Friday's REPRO TIP - What makes a bitch go into labor?
The initial stimulus actually comes from HORMONES PRODUCED BY THE PUPPIES, sort of like a knock at the door signaling that it's time for them to come out.
With a singleton litter, however, the knock can be so "quiet" that the bitch's body doesn't recognize that it's time to get things moving, leading to prolonged gestation and, well, no labor! Gestation can sometimes continue for 2-3-even 4 days beyond the normal due date, until finally the puppy is no longer able to survive in the uterine environment (which it has outgrown), leading to fetal death.
So what's the best strategy with singleton litters? Using OVULATION TIMING to help pinpoint the exact due date, beyond which it's best to not let the pregnancy go without intervening via an elective, planned C-section to hopefully deliver a live puppy!
Many a C-section has been done 2-3-even 4 days beyond the due date, most often delivering a dead, decomposing puppy that no one is happy to receive. More on this subject next week, but in the meantime, enjoy the pretty weekend!