Whelping List

by Cathy Ochs-Cline

Yes, I actually do use this list. I check off each item as I place it in the whelping area. It takes me about a day or two to put everything together. Things I only use for whelpings I store in a baby changing table between whelpings.

This list is quite extensive and not everyone will use everything on it. I've explained my usage of everything. I hope you find it useful.

Medical Kit: I place all these supplies in a plastic box that can be locked in my medicine cabinet between whelpings. Please note: If you use the drugs on this list, they may have to be kept in the refrigerator and replaced according to their expiration date. I DO NOT ADVOCATE THE CASUAL USE OF THESE DRUGS. USE THEM ONLY AS DIRECTED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN.
Stethoscope For listening to momma's heartbeat — or checking for babies heartbeat. When recording number of heartbeats per minute, time for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. Puppies' heartbeats are VERY fast!
Lactated Ringers Solution Use to rehydrate mother or puppies. Also use as base for sugar-water solution for weak puppies*.
French Tube (7 or 8) For tube feeding.
3cc syringes, 20 cc syringes w/20 g. needle For tube feeding, any injections needed, or for small rehydrations (20 cc's lac. ringers under skin in neck area w/20 g. needle &30151; adult dogs only)
Betadine, diluted in spray bottle (or squeeze bottle) General skin cleaning. Bottles of diluted solution make cleaning up faster. Discard diluted solution after use and make up new solution with each whelping.
4" x 4" sterile gauze sponges General cleaning. May also be used to grab a stuck puppy.
surgical sponge One side is smooth and soft — the other side is slight abrasive. Used to clean skin around incisions — or vulvar area. May also be used to remove skin deposits from nipples pre-whelping.
chlorhexidine towelettes To clean scissors or hemostats before use. May also be used on hands.
veno-set USE ONLY ACCORDING TO YOUR VETS INSTRUCTIONS!! For rehydrating adult dogs.
oxytocin USE ONLY ACCORDING TO YOUR VETS INSTRUCTIONS!! For strengthening or restarting uterine contractions.
calphosan USE ONLY ACCORDING TO YOUR VETS INSTRUCTIONS!! For strengthening uterine contractions. Not as strong as oxytocin.
dopram USE ONLY ACCORDING TO YOUR VETS INSTRUCTIONS!! Used to stimulate breathing in distressed newborns.
atropine USE ONLY ACCORDING TO YOUR VETS INSTRUCTIONS!! Last resort in reviving distressed newborns. May be injected directly into heart.
Whelping Table Equipment: I place all these supplies on a baby changing table I keep in the whelping area so they are easily accessible during and after the whelping.
kleenex cleaning
paper towel cleaning
small trash bags, large trash bags Small trash bags for heavily soiled disposals. Large trash bags for everything else.
handi-wipes For small clean-ups or use on hands.
laundry basket For soiled linen.
zip loc bags - small and large For storing small things.
blanket for cage To place around whelping cage to keep drafts out of whelping area.
mattress pads for x-pen To place on x-pen around whelping area to keep out drafts.
spray bottle of quat disinfectant For cleaning floor of whelping area and whelping box.
spray bottle of self-rinse shampoo, slicker brush, wash cloth For cleaning up mom.
heating lamp For keeping the whelping area warm. I use a 75-100 watt regular light bulb in a metal reflector.
water bucket For momma.
Misc. Fasteners I keep a bag of snaps, hand clamps (all sizes), blanket pins and binder clips on hand. I use them to fasten everything from blankets, to lamps to paperwork and personal reminders. Start collecting them now --they come in handy.
Whelping Kit: I place these supplies in a separate box on the whelping table. I want to be able to get to them easily during a whelping. These are the supplies I use on newborn puppies.
Thermometer For checking mom's temperature. In extreme cases (chilled puppies), you may need to record their temp. I use a digital thermometer.
Thermometer covers Plastic covers to protect the thermometer from being soiled.
Children's Safety Scissors To cut and trim umbilical cords. These scissors should not be too sharp or they could cause the cord to bleed.
dental floss I use the unwaxed kind. I tie lengths of floss in loops and place in a zip loc bag. The loops are doubled over and tied as close to the puppy's body as possible.
bulb syringe For removing amniotic fluid from the puppy's nose and throat.
alcohol Place in small squeeze bottle. Misc. uses — cleaning scissors.
tincture of iodine Helps in drying out umbilical cords. Use twice daily on cords until they fall off and continue to use on umbilical site for one more day.
latex gloves Apply gloves before reaching in to pull out stuck puppies.
K-Y jelly For general lubrication (gloves) or apply around stuck puppy if birth canal is dry.
hand towels or surgical towels For reviving and drying off newborns.
Incontinence pads I use these pads to whelp on. Because they have plastic backs, they make cleaning up easier. Do not use after whelping is completed.
Puppy Box: This is the box you use to place newborns in. I use a corrugated plastic mail box (the type the mailman uses to sort mail) or a corrugated plastic cat carrier.
Heating pad Wrap in flannel receiving blankets and never raise temperature above low.
Flannel receiving blankets Warm and cheap
Hand towel I use a hand towel over the blankets when the puppies are young to keep the blankets from getting stained.
Whelping box equipment: I use a 3'X3' plastic children's wading pool, thoroughly cleaned with quat disinfectant and hot water. If you use a wooden box, clean with disinfectant after applying a fresh coat of scrubbable, latex, child-safe paint or other suitable wood sealer.
3'x3' double quilted pad I place this under the pool to cushion it and keep the pool off the floor. This also makes the pool easier to heat.
old blanket I use this in the box before the puppies are born — for mom to sleep on.
3'x3' lambskin mattress pads or rubber-backed bathroom carpet For use after the puppies are born. This provides traction for puppies and moisture goes through the pad and the puppies stay dry.
room thermometer I place this on the floor of the whelping box.
newspaper Placed under lambskin pads.
Puppy Feeding Supplies: I prefer to make homemade formula*. If you prefer a store-bought formula, you can skip this section. In any case, have some formula, or the ingredients on hand BEFORE the whelping.
several cans evaporated milk You may substitute goat's milk, if you prefer.
whole fat yogurt If you can not get whole fat yogurt, substitute part fat.
eggs As large as possible.
bottled/sterilized baby water. Do not use the sweetened kind.
Pedialyte PLAIN
Additional supplies: Misc. Stuff
Whelping forms Keep these on hand
For the humans: Video tapes, books, food, coffee, champagne.
Whelping information Your favorite books, articles, and/or magazines should be on hand. Hopefully you won't need them, but having them there is always a comfort.