Last night I had a very hard delivery with a first time German shepherd mom. She started labor at noon, three days early, which in itself is a little worrisome, but not that unusual. I now know why she was early. Anyway after several hours the first puppy was presented in the vaginal canal, but too deep for me to pull it out. This is when I first became worried that this delivery was not going to be normal. After two hours and several doses of Oxytocin, I was ready to take her in to the vet for a possible C-section. Of course this always happens on Sunday or holidays after hours.
I placed her on the grooming table to examine her one last time before calling the vet and I could feel that the puppy had progressed far enough that I could pull it on out, which I did. To my surprise the puppy was alive and is doing very well today. This puppy was large, but not unusually so, and I surmised that because this was her first puppy she just had trouble pushing out an above average puppy in size. I also surmised that the rest of the puppies should come much easier at this point. I was wrong.
The next puppy proved to be just as difficult if not harder for her. After five hours and several doses of Oxytocin this puppy presented itself breach. After feathering and some brave pushing by the new mom, I was able to grab the rear feet of the puppy and ease it out. This puppy was two to three times larger than the average newborn German shepherd puppy. Unfortunately, this puppy did not survive the breach delivery.
This proved to be her last puppy and explained her difficulty in delivering such large puppies. Sometimes when females have small litters the puppies can grow too large to allow for an easy and normal delivery. When this happens the female will often have the puppies a few days early to keep the puppies from growing any larger.
Going to a vet during delivery is very expensive and also could expose the new puppies to diseases. Therefore, it not a decision made lightly. No easy way or formula exists for knowing when it is time to seek professional help. For example, I had a female that was in labor for over 24-hours with no progress made towards delivery. I had been in contact with my vet and he said that we had waited long enough and to bring her in. While picking her up on the delivery table a viable puppy fell out on to the ground. I was sent home and while on the way home she had another two puppies in the 10 minute drive. She ended up having 10 healthy puppies. Another female was in labor all day with presented puppy that was stuck deep in the vaginal canal. After several hours of pushing she was exhausted and could not push anymore, and this time, in the middle of the night on the 45 minute drive to Oklahoma State University Animal Hospital she fell asleep and delivered the puppy in the backseat while snoring. When she fell asleep she relaxed enough for the puppy to slide on out into the side-pocket of my trucks door. In this case she had to have a C-section to deliver the remaining four puppies because she had exhausted her ability to push. All five puppies were healthy and are doing well today with their owners.
Making the decision to go to the vet during delivery problems is not easy and best should be made once you have surpassed your knowledge and abilities to deal with the myriad of issues that could arise during delivery. Knowing when you have exhausted your expertise is also not easy.
If you are considering getting a German shepherd puppy consider getting one of our older puppies and save a little money on some very high quality shepherds.
Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm. We have several wonderful puppies that that are ready to go home.
Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds