Are puppies born with umbilical cords? Yes, puppies do have an umbilical cord when they are born. Dogs are mammals just like us. Because mammals give birth to live offspring the puppy develops inside the mother dog.
This requires a connection between the mother and the puppy for the passing of nourishment, oxygen and clearing away waste. Each puppy is born in a fluid-filled sac. It is still connected to its mother’s placenta by an umbilical cord.
A mother dog will bite and break each puppy’s umbilical cord right after birth a few inches along the cord. The cord is then left to dry and falls off within the first one to three days after birth.
The only mammals that don’t have an umbilical cord are marsupials such as kangaroos or koala bears who spend most of their development in their mother’s pouch. A marsupial’s umbilical cord falls off in their mother’s pouch, so the scar never forms.
Do dogs have belly buttons?
As puppies have an umbilical cord they must have a belly button. Where you find an umbilical cord, you’ll find a belly button.
With humans, the belly button is quite obvious. With dogs, this belly button scar is negligible in size compared to a human belly button and generally flat. This is because the umbilical cord on puppies is only really thin compared to that of a human baby. It is often hard to see also as it is generally covered with fur.
Another reason why humans have such an obvious belly button compared to dogs is that on a human baby the cord is tied off, whereas for a puppy it is chewed off.
The best place to see where the umbilical cord was connected to the puppy is right around the little tuft of hair where your dog’s coat meets around the base of the ribs. What we refer to as a belly button is usually only a small thin scar located just below the end of the ribcage, and just above the start of the abdomen.
On most dogs, the belly button looks like a circular or oval wrinkle on the skin or a small flat vertical scar. The hair on your animal’s stomach may even swirl or wave around the belly button area.
Dog belly button hernia
The only time you will see an obvious sign of a belly button on a dog is if something went wrong with a puppy’s development. This is the cause of an umbilical hernia. A hernia is basically a condition where something meant to be securely positioned inside the body bulges out.
An umbilical hernia in dogs is a medical condition in which the small wound created when the umbilical cord is severed does not close over or heal properly. Normally, a wall of muscle seals itself after birth at the spot where the umbilical cord was connected.
An umbilical hernia is where the body wall has a small hole in it and abdominal contents fall through. This is called a reducible umbilical hernia.
In other cases, there is a small amount of fat that is closed into the umbilical area and body wall. This is called a nonreducible umbilical hernia.
Small nonreducible hernias will not generally cause any issues for your pet, so they rarely need professional correction.
However, in the case of a reducible umbilical hernia, it is recommended that a hernia is surgically repaired to properly close the hole and mend the abdomen walls. This is often done at the same time as desexing. Consult your vet for the best course of action if your puppy does have an umbilical hernia.
Are puppies born head first
Puppies are usually born headfirst with the forelegs extended. This is called anterior presentation.
Posterior presentation is also normal for dogs. This is when the puppy is born with tail and hindlegs emerging first. This is not a breech presentation.
A breech presentation is one in which the hind legs are extended forward and the tail and bottom are presented first. This is abnormal and may require a c-section or assistance by a vet. If a puppy’s tail is seen hanging from the vulva or there is a lump just behind the vulval lips and your pet is straining, contact your vet as the dog may need surgery to assist with the birth.
So next time your dog is laying on their backs showing their stomach, take a look to see if you can find their belly button.
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