Tips for Caring for Your Pets during the Summer Months

Labor And English Bulldogs: 3 Signs You Need To Take Your Dog To The Vet

by Kirk Hernandez

Due to the size of their puppies' heads and shoulders, English bulldogs find it very difficult to deliver puppies on their own. In fact, a C-section is required 95 percent of the time. If surgical intervention does not happen in time, you may lose one or more of the puppies. In some cases, the mother can die as well. For these reasons, it's vital that you have a birthing plan and a veterinarian on hand to perform a C-section when the time is right. Since it's a good idea to allow your dog to go into labor naturally before the surgery, you need to know what labor looks like. Following are three signs that it's time to take your dog to the vet. 

Nesting Behavior

Bulldogs have their puppies approximately 62 to 63 days after insemination. It's a good idea to calculate and track your dog's due date so you will be extra vigilant during this time. About a week before labor begins, you will notice nesting behavior. Your dog may seem restless and may make and remake her bed. She may also stop eating food. All of these signs indicate that labor will begin soon. Be sure to alert your veterinarian when you start to see this behavior. 

Beginning Labor

In the beginning stages of labor, your dog will probably start to pant and pace back and forth. She may also seem more agitated than usual. When you start seeing these symptoms, take your dog's temperature regularly. Your dog's temperature, which should usually range between 101 to 102, will drop to about 98 degrees about 12 to 24 hours before birth. You should be on your way or getting ready to go to the vet at this point. 

Active Labor

All dogs are different, so you may miss the warning signs of impending labor. Always stay alert for signs of active labor, which include licking of the vulva, pacing, and looking toward the tail. Your dog may also moan when contractions occur. When labor has progressed, your dog's water will break. When this happens, the puppies will start coming very soon. If you're not at the vet, get there very quickly. 

Since most bulldogs have to deliver their puppies by C-section, it's a good idea to have a vet ready and a plan in place for when the first signs of labor begin. Your vet may also schedule a surgery date ahead of time rather than wait for labor to begin naturally. Most won't, but some will. Even if you have a scheduled surgery date, you need to watch for signs of early labor.