Cocker spaniel whelping or the birth process of a cocker spaniel puppy is an endearing one but a lot of caution has to be taken as like childbirth, it is a delicate time for both the mother dog and her to-be-born puppies.
The owner must be ready both mentally and in physical terms to assist in the birth of a new life and must also be fully prepared for post delivery care of the dog as well as its litter.
In the process of cocker spaniel whelping, the first most important thing to be determined is the delivery date. The help of a veterinarian can be taken for this. Also, if the owner can estimate the conception date, it is possible to count 63 days, give or take 5 days for the pregnancy period. It is very important that the cocker spaniel, during the period of pregnancy, is given a sufficient and nutritious diet to ensure that her whelping process goes smoothly and that she is strong enough to endure the birth as well as at the same time, the puppies are born healthy.
The owner must make the dog feel comfortable and convenient, with plenty of bedding in a relatively warm area of the house. A few weeks before the delivery, the owner must prepare the room where the pregnant dog will be giving birth. This room has to be placed in such a manner that post birth, for a few weeks, the dog should be able to feed and take care of her puppies, as equivalent to making that room a nursery for caring for them.
The task of cocker spaniel whelping is similar to preparing for the birth of a child and one needs to be ready with all necessary things and equipment so that one is prepared right from the first sign of labor.
Supplies which are pertinent to the process of cocker spaniel whelping include a full medical Kit and a “whelping kit”. The medical kit including a stethoscope, betadine ointment, sterile gauze sponges, surgical sponges, alcohol wipes and forceps. The whelping kit includes a thermometer, scissors, dental floss, bulb syringes, latex gloves, KY jelly, and hand towels. These things are important for taking the temperature, cutting of the umbilical cord and in getting the puppy out of its birth sac once it is out among other things.
One also requires paper towels, trash bags, a laundry basket, disinfectants, heating lamp and fasteners. Though puppies nurse on their mother’s milk, it is still advisable to keep puppy food ready including evaporated milk, baby water, whole fat yogurt or any recommended commercial formula.
It is required that when the dog goes into labor, the owner must be present throughout and be observant for any signs of distress and to be able to soothe and calm the dog. The essential rule is to let nature take its course and let the mother dog do all the pushing. Only when it appears to be in need of human intervention, should one step in. If at any time, the owner feels that he or she will not be able to handle the cocker spaniel whelping, veterinary help should be sought immediately.
Just like in human labor, cocker spaniel whelping has no fixed time. But if the mother dog does not deliver its puppies within two hours of bearing down, then surgical options should be considered and she should be rushed to the nearest vet clinic.