Diseases & Conditions
What is dystocia?
Dystocia is a condition in which, during birthing, your female dog cannot expel her puppy or puppies through the birth canal.
What will dystocia look like in my dog?
Your dog will continually contract her abdomen in unsuccessful attempts to push out her puppy. Your dog will also be weak and anxious. After awhile, she will be so exhausted that she will lie down or collapse.
How does my dog get dystocia?
Dystocia can also be caused by problems either with the mother or with the fetus. Maternal causes include uterine, vaginal or cervical abnormalities. If the mother dog has either a fractured pelvis or an inguinal hernia, dystocia can occur. Fetal causes of dystocia include fetal death, an outsized fetus, or a badly-positioned fetus.
How is dystocia diagnosed?
Your dog’s symptoms and her inability to expel her puppy will lead your vet to make a diagnosis of dystocia. To understand the underlying cause of the dystocia, your vet will likely conduct bloodwork, take X-rays or an ultrasound and, in some cases, conduct a vaginal exam of your dog.
How is dystocia treated?
Your vet will attempt to ease the puppy out of your dog’s birth canal with lubrication and very gentle traction. In general, it is preferred if your dog can be standing during this process. If this does not work, your vet may have to perform a caesarian section on your dog. If your dog is very weak, she will also have to be stabilized.
How is dystocia prevented?
Prior to breeding your dog, you should have her examined by a vet to ensure that she does not have any abnormalities or underlying conditions that could pre-dispose her to dystocia. Proper nutrition and care during pregnancy and labor is also essential.
Can I get dystocia from my dog?
No, you cannot develop dystocia from your dog.