Mother Dog Died After Giving Birth – What Happened? What Now?

Like any mammalian mother, a dog mom also goes into a huge deal of pain and discomfort in homing and birthing her pups. With modern veterinary practices, many dog mothers give birth pretty safely. Unfortunately, sometimes, a mother dog can die during her labor or post-partum, especially if she isn’t provided with emergency medical attention.

If your mother dog died after giving birth, we understand how difficult it can be for you to watch the poor pooch letting go. Several health issues can result in such a tragedy, such as uterine rupture, hypocalcemia, infection, diabetic coma, or excessive blood loss. While chronic medical issues can also be why a female pooch dies after giving birth, most of the underlying causes are unforeseen, sudden, and fatal.

In this post, we’ll try to provide you with as in-depth information as we can on why a mother dog can die after giving birth. We’ll further discuss signs to look out for in your pooch that has recently given birth to ensure that they’ll be provided with the best healthcare as soon as possible. We’ll also look briefly at what you should do if a mother pooch regrettably dies after giving birth.

Why Do Mom Dogs Die After Giving Birth?

Pregnancy and labor are complicated phases in your pooch’s life, and there are several things that can go wrong during or after the process. Post-partum hypocalcemia causes a huge calcium drop in your pooch’s blood, which can be lethal if urgent medical care isn’t provided. Moreover, uterine rupture, blood loss, parasitic and viral infections, and fatal drop in blood sugar are common reasons why a dog dies after giving birth. 

Hypocalcemia is common among nursing female pooches, and the high-risk period is one week to five weeks post-partum. If health care is not provided immediately, hypocalcemia in dogs can result in seizures, weakness, hyperthermia, vomiting, coma, and even death. Likewise, if the blood sugar in your mom dog plummets, it can also lead to a diabetic coma that causes unconsciousness and brain death or death if not treated right away.

Non-vaccinated and non-immune pregnant and post-partum mother dogs are vulnerable targets to several pathogens that can cause complications during pregnancy or after birth. Several parasitic worms or viruses, such as the canine herpes virus and canine distemper virus, can be the culprit behind such distressing complications or even death. Finally, uterine rupture, although rare, can lead to a life-threatening condition during parturition, given the extreme shock and blood loss.

What Are the Chances of A Dog Dying After Giving Birth?

Giving birth to multiple babies at once is an extremely tiring and difficult job for a mother pooch. As we’ve discussed above, several sudden complications can occur while giving birth or post-partum, eventually killing the mother dog. That being said, a female dog’s body has evolved in a way to handle all the contraction and distress that occurs during pregnancy and parturition, and a dog dying after giving birth is not very as common. 

Even if a mother dog faces some complications during or after parturition, urgent medical care, more often than not, prevents life loss. Thanks to medical advancements, oral/intravenous treatment options are available for hypocalcemia, anemia, hypoglycemia, and many more sudden fatal conditions in pooches. Symptomatic treatments, antiviral medication, and deworming drugs are available to treat viral and parasitic infections.

Therefore, if provided with treatment in time, the chances of a dog dying after giving birth is low. So, if your dog has recently given birth, check if she is exhibiting any worrisome signs frequently and provide medical attention quickly to ensure she has the best chance at survival. That being said, please do not panic at every minor inconvenience, as not every illness post-partum is fatal; calmly consult with a vet instead.  

What Are Some Signs to Look out For After Your Dog Gives Birth?

Post-partum mom dogs are already vulnerable to many health issues and infections, and on top of that, they have a reduced ability to fight back. You might want to look out for signs of common post-partum health issues, such as hypocalcemia, anemia, infection, and diabetes in your mother dogs. 

Eclampsia or hypocalcemia occurs in nursing dogs by manifesting symptoms such as tremors, disorientation, panting, diarrhea, and vomiting. In case of hypoglycemia, look out for these signs – lack of coordination, seizures, lethargy, and unconsiousness. And if the doggo is displaying poor maternal behavior, more often than not, she’s facing a health issue that is weakening her. Inflammation, pain, or discomfort post-partum is one of the common reasons why a mother dog rejects her pups.

Also, look for symptoms such as loss of appetite, fever, and lethargy, as this might indicate that your poor mother dog isn’t doing well. That being said, please take your dog for a vet checkup 24 to 48 hours after delivery to ensure that the mother and babies are healthy. After that, if you see any above-mentioned symptoms, we recommend an urgent vet visit, as it is not worth taking risks when it comes to vulnerable post-partum dogs.

What Should I Do After My Mom Dog Dies After Giving Birth?

If the mom dog couldn’t make it despite your and the vet’s hundreds of efforts, you might need some time to mourn the misfortune. However, please know that the pups, if alive, are desperate for motherly warmth and safe nesting. Please take your pups for a quick vet checkup as soon as possible to understand how they are doing as well as to learn about their feeding habits.  

When the mother is absent or dead, experts recommend feeding your weeks-old fur babies puppy milk replacers every 2-3 hours using animal baby bottles. One might gravitate toward feeding them baby formula or other mammalian milk such as cow’s or goat’s milk, but doing so is not recommended at all. While many dogs are lactose intolerant, puppies do have lactase enzymes to break down lactose; however, they still cannot digest goat’s or cow’s milk.

You must prepare a warm and cozy place that doesn’t face direct sunlight to home your baby pups. Also, visit a vet to ensure that the puppies receive proper vaccinations at the proper age. Moreover, be careful with handling pups, wash your hands before feeding or holding them, and trim their nails frequently for disease prevention. 


It’s never easy when our pooches leave us. If your mother dog died after giving birth, we hope the universe sends you all the love and healing power. In this post, we believe to have provided you with crucial information on why a dog dies post-partum, signs to look out for, and what you should do if the tragedy hits. If you were lucky enough to provide medical care to your struggling mother dog urgently, we wish your pooch a speedy recovery!


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!