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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Pregnant dog, need advice about nesting?

Hello,
I'm in a really bizarre situation, please bare with me, sorry this is so long.

4 days ago, at about 5am (my usual morning get-up time) a hugely heavily pregnant Giant Schnauzer, very healthy looking and well cared for, amazing example of the breed as far as I can tell (and I love this breed), came up to me while I was letting my dogs out out to pee. I live in a very large apartment community (in China, though I'm English) and a thousand people in this community alone have dogs, so I assumed it was out walking with its owner (though I know well and am well known by the doggy people here and I have never seen her before). She sat down beside me and I petted her and looked around for an owner, nobody. My dogs all came and said hello, she was very friendly but then lay down on her side panting and didnt get up. I walked around a bit to see if I could find an owner, not a single person in sight. At this time of the morning thats normal but she is obviously due any day and couldn't see how she could be out alone.
I walked some more, she followed me, and for 20 minutes I couldnt find anyone to claim her. The few people I met said they had never seen her before.
So I encouraged her to follow me back home, I printed some quick notes for the buildings around and let her stay in my house while I pinned them.
The next day, nobody had come looking. I contacted the guards at the community gate and they said nobody had asked, I put flyers on all 40 buildings in this community, nobody called, I sent out a mass of notifications to wechat (a chinese messaging service) and huge numbers of people shared them (good old wechat, we love it here!) - but still nothing. 3rd day she is still in my house, no contact whatsoever, and I have asked every single person I meet outside.
She is friendly and content it seems. I set up a whelping area just in case nobody claims her before the pups arrive, though she only likes sleeping near me. So today (this day of posting, its late evening in China time right now) is the 4th day. I took her to the vet, he took an xray and there are 11 pups inside her :( oh my word!!
He also said she is due any moment, the pups have moved right down into position to be birthed and her milk has come in, she is ready NOW he said. We rushed her home and waited.
Now though I know the basics about breeding, labour, whelping and am not a complete and utter novice, I am NOT a breeder and have never bred professionally before. My dogs are rescues (excpet for my first darling standard poodle) and I have only assisted in one whelping before, a street dog in an emergency a few years ago here. I did alright then but I cant exactly say Im experienced! I have read everything I can find, about every situation that might arise and I have made sure the whelping area is adequate etc.

However, I read that nesting is sure sign that pups are imminent. The vet said within the next 12 hours almost definitely she will go into active labour, and that she is in peak condition, absolutely nothing wrong with her. But she doesnt like or want the whelping place I made, she wont go anywhere. No pacing, scratching, turning, panting, no nesting, seemingly no care for the area she is in, she doesnt seem worried or anxious at all, just nibbling bits of food and wagging her tail happily - but not looking for any kind of a place at all! she just stays on our hard tiled floor chilling despite our efforts to get her to go to the whelping area, or any good area!

The vet said she seems around 3 years old, but still maybe this is her first litter and she is also inexperienced? We dont know. But can anyone tell me, is nesting a for SURE sign of labour, and must it be a week to a few days before labour (as Ive read online) or can it happen suddenly before labour, or not at all? If it doesnt happen, can I move her to the whelping box, because I cant be letting 11 pups come out onto a hard floor! What is the shortest time between obvious nesting behaviour and labour that people have experienced?

Or maybe the owner will call and I dont need to have 11 babies in my house, and this post is useless, but if the vet is right and she is really about to give birth I dont think, no matter who calls, we can move her now. I really have no idea, this is NOT my field of expertise and I cant believe of all the mad things to happen to me this year (trust me its been mental) now I have a Giant Schnauzer (freakily enough my husbands favourite breed though we have never owned one) about to have 11 pups in our house!!!

But anyway yes, any advice would be so appreciated, specifically about nesting behaviour and the timing of it before active labour begins??

Thank you, sincerely.
Lorna

P.S An odd note, is that I live in a far northern city called Hohhot, and here the most popular breeds are toy poodles and labradors. There are also a fair few miniature schnauzers about, and breeders for them, but I have never actually SEEN a giant schnauzer in this city before, until now! This is the first giant schnauzer ive seen outside of my home country, england! And I am very well connected to a lot of dog people, I am a trainer and boarder here for dogs. I thought this would make my search easier as there must be so few, I asked everyone who knew of a Giant Schnauzer breeder - nobody knows one!! The mystery is killing me now, it really is.

P.P.S Its been an hour since I first posted this, she is still chilling in the middle of the floor, had some water but wont touch even the most delicious food. Very cheerful and alert, but still no sign of anything even close to nesting or the signs of labour ive read about. I called the vet, he said its strange but he is convinced she will have them out within the next 12ish hours. Someone please give me advice!!! :'( There is nobody to call here who will care, I know lots of people but they arent friends and dont appreciate the situation or need for clarity like I do!
 

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Not eating close to birthing is normal for animals, not just dogs. Give her a blanket and, if you can a box big enough for her and the puppies. Put the blanket in the box, and, be sure she can get in and out of it on her own. If you don't have a box, just make a nest shape for her out of the blanket.
 

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What an odd situation to be in! I'm assuming the vet checked for a microchip, assuming they're at all used where you are.

I wouldn't read too much into whether or not she's nesting. There's always dogs that "don't read the manual", and it does sound like she must be pretty close at this point. I'd just make sure she has free access to as much puppy food and water as she wants and that her potential nesting spot is in a quiet space where your other dogs can't bother her too much.

Afraid I don't have any first-hand experience whelping, though. I just read a lot. Keep us updated on how she's doing (and whether you find the owner!), and of course keep your vet in the loop if anything isn't looking right.
 

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Re: Pregnant dog, need advice about nesting

What an odd situation to be in! I'm assuming the vet checked for a microchip, assuming they're at all used where you are.

I wouldn't read too much into whether or not she's nesting. There's always dogs that "don't read the manual", and it does sound like she must be pretty close at this point. I'd just make sure she has free access to as much puppy food and water as she wants and that her potential nesting spot is in a quiet space where your other dogs can't bother her too much.

Afraid I don't have any first-hand experience whelping, though. I just read a lot. Keep us updated on how she's doing (and whether you find the owner!), and of course keep your vet in the loop if anything isn't looking right.

Thanks so much! There are only 2 places to microchip pets in China, thats in Beijing and Shanghai as far as Ive been told, and thats only for animals travelling to other countries. So no go there :( I did get a call from someone saying they know who she belongs to, and we could send her over today, but they couldnt even describe her properly so I was afraid it was untruthful and I told them to tell their owner to come and get her in person if he/she wants instead. No reply from them yet...?

Its been about 18 hours since my first post, she STILL hasnt had pups, and STILL no nesting signs in any way, except she is panting heavily, has pee'd a lot and has eaten a bit of soggy wet canned meat and some egg. The vet said he will send someone out to my house in about an hour to see if there are still no signs, he said she may need a C-section as she looks very overdue. I'm scared of the vet bill, but glad she isnt roaming outside through this. Or maybe someone more experienced could have picked her up if it wasnt me??? I am so nervous :'(
 

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Re: Pregnant dog, need advice about nesting

Good call on requiring anyone trying to claim her to describe her. Definitely note any particular unique identifying features she has and don't mention them to perspective owners, see if they bring any up. I know some people use pigment spots on the tongue for this (if she happens to have any, not all dogs do of course). I bet some people are just seeing dollar signs for selling purebred (or at least half purebred) puppies.

I'd be terrified too, if I were you. What a situation to be in. But I'm really glad she found someone responsible and caring! Glad your vet is being so helpful, as well. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you both.
 

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Re: Pregnant dog, need advice about nesting

You are so kind, thank you!

Update: she is definitely in labour, its 2am here in China. No pup yet but I video-called the vet (amazing man, seriously the very best) and he said she is having contractions and to call him if we havent seen a pup within the hour. He said all looks fine though.

She refuses to move off the middle of the floor, and she cries and whines if my dogs go away!! So they are all sleeping in piles around her blanket fort, like a security pack. She only met them 5 days ago! Though I am no expert, Ive read enough to knows this is bizarre!
Anyway, she will not eat or drink, is lying beside my leg right now and Ive just covered the floor in piles of towels and blankets because she really, REALLY wont budge. I dont mind if she chooses her own whelping space at this point, be it sofa or closet or anywhere she likes and not the one I made for her, but the middle of our floor? Our apartment is just one long room of kitchen/living room, with the bathroom, our bedroom and the 'dog room' leading off by doors. She wont go anywhere except this spot beside me on the floor, even though Ive gone and sat in her whelping nest this afternoon for ages trying to coax her in.

Definitely like you said Daysleepers, she isn't going by the book! :D Good luck to us both anyway. I have my dog medical kit on hand (Ive got all sorts in there) and a box ready with those microwave beanies ready to go underneath, and milk supplement/bottles on hand (please Lord dont let them be needed) and ready for the first baby?

Come on momma dog, you can do this!
 

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Wow good luck with everything; I hope it all goes well. She must be pretty scared too, she's so lucky you found her and are so willing to help her through this.
 

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Wishing her luck! And you, of course. I'm sure I wouldn't want to eat or drink with those uterine contractions either.

Remember to count the placentas - one for each puppy - so you have an idea if there's anything retained in her afterwards.
 

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Oh goodness what a situation. All I can say is she was lucky to have found you. Please keep us posted on how everything goes. Wishing you and the future mom all the best.
 
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