Puppy and Dog Whelping Stages
In fact, in many cases during birth, the bitch will rest and even sleep for some time (anywhere between 10 minutes and 2 hours) so that she can recuperate strength for the next birth. However, the average time between one birth and the following is usually 30 minutes. What is true is that when the bitch finishes giving birth you'll notice that she is very extenuating but, at the same time, much more relaxed and comfortable; in some cases she will ask to go outside to do her needs, but on occasions she will not want to leave her puppies' sides, preferring instead to wait until each puppy has breast-fed and gone to sleep.
As you get to know your bitch's birth mechanism better, you will find out that for example -- instead of what was once believed -- it is positive for her to eat all the placenta and is very beneficial for the mother because it stimulates the production of oxytocin and thus more milk. And it also provides a lot of protein; in many cases, the dog won't need to eat much in the following days. Wise nature intervenes so that the mother doesn't have to abandon her puppies for a prudential time; it is precisely the time in which the mother produces the necessary collostrum, which is the best source of antibodies to defend the newly born from any possible aggressions, be it bacteria or viruses. We now know that collostrum is present in the milk for only about 12 to 24 hours in a large quantity; therefore it is very convenient that the puppies drink as much of it as possible in order to ensure good health.
In some cases, especially when it's a big litter (more than 10 puppies) and also in big breed females, it is very normal that the bitch "concludes the birth" even when she still has one or two puppies inside and the birth of these has been delayed for two hours. It is for this reason that many veterinarians and readers suggest that the femalereceive a small dose of oxytocin which can provoke new contractions and the birth of the puppies that have been "left behind" and at the same time get rid of the fluids and even any and all placenta that might be retained inside.
It is important to point out that the fluids have been eliminated during birth are usually transparent (amniotic liquid) or blood tainted (the hemorrhage of the birth) and even with a greenish pigmentation (originated in the placenta hematomes when they break). In some cases the presence of large quantities of Green pigmented fluids can mean that there is a problem because if the placenta broke before the puppy completed his journey outwards, it can lead to death by asphyxia, or do the fact that the fetus is extremely big and can not pass by the vagina or that the pelvis is too small.