Hidden Valley Animal Clinic

100 Oakhurst Drive
McMurray, PA 15317



Prolonged Labor

The gestation period is about 63 days in cats and 63-65 days in dogs.  Pregnant dogs and cats should deliver the first puppy/kitten within 1-4 hours of the start of labor.  An additional puppy/kitten should be delivered every 1 to 4 hours until all puppies/kittens have been delivered.  If labor is slow, contractions are weak, or mother seems too exhausted to continue it could be a sign of problems.  Immediately after delivery, the mother should open the birth sac to remove the puppy/kitten, and clean it by licking.  If the mother doesn't do this within about a minute, you must remove the puppy/kitten and gently clean it with a towel.

The puppy/kitten should begin nursing within an hour or two of birth.  Failure to deliver in a timely fashion, or to care for/nurse the puppies/kittens are medical emergencies.  Prompt veterinary care is necessary to preserve the life and health of the puppies/kittens and the mother.