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Hello, I have a 3-year old female Great Dane that is pregnant.  This is an intended breeding and she was tied with the sire multiple times between 9-5-2015 and 9-8-2015.  She has been to my vet for pre-natal care and x-rays on 10-31-15, which showed 11 pups with a possible 12th. Though we can't nail down the exact day of conception, my vet thinks that she is 58 days gestation as of today. I have been taking her temperature since 10-31-15 3 times a day with the average result being 100.5 (which matches the temps taken by the vet on multiple occasions- meaning this is her base core temp).  On Tuesday 11-3-15, her morning temp dropped to 98.3 and was confirmed by the vet (because I took her in).  The vet said that labor should start soon.  Her temp went back up about 12 hours later.

Now, 48 hours later, she has not begun stage two.  She is still eating and drinking.  She has shown some nesting signs (carpet digging and messing up her whelping area).  She has also been more 'clingy' with me.  I have felt pups moving.  She is producing milk.  Her temperature has gone back up to an average of 99.8.  Sometimes she's restless.  Sometimes she pants a lot.  Last night she panted for 3 hours then stopped and fell asleep.  I have not seen any contractions yet, nor any discharge.  

The vet is now thinking that the temp drop may have been a fluke, and has said it's not an exact science.  The vet said she may still go into labor within hours or it may be another few days.  Her due date (at 63 days) would be 11-8-2015 (approximated).  The vet said not to worry until she has surpassed 63 days.  Is there such a thing as 'false labor'?  Do you concur with my vet?  Is her panting, temp drop, and other signs just hormonal changes?  Will her temp drop again (I hear that the temp drop should be closer to 98 or less), thus indicating the onset of labor?  My vet also thinks that she will deliver before 63 days as she is giant breed carrying many pups; and although it is her first time, as a large dog, she will have a fairly easy labor.  Right now, my dog is calm and sleeping, and she just ate.  Any input would be helpful as another opinion.

Thx for your time.

Hi Glenn,

All these symptoms are normal to the approaching labor.This can be attributed to breed or individual variations.The second stage usually begins with a rather clear or mucous-like discharge from the vulva. In the second stage of labor contractions should start.Since there are 11 pups and the whelping process can prolong based on initial signs,please do keep a watch on the calcium requirement of the dam.

Wish you all the best.

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Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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