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Pregnant dog with a fever?

Species: Dog
Breed: Maltese / White
Age: 2-5 years
My bitch is pregnant - 63 days from first breeding today. Reproduction specialist vet today decided from her target test she was not ready to section. Tonight her temp is 102.2 and she is trembling. There are no other signs of pre-labor, no milk, no nesting, her food tonight, however. I am worried - never had a girl with a temp this high....She was absolutely normal up until after dinner......

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Congrats on your girl's pregnancy!

102.2 F is actually a normal temperature for a dog. I wouldn't consider it high at all.

The trembling may be a sign of pre-labor. Not all dogs do nesting.

It sounds to me like you may be in for an exciting night tonight. The best advice I can give is to keep Chica as stress free as possible. We need to keep an eye on her, but we also need to make sure we are not stressing her out by being too attentive.

While many dogs will have their temperature drop about 24 hours before delivery, not all dogs do, so if her temperature did not drop this doesn't really mean anything.

I hope all goes well! Let me know if you have more concerns!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I have been charting her temp for the last 4 was 99.0 earlier this morning, but 100.5 at the repro vet's at noon. The trembling is bothering me. This is not my first litter - I am a breeder/exhibitor of champion Maltese dogs, so I've been through labor before. Based on the progesterone test, she really isn't "due" for 5 more days, but I am no longer feeling the puppies move. I wear hearing aids, so I cannot use a stethoscope to listen for heartbeats. She is my bed dog, so she's with me all the time. She's not panting (to me that's good.) Her last attempt to poop yielded some semi-runny droplets..the last one much lighter in color....and kind of gelatinous...I'm just worried.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

From what you have described my first guess would be that she is getting ready to whelp.

We can never be completely sure on timing with progesterone testing.

A temperature of 99 F is subnormal and this definitely can be the temperature drop that many dogs get 24 hours or so before whelping.

Trembling is a concern in a bitch after whelping as we can see hypocalcemia (milk fever) in some little dogs after the pups have been nursing, but this really shouldn't be the problem right now.

The other concern of course is if something is happening with the litter. Unfortunately the only way to determine that is to have your vet xray or ultrasound.

If your gut is telling you something is not right, (and especially if you have experience in whelping and this is not "feeling" normal to you), then it is probably best to have an emergency visit just to be sure.

The runny stool can be a "stress colitis" with the cause of stress being impending labor.

But again, my gut instinct is that she is preparing to whelp tonight.

Please let me know what happens!

Dr. Marie.

Customer reply:

She is relaxed beside me now.pups are active. I can see movement and hear heartbeats with fetal baby monitor, so I feel better about pups. Working on keeping us both unstressed - noteasy.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Excellent! Hope all goes well!

Customer reply:

On way to my repro specialist. Contractions started. Will have section.writing from car.dang it! Wish we had gone ahead when we were there for target test,but she didn't want to chance premies. Takes 45-1 hour to get to vets. Riding in back seat w/her "in case." Have whelping kit with me....

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I can't tell you how many times I have had a bitch deliver pups in the car on the way to see me for an emergency visit.

Repro work is challenging stuff!

I'm praying for all to go well!

Customer reply:

3 girls via section - they are TINY, more so than usual, but she was contracting and couldn't get them out. There is one I can't get to suckle, but I am hoping Mom's instincts will kick in when she fully recovers from the section. Keeping them warm is most important now - will check on them again early in the a.m.....say a little prayer they thrive!

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sounds like it was an exciting night! Glad to hear all went well!

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.