppies? I just moved to a new town and haven't found a vet yet.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 15, 2014:

What did the vets recommend doing that it is turning out so costly? Are they talking about c-sections? All new mother dogs and pups should see a vet 24 hours post whelping for a wellness check-up and to determine if there are any issues. Money should be put aside for possibly c-section/complications. This is the bare minimum that needs done when breeding dogs. Please find a way to see your vet is there's a complication.

Michelle on July 14, 2014:

My yorkie-pom delivered 2 pups yesterday and one passed last night. ...its been about 24 hours and she is still pushing accationally. I called a few vets and the expense is more than I can do at this time. Any advice on what I can do or try ?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 12, 2014:

She may still have other pups, were there any more?

Tony on July 11, 2014:

My dog went into labor around 1:00PM-1:30. She gave birth to 6 so far. the last pup was born around 4:55PM, but she is still panting and blood is still coming out.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 11, 2014:

I would have them all checked out first. Also because your dogs could bring diseases as well to the pups and the pups are very vulnerable at this age. They also should all be vaccinated against parvo and distemper and complete the series. This is why breeders are strict and want all people visiting their home to take off their shoes.

Marcia on July 09, 2014:

I have a friend whos dog had nine pups. They all seemed fine for six weeks . Momma dog stopped producing milk and died a week later. The litter was of nine pups. Only five of them have made it so far. They have not been vet checked. Is it safe to bring a few of the pups to my home with my other dogs

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 28, 2014:

It's normal for a new mother dog to want to cater to her puppies the most in these first days when they are vulnerable. However, she should not be acting lethargic. You are offering high value foods which she should be tempted to eat, but I am concerned about these symptoms you are describing. She might have eaten the after births the first, and this may have kept her full the first day, but no sure why she's acting lethargic and her temperature is so high. I think she should be seen by another vet. When the pups are sleeping, try rubbing on her gums a little bit of warmed up dog food just so she gets a taste of it. Chances are, once she tastes it she may want some more.

Dimitria Karydas on June 28, 2014:

My yorkie gave birth thursday morning, and friday i took her to the vet for a check up. Her calcium levels were good and he gave her a shot of Oxycotin to help clean out her uterus. She had a fever of 105 at the clinic but no underlying reasons were found. So, I've been instructed to give her baths to help cool her down. It works but her appetite is just gone, she drink sufficient water but seems just so lethargic. She goes to potty and drink water then heads straight for her den. I'm worried about her. She's so small and I'm scared she won't produce enough milk. Any advice? Milk, raw egg yolk, boiled chicken, cheese, and wet dog food have not been appealing to her at all :( Thank you.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 25, 2014:

I would have checked out just to play it safe. It could be sign of an infection.

thyatt61 on June 24, 2014:

My pit bull terrier had puppies a week ago, i dont think she has any of these symptoms but she does has a really foul odor, what could it be?

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on June 18, 2014:

Hello, it would be best to have your dog see a vet. All new mother dogs and pups should see a vet in the first 24 hours to check for retained placentas and a wellness exam. The temperature 39.5 is 103.1 which is a fever and that would explain the panting.

Thes. A on June 18, 2014:

Hi my shih tzu just gave birth 2 days ago and shes having a hard panting and her temperature is 39. 5 is that normal?

Brittany M on May 29, 2014:

Thanks for the suggestion. I sent them a request to join the group!

Marilyn on May 29, 2014:

Hello Brittany, I stumbled n your post as I have a dog who just whelped and was learning about signs of trouble. If you vet is uncertain, it means there is really no way to know for sure. I would recommend you to join the Facebook group "dog breeding and whelping guidance" and ask there as there are thousands of experienced breeders there who perhaps were in your same situation.

Brittany M on May 29, 2014:


My 7 yr old Beagle/Bluetick, Maddie, had puppies 4 days ago. I couldn't account for 2 placentas, she stopped eating and had a 105 to 106 fever. I took her to the vet and he told me there was no way to know if she retained a placenta and she looked healthy. Her temp was 103.4 when he took it. Yesterday she hadn't improved so I took her to a different vet. He diagnosed her with a severe case of pyometra due to retained placenta. He said her white blood cell count had dropped low which he took to be a sign of toxicity. He said the best chance to save her was a spay surgery. She came home last night and is taking 500 mg of cephalexin twice a day and trammel for pain 3x a day. She seems to be getting better. My question is..... After the spay surgery, can she continue to produce milk? The puppies have been nursing almost constantly since they were born. They take only short nap breaks of 15 to 2o minutes. I've attempted to squeeze her nipples and am sometimes able to see milk. The puppies nurse pretty aggressively and make little growling noises but don't really cry. I attempted to bottle feed when she was in surgery with no success. Is it possible for her to continue to feed the pups after she has been spayed? My vet was uncertain. Could the stress of the illness and surgery have temporarily reduced her production? She only eaten small amounts of food since becoming I'll but seems to be getting her appetite back slowly. Is there a way to increase her production? I read on a breeder site that a teaspoon of dark beer with boost lactation. Is that true? Could a shot of oxytocin help? Could my other dog be stimulated to start producing milk by suckling or an injection? I also am worried about the pups being too hot or cold. I have the air conditioner set on 74 and a heat lamp directed at the floor about two feet in front of their bed- not pointed at them. Occasionally one will sleep with a mouth open when on their side or back. Is this normal? Does it mean they are too hot or sick?

Thank you for your help. I am a very edgy dog mom after what happened to my Maddie, and I'm not willing to trust the exclusive opinion of a vet any longer. Sites like this really help out.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 19, 2014:

According to Vet Cross "After whelping the vaginal discharge appears dark green due to pigment for up to 12 hours. This then becomes red or reddish-brown and after a few weeks only random spotting should be seen." Source:

robbie on May 18, 2014:

I have a year and 8 month old press that just had 8 pups. One was born without an anus and died. The others are healthy and nursing well and mother seems to be fine. She has been leaking a reddish brown ooze for three days though. Is this normal? Should she be checked? As I said, she seems fine.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 12, 2014:

Feeling depressed is never normal in any dogs, so please see your vet for this. On top of that if your dog's belly is swollen you have an additional reason to see the vet. Pyometra is always a risk with intact female dogs.

Emma on May 12, 2014:

Hello I have a bullmastiff who gave birth to puppies 7months ago everything went well but her tummy is still hanging and very swollen ? She seems very depressed is there anything I can do or is there anything wrong plz help getting worried :/ Emma

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on May 09, 2014:

Please have her see a vet, doesn't sound normal. All dams should see a vet the first 24-48 hours after whelping. Yours is showing unusual symptoms so even more reason to see the vet.

jasmin on May 08, 2014:

Hello I have a pomeranian and she had one puppy and she ate the plusinta bt its been 2 days and she cuts and shakes a lot what dose that mean

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on April 01, 2014:

I am sorry to hear that, you should have your dog see the vet to ensure there are no retained placentas or dead pups in her.

cye on March 31, 2014:

My lab dog is giving birth w/prmature pup because it is only 2mos exactly is their possibilities that the other pup is alive.

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on March 11, 2014:

If it has been 8 hours since the last pup then if there is really another pup it could die if it does not come out soon. Another possibility is she has a retained placenta which can get infected. Your best bet is to have her see the vet who will likely administer a "clean out" oxytocin shot and perhaps give antibiotics. I hope she feels better soon, kind regards!

stacy on March 11, 2014:

I have a lab mix and sunday she deliverd het first pup and it was born dead and the second one the same way and it was born monday after noon and she acts like theres more what shoud i do

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 25, 2014:

You should see the vet right away as this can be a prolapsed uterus/vagina. The dog may have trouble urinating and the more time goes by the more tissue damage. Another possibility is that what you are seeing is the after birth, in that case your dog may need an oxytocin shot to get her to contract and push it out. But don't take my words for this, I am not a vet. and only your vet can tell you what is really going on. Please see the vet as assistance is likely needed and all dogs who have whelped should see a vet after whelping to make sure all is OK, even if you don't see signs of problems. Best wishes.

stephanie on February 25, 2014:

Hi, my black lab mix just had puppies 3 days ago. Didn't even know she was pregnant. Delivered 8 pups and when I went out to check on her she has a big red sized looking sac on her behind. She's still friendly and doesn't act like she is in pain. Is this something to worry about??what is it??

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 21, 2014:

Does the discharge have a foul odor? Has the vomiting continued? Here are some vet's thoughts on this:

All new moms and pups should be seen by a vet 24-48 after birth to rule out retained pups and placentas. Best wishes!

Jg on February 21, 2014:

Hi. My wennie dog gave birth to a stillborn pup she only had one pup. She vommited a dark green very smelly liquid and she is discharging a black green liquid. She walks around fine. Can anyone assist me with info on what's going on and what to do??

Adrienne Farricelli (author) on February 14, 2014:

Shaking can be a sign of pain, but it also can be a sign of a fever. Since you mention she also seems not to be feeling well, she should be checked out by a vet. She may be having symptoms of metritis: