Vets and Second Opinions, Pregnant Dog Fails to go into Labour

Today we are going to talk about Veterinarians and getting a second opinion. I, personally spend mega dollars on Vets each and every year. I simply could not exist without them. Even though I have enough years of experience in just about all types of illness and injuries with horses and dogs, there are times I need the Vet. Such as I know my dog needs a caesarian, but I can't do it, so I need a Vet. I know something is drastically wrong with an animals limb, but it needs to be exrayed, call the Vet. I know my animal is deathly ill, but can't pin point why, call the Vet. And there are times when I got another Vet for a second opinion and thanks heavens I did.

I know that a lot of times, people are unprepared or unwilling to call in a Vet. 99% of the time it is because of the cost. The bill that now needs to be paid. All I can tell you is, if you are not sure what is wrong, and do not have the REAL experience to diagnose and doctor the critter correctly, then don't delay, call the closest or the most trusted vet in your area. Your animal, ANY ANIMAL, deserves to get the correct and best of care. The longer you put off calling him/her, the less chance of survival or a full recovery, and probably the higher the bill to be paid in the end.

So lets say, you have done the right thing and called in a Vet or have taken the animal to the clinic or animal hospital. But your animal is not improving, or you are just not satisfied with the diagnosis. Then, please, regardless of cost, get a second opinion from another Vet in a different clinic or hospital. Here are some of my stories on Vets And Second Opinions.


The majority of my small breed female dogs are pregnant for approximately 60 days, then go into labour and give me a healthy litter of fat, squiggly puppies. Dog breeding manuals and Vet books will tell you that dogs have a gestation period from 57 to 66 days, with the larger breeds more apt to go the full 66 days. Any pups born before the 57 day, will be premature and probably not survive. And any dog going over the 66 days may be in trouble. Perhaps it is a false pregnancy? Or perhaps the actual labour of giving birth has been missed and the pups are now dead inside the mother. Because I control my breeding, I know the first day the dog is bred and the last day. This allows me to calculate when that 66 days has come and gone. So what happened with my sweet Lhasa Apso, Peanut, taught me a lesson I will never forget.

Peanut was definitely pregnant, with her fat belly dragging on the floor. She looked like a miniature tank supported by four little sawed off legs. I could feel the pups in her, no false pregnancy here.
I have always had a policy that should those 66 days (from last day bred) come and go, I will immediately be on full alert. Although it had never happened to me before, I had always said, that should 70 days ever come and go from the last day bred, then the dog was going in for an emergency caesarian.

Well Peanuts due date came and went. She never left my side, struggling to keep up with me as I did my daily horse and dog chores, and if unable to, always laying where she could see me and I could see her. As she slept on my bed, so that she was always touching some part of my body, again she was never away from me. So here is a little dog, showing every sign of being ready to give birth and no labour. None. 66 days came and went. I checked her chart, she had had two previous litters of puppies, exactly 60 days both times after first day bred. As females generally have the same gestation period each time, I was worried sick.

And by the 67th day, her sides didn't seem to bulged out as much, but still something there. by the dreaded day number 70, she seemed to be more filled with fluid than discernable bumps of unborn puppies. No signs of having gone into unnoticed labour, no dark green or bloody fluid, that should never happen BEFORE the birth of the first puppy, but may be present after the first puppy. Nothing. To a Vet we go.

He proceeds to tell me that the dog is having nothing but a false pregnancy. When I explain to him that I raise dogs and know a false pregnancy from a real one, he belittles me with lots of hard to understand professional words. I tell him that I think her puppies have died inside her and she needs a caesarian to save her life. Again he treats me like an inexperienced first time dog owner, telling me that she would be very sick and possibly dead by now, if she was full of dead pups. Chastised, I take Peanut back home. All the rest of that day and the next, I stew about how I was so sure she was pregnant, in fact with a good sized litter of pups in her. But by now, her swollen belly just seems to be full of fluid, not puppies and it has shrank away down. And I know very well, if she was full of dead puppies, she would be so very sick and yes, perhaps dead. She is still eating and drinking and following me everywhere. I decide I need that much revered Second Opinion.

The next vet, palpates her, checks her and then decides that perhaps exrays are in order. The exrays confirm an unknown mass is present in her uterus. A caesarian must be done and done now. He cancels his next couple of appointments for the emergency surgery. I sit and wait in the clinics reception area and pray for Peanuts health and safety.

Although this kind vet was unable to determine exactly how many puppies were once alive in her belly, he knows it was at least five or six. And that was by counting decomposed skulls. I'm sorry people for being so graphic, but I must do so to show the importance of getting a second opinion. Had I not done so, Peanut would indeed have died, from the massive infection raging in her uterus. Why, she showed no signs of distress or illness can not be fully explained, as indeed she was a very sick little girl.

Peanut finally recovered, after a lengthy and intensive course of treatment. Now spayed, she is once again a happy go lucky furr ball on four sawed off legs.

Posted ON Wed, February 1, 2023 at 11:06:59 am MST
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