Having a pregnant Yorkie means you will soon have a house full of adorable pups.
But before you get there, you have to get your Yorkie mom through labor.
It is a difficult and stressful time for her and for you.
Luckily, dogs do not generally spend as much time in labor as humans do.
But it isn’t over quickly either.
Most Yorkshire terriers give birth to several puppies, after all.
So how long is a Yorkie in labor?
Keep reading to learn how long Yorkshire terrier labor lasts, along with everything else you should expect if you have a female Yorkie who is about to give birth.
How Long Is A Yorkie In Labor?
The amount of time a Yorkie is in labor varies depending on the size of her litter. With dogs in general, labor can last anywhere from 3 to 12 hours.
If your Yorkshire terrier is pregnant and getting ready to deliver, make sure you’re ready. It could end up being a long day! Let’s find out exactly what you can expect.
The Beginning Of Labor
You will know your Yorkie is due to give birth around a week before she goes into labor, which should give you enough time to prepare. You’ll be able to tell this from her temperature.
When you know you are coming up on the due date, start taking your Yorkie’s temperature twice a day. When your pup’s temperature drops below 37.7 degrees Celsius, it means she will be going into labor within the next 24 hours.
Signs your Yorkie has gone into labor include a lack of appetite and sometimes vomiting and whining from contractions.
You’ll want to create a whelping box for your Yorkie. This could simply be a cardboard box that you can cut to have a flap coming down.
In the whelping box, you should include some newspaper and plenty of clean sheets. I would suggest having plenty of spare sheets on hand, too. You may need to keep changing them, so that your Yorkie remains as comfortable as possible.
When each puppy is born, it will come out in an amniotic sack. Don’t be concerned if this breaks or if your Yorkie bites the umbilical cord. Both are completely normal!
Just like with any birth, your Yorkie could face complications. It’s important to know what these could be, so that you can provide your Yorkie with the correct care.
You should seek medical attention for your Yorkie if she has been pregnant for longer than 70 days, or if her temperature has dropped more than 24 hours ago and there is still no sign of puppies.
You should also see professional help, if it has been longer than two hours since one puppy has been born, but there is no sign yet of the next one.
Other reasons to call a vet are if your dog seems to be in extreme pain, if there is a large amount of blood, or if your Yorkie is vomiting, or showing any other signs of distress.
You should make sure you have a vet who knows your Yorkie is going into labor and who is ready to come to your place at a moment’s notice, just in case one of the above complications happens. You’re not going to want to move your Yorkie, if she is in the middle of labor.
Delivery And After Care
The timing with which each puppy comes out will vary. The puppies may come out one after the other or the subsequent puppy may take up to two hours after the previous one to make its appearance.
Once each puppy is born, you should move it to the mother’s stomach if she has not already moved it there. This is to ensure that the mother can nurse the pup.
Once labor has finished, make sure there is clean bedding and a heating pad is set to warm to keep both mom and pups comfortable.
The best way to care for your Yorkie after giving birth is to give her a warm sponge bath and then some fresh bedding. This will help to leave her feeling as comfortable as possible, because she will no doubt be feeling very tired after giving birth to her litter.
Expect some discharge from your Yorkie over the next week. But if the discharge looks unusual or has an odd smell, make sure to give your vet a call. Something could be wrong and it is always better to be safe.
Keep the heating pad at 85 degrees Fahrenheit for the next week and ensure there is no draft hitting your Yorkie mom and her newborn pups.
How Many Puppies To Expect
Yorkshire terriers have an average litter size of 3.3. The typical range is from one to four puppies. How many litters can a yorkie have in a lifetime? If you start breeding your female Yorkie at two years of age and stop once she reaches seven years of age (as you should to minimize the risk of complications) she can have ten litters in her life.
Length Of Yorkshire Terrier Labor: Final Thoughts
If your Yorkie is about to go into labor, the whole thing could be over as quickly as 3 hours. But it could also stretch out as long as 12. Or even longer, in rare cases.
The length of Yorkie labor depends on a few factors, but primarily the number of puppies she has to give birth to. We gave you some maximum times above for labor, the time between each puppy’s appearance and others.
If your dog’s labor takes longer than any of the figures we gave you, contact your vet. Do the same if you notice anything else out of the ordinary or if it is clear your pup is suffering.