Dog pregnancy lasts approximately 63 days. You'll watch your girl change rapidly as her puppies grow and her body accommodates the brood. A vaginal discharge is normal during a dog's pregnancy, but it should not be bloody. If your pregnant dog shows anything beyond a mucousy or pink-tinged discharge, she should see the vet.
Why Your Pregnant Dog Has a Discharge
The Discharge Before Pregnancy
One of the telltale signs of a dog in heat is discharge that's very bloody at first but changes color to a watery, lighter-colored discharge as the estrus cycle progresses. Every dog is different -- some bleed heavily and some very little. Pregnancy takes place about the time the discharge thins out, around the seven- to 10-day mark of her estrus cycle.
When your dog becomes pregnant, she may still experience some normal discharge. If you see mucus or a pink-tinted discharge, don't fret. However, if her discharge is bloody or yellowish-green, or contains pus, contact the vet immediately, because your dog may be experiencing serious complications with her pregnancy.
Keeping Up With the Vet
Visit the vet during your dog's pregnancy. The vet can determine how many puppies she'll deliver, helpful to you during delivery time so you know when she has completed her work. As well, you'll know whether she's on track with her weight gain to adequately provide for her pups without lapsing into obesity. Her feeding habits should change during the last several weeks, and the vet will work with you to ensure she's eating properly -- the last three weeks of pregnancy a dog should eat about 1.5 times the amount of calories she normally eats. Regular exercise is also important throughout pregnancy.
In addition to shallow panting and restless behavior, you'll know delivery time is near when clear fluid, specked with blood, begins flowing from your dog's vagina. At this point she's experiencing contractions and getting ready to deliver her puppies. If she has a blackish-green discharge, the first of her puppies is separating from her uterine wall, ready to be born. The puppy has about 10 minutes to be delivered from that point, as he's separated from his oxygen source. If her discharge before delivery or between puppies is bloody, you should contact the vet. It may indicate dystocia, an abnormality of the birthing process.
It's normal for a nursing dog to have a vaginal discharge for about three weeks after delivery. It may range in color, from blackish-green to greenish-brown to a rusty color, eventually becoming cloudy and then clear with blood flecks. If her discharge is puslike or has a strong odor, she should see the vet because she may have a uterine infection or a retained placenta.