Does milk production have to happen before labor begins?

Our 8 year old Beagle is by our estimate 69 days pregnant. We took her to the vet and they said she still has another week and we must have gotten the dates wrong because she hasn't started producing milk and her temp. was 100. but, we have been taking it twice a day and it's been under 100.0 We were thinking labor would trigger milk production. Is that correct?

Asked by Member 758099 on Oct 23rd 2008 in Other Puppies
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My questiion to you is.....why would you breed a 8 year old dog? That would be like a 60 year old women being pregnant...crazy isn't it!!!!!

♥ DEOGIE ♥ answered on 10/23/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Did you find out she was pregnant or did you have the intention in breeding her? And the post above me, Deogie, I want to say that what you said was a sarcastic remark. You shouldn't call someone crazy. And back to me answering your question, I really hope you didn't have the intention in breeding her. And about your question, I'm not really sure. I am a kid, so I don't know what to say. I hope the puppies come out ok. Good luck!

Cocoa answered on 10/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Daisy ( In Loving Memory)

Milk production usually begins before labor, but that doesn;t mean you will actually see milk. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. Once the puppies are born and begin nursing you should be able to do the milk test and know for sure. I have not had any experience with a dog of this age , I am not sure she will be able to properly care for the pups. Just keep an eye on them, make sure they are getting milk, feed the mother a good quality puppy food and vitamins. When I bred my Chi's I also included egg in the diet. Feel free to pawmail me with any can also google " canine labor" and find a ton of info. Good Luck!

Daisy ( In Loving Memory) answered on 10/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Daisy gave a good answer.
Here's an article on newborn puppies, you'll need it:

Member 371549 answered on 10/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Milk production starts close to the delivery date although sometimes you may not see it until after the puppies are born. Milk"letdown" usually occurs as a reaction to the hormone oxytocin. The puppies are the ones that decide "when to be born". The hormone Oxytocin is released & with the puppies' suckling this in turn "lets down the milk". However,some bitches' milk lets down before the puppies are born but if it doesn't don't panic. If the milk isn't visable a couple hours after the pups are born,call your vet.

Member 758619 answered on 10/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


A dog is pregnant for around 63 days. Milk is produced before whelping I can't say how far before but you will see her teats get inlarged. I don't know whether you meant to breed a 8 year old dog and if she is a purebred. But in my opinoin it is hard on a 8 year old dog. Think if you were 80 years old would you want to give birth to a baby? let alone what a dog may have 1 to maybe 10 or more, Ok people I am trying to make a point here. I don't think you would want to give birth at all. Get her spayd or do something where she can't be pregnant again. Pregnancy triggers milk production.

Starbutt answered on 11/24/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Dalilah Jean

My beagle is 3 years old and her mammory glands started to fill 10 days before she gave birth. I checked her teets about 4 days before she gave birth when I thought she was going to explode and was able to get milk from all of them. Is your dog nesting? mine didnt start to really nest until about 24 hours before she gave birth. My dog started to get sick a few days before she whelped. The labor will trigger milk production if its not already there. Dont worry about milk unless its been a couple of hours after birthing began. If you are unable to get milk from your dog after the first couple hours then make a call to your vet AND a trip to the local store for a milk substitute until your vet can figure out whats going on. 69 days is a really long time. Are the puppies kicking like mad? If so it will probably be a couple of days. If you see your dog wanting to be alone more than she ever has, that you get ready because the pups will be along in the next 12-18 hours. More likely at night.

Dalilah Jean answered on 12/26/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer