• English Bulldog Breeding - Chapter 8: Can Bulldogs Whelp Naturally?


    This is Khloe who is due anytime to have her pups.
    She only had 3 pups in this litter.

    So many people who may decide to breed English or British bullogs do not realize that bulldogs should NOT whelp , or have thier puppies naturally.

    Some breeders may boast that their bulldogs have litters naturally, but if they did allow their bulldog to do this by choice, then they put their female at serious risk as well as her pups.

    Khloe, my beautiful bulldog pictured at the top of this article, had a very small litter of three and was in labor for over 24 hours on a weekend. We had our emergency backup vet ready but lucky for us she made it to our regular vet scheduled c section. She only had three puppies, but they were good sized weighing almost a pound at birth.

    She was already exhausted from panting and so the first reason you should not free whelp is because of the possibility of over heating. Since English Bulldogs are a bracheaphelic breed they can get overheated easily depending on the severity of their brachecephic syndrome.

    The second reason you should not have your damn give birth naturally is the because English bulldog puppies have larger heads and bodies then other puppies, and can easily get stuck in the birth canal.

    The third reason you should not give birth naturally is because an English bulldog, even a bulldog with a great breathing system, is still at risk to have a water puppy. A water puppy is a puppy that is full of water so it is 2 - 4 times larger than any of the other puppies. There is no way for the damn push this out. Click here to read more about water puppies, also known as walrus puppies. Please be advised that there are graphic images in the water puppies link.

    So as you can see, if you try to free welp your litter you are putting your mom at serious risk. Not only are you putting her life in danger, but you could potentially lose all of the puppies in the litter. I think that should pretty much clarify any thoughts anyone may have had about this subject.

    Okay.... so what happens in an emergency? What are you supposed to do if she starts having puppies and you have no way to take her to a vet? Fortunately life happens sometimes and maybe your car broke down or your vet passes out during the c-section. You should always expect the unexpected. Always have a backup emergency plan, but if you have nowhere to turn, you are going to have to try to help your mama deliver her pups and pray there is no water puppies.

    It is important that you have had X-rays done so you know how many you are expecting. Although the X-rays may not be 100% accurate it will give you a good estimate to work with.

    In your bulldog kit you should have a pair of hemostats, as well plenty of fishing line ready to tie off the umbilical cords. Have plenty of towels and small hand towels ready to rub and stumulate the pups, as well as a box with some hot water bottles or a heating pad underneath. You will need laytex gloves and lubricant. Have a fan on your mom and maybe a spritz bottle of water and a cool wash cloth to keep her from overheating.

    Once she starts pushing she will have each pup about 45 minutes apart, give or take. If she is still pushing and has not had a puppy in a longer time than that then she may be in trouble. Contact the nearest emergency vet immediately!

    You will need to tie off the umbilical cord of each pup and then cut it off from the placenta. The dam generally likes to eat the placenta so you should let her, most bulldogs do not get to do this in a c-section but it is very normal for a vaginal birth in the canine world and is very instinctual for them. It is full of vitamins and will help give her energy to continue pushing.

    You will need to make sure the lungs of the puppies are clear of fluid. You can use a bulb syringe carefully but do not stick it too far down their throat as you could cause damage if you do not know how to use it right.

    Swinging the puppies is a fast way to remove the fluid but it must be done very carefully with the head and body fully supported. If you swing a puppy without being fully supported it will surely die.

    Allow the pups to nurse on mom as soon as possible while they are awake. Mom may even allow them to start nursing while she continues to contract and push in a laying down on her side position. Keep a close eye on her pups and her so she doesn't get up quickly while you are not looking. Make sure you have prepared your warm box to place the puppies into with a heating pad or hot water bottles, out of a drafty space.

    You should only ever use the natural whelp in an EMERGENCY, it should NEVER be your CHOICE.

    Bottom Line: Choosing to have a natural whelp could mean certain death for your bulldog, so they should never have their puppies naturally.


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