I've been reading so many differant things about using temps to predict if the bitch will whelp "soon". Does anyone use this method? How low does the temp need to be? I have a girl here that has been giving me some severely mixed signals and taking her temp was something i've never even bothered with before but i'm so confused by her this weekend i thought i'd give it a try... All weekend she has just been laying around in the whelping box, but nothing has been happening. Last night i finally decided to take the temp and it was at 99.6 and she hadn't eaten all day so i was sure she would have them in the middle of the night or early morning. But alas she did not deliver and when she got out of bed she started eating again!!! I took her temp and it was back up to 100.8. She didn't eat much only about 1/3 of a bowl. She hasn't eaten since then and her temp has been 99.5 since noon. Shes been in bed all day long again too.
So anybody that takes temps please share your experience with its reliability. This girl has me stumped lol.
It is fairly relaible (sp) however, every bitch is different. And it is fairly normal for them to fluxuate. I have had them drop as far as 97 degrees before whelping, while some never were lower than 99.0, so I would just say to keep a close eye on your girl, because you know she is close. Temperature is NOT a guarantee that she will have them in 6-12 hours, wish it was.
I've found it depends on the girl. I have one that the temperature thing works every time and she does everything by the book. I have another one that her temperature means NOTHING (before one litter, the lowest her temp got was 101.2 and she ate a bowl of food - I mean like a cup of food and she's only 18 lbs - 15 minutes before her water broke). I have an ear thermometer so I don't have to keep checking rectally. I do check my girls every 6 hours during their last week just to make sure I don't see any temperature spikes (sign of infection or trouble). Other than that - watching and waiting is about the only thing that works. :) Some of my girls like to keep me up all night and look like they will pop any minute for 12-24 hours. Some of them can have 8 puppies in 3 hours and they never really go through much labor at all.
I'd also look at what kind of dog she is and how many pups you're looking at. I have a 14 inch Sheltie female who has 8 puppies a litter (and I mean good sized puppies - they come out ready to nurse before we can get them cleaned up). She doesn't eat much or sleep much the whole last week she is pregnant. She's been known to sleep sitting up during that last week. If it's a large litter, your girl may just be REALLY uncomfortable.
And unless you know what her NORMAL body temp is, taking it now is guesswork. I usually recommend starting 10 days before their due date to get a good idea what is normal for them. Alicat is right. Some drop to 97 degrees. Some drop to 99.5 and that's their low point.
The temperature method has worked fairly well for me but like everyone else said it just depends on the dog she sounds very uncomfortable though. just keep taking it so you can see if it spikes call your vet. how far along is she and what kind of dog? just keep her nearby you, when she decides it's time you'll no for sure!
I always take my dogs temps. I know some say it doesn't work, but for all of mine it has.
It saved one puppy. My corgi was only pregant with one pup so she never went into labor if her temp hadn't dropped then I might have lost them both. Though she did act irratiable and was paceing the only reason the vet told me to bring her in though was because her temp was down.
Otherwise I think they would have told us to just keep watching for labor pains. Plus the vet said it was a good thing I was taking her temp.
So I do the temp with my dogs all the time. In some case it might not work, but it doesn't hurt either.
We always start taking temps at about day 55 and get a baseline for what morning and evening temps are for a particular bitch. Some will be 99.7 in the morning and 100.2 in the eve.. some will be opposite. once you get a baseline you'll know when something changes. I've never had a bitch that went into real labor until her temp fell to below 98 and usually 97.5 Even then you can wait up to 12 hours before anything real starts.
Thanks for all the responses. Still no pups today. Her temp dropped to 99.2 now and stayed there all day. She didn't have any food for another 24 hours but then suddenly just ate a small meal. So we're just sitting around the house watchin and waitin. I'll report again as the temp continues to drop, i am unsure of what her usual temp range is so i don't really know for sure if it has dropped far enough for her. Most websites and most of you have said below 99 is what i'm looking for.
Oh and for those who asked. She is a minature american eskimo and i believe she is having another litter of five. Shes had two litters before and this will be her last.
Well her temp finally did drop to below 99. I took it a few hours ago and it was 99.2 and i took it just a few minutes ago and it took a significant(sp?) dip too 98.1 So we'll see if that means anything for my girl. I'll update again if she goes into labor.
A few hours after that it dipped even futher to 97.2 and her eyes dilated. She looked all cracked out lol poor girl. But yeah she let me get most of my sleep now shes making to much noise with her panting. No discharge or anything and she isn't straining or even visably pushing yet but her belly gets rock hard every so often...
Update again later! I'm so excited, i love delivering puppies!
The best way to tell if a bitch is about to go into whelp is to observe her behavior. Look for signs of nesting, like, digging, trying to get into a closet, or under a bed. She will probably stop eating and she may have diarrhea. You should be able to see her contractions once labor begins.
My Bluetick's temp. always drops when she is going to have her pups usually after her temp. drops she starts having pups with in four hours. But my mini dachshund shows very mixed signs for three days leaking clear fluid but today her temp. dropped from a normal 100.1 all the way down to 97.2 she is still leaking clear fluid but is in her nesting box and keeps digging this is her first litter and I'm not sure if her temp. dropping is going to mean anything but if she's anything like my other dog she'll have them in the next 12hours...I don't know if this helps any all dogs are different and the temp. drop is not proven to work on all dogs. But good luck hopefully you'll have your pups soon..