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Hello all...

My female beagle (Emma) is pregnant (bevo is the father) and is expected to give birth on or around July 7th. I currently live in a 2 bedroom apartment with garage.

What is the best thing to do to prepare her for labor on the days leading up to July 7th? My first thoughts were to leave her in the garage with her kennel (kennel door open) and plenty of blankets in and around the kennel. I thought about using fans to help with the heat (it gets a little warm, but not too bad).

Would this be the best route to take? Also when the pups come, what is the best thing to do so that I dont have any of them die on me? I'm not planning on selling the pups but I would like to get them vaccines or whatever it is I need so that they dont die. I plan on giving the pups away to family and friends (who all claim to want one).

I'm new to this... (first time) so any information is greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
 

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Here's a link to a pretty good article. Hopefully it's helpful.

http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/whelping.html

My pups are all born here in my family room - or in my bedroom - if there's too much excitement in the family room. Moms don't like others around when they're giving birth.

I DO take very good care of my moms - and at the first sign of problems they get to the vet - but I have to warn you that even the best care can't prevent all problems and it's hard. JoJo's a excellent mother, but she had a hard time with her last litter - one pup was stillborn, 2 others were tiny and the largest, a male, she rolled over on and suffocated. The small male died the same night that the bigger male was suffocated. It broke my heart. The remaining little girl that lived had to be bottle fed and supplemented. This is not normal, but it happens, no matter how we prepare.

Where do you plan to have the puppies? She'll need a whelping box (many breeders use a kiddy wading pool - I use a black garden tub - it's about 3 x 5' and heavy plastic and it can be easily cleaned). I use old sheets or towels in the tub - and usually put 'puppy pads' or bed pads in to absorb any mess (yes, it can be messy). Most of the time the mom takes care of the cords - they'll often eat the afterbirth - but my vet says it's not necessary - tho they used to say it was necessary for the mother. I don't let them eat it. Yeah, it's gross. I've never had to cut the cords, but do keep a small pair of sterlized scissors available just in case. I've had to catch a couple of pups when the mom was standing up - didn't want them dropped on their little heads being born. I keep a supply of small clean towels (I buy white bar towels which can be bleached) available to dry off the pup if the mom is otherwise occupied. It gets them breathing and going to rub them. You can buy nasal syringes if you need to clean mucous from their mouths.

Mom will need extra protein and calcium when the babies are born - to help her make good milk. I often use cottage cheese - most dogs love it. She'll also need fresh water all the time. This is the one time I leave food available at all times - tho she may not want to eat at first.

I don't know if you're planning to do your own vaccines - I don't - but in any event, NO vaccines until pups are 8 weeks old. Some breeders vaccinate at 5 weeks - my vet says it's not only not necessary, but can be harmful. Even if you do the usual vaccines yourself, vet will have to do the rabies.

It's not absolutely NECESSARY - but I have pups' dew claws removed when they're 2-3 DAYS old. It doesn't really hurt them - they whimper a bit for just a second - and if you wait it becomes more of a surgical procedure. Besides, I always want to make sure they see a vet early on. My vet charges $8/pup for dew claw removal. It's worth it to prevent problems in the future, plus an office visit fee.

I hope some of this is helpful to you.
 

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Thank you Gale - I do try.
Even though we've had several litters here - and I think I'm totally prepared, I'm always apprehensive until the pups all are born - and I see that they're all well. It breaks my heart to lose one - and I treasure every day that they live and thrive. I'm never totally at peace until they're a couple of weeks old, by then, they're pretty much out of danger and I can breathe a little bit, but it's the most rewarding thing I've ever done. There is just nothing like seeing these ...



I love watching them grow and develop little personalities - and my VERY favorite thing in the world is when they're weaned - and big enough to know who I am - (tho they know me from the moment they're born), and know I'm the one with the food - and come bouncing over to meet me when I come in! it's the greatest feeling in the world.
This litter was very special. Lottie had them c-section - and she was never a very good mom (unlike JoJo who is an excellent mommy) - since they didn't get a lot of nurturing from Lottie (oh she fed them and cleaned them), they got a lot of extra loving from Chloe and JoJo, and of course me. I kept Bella from this litter - and she's a truly great little girl.
 
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