August 22, 2014

Parturition and tips on puppy care

After pups are delivered, normally the mother would lick and clean them. She would also bite and cut the umbilical cords, if they are still attached to the puppies.{{more}}

Even though this is one of those instincts that most dogs are born with, sometimes an inexperienced mother will not attempt to ensure that the puppies are attended to soon after birth. The onus is now on you, the owner, to remove all membranes covering a puppy, clean the face and remove mucus from the mouth and nose. Rub the puppy with a clean towel to dry it and to stimulate respiration and circulation. After a few minutes of rubbing, the puppy should begin to squirm and cry loudly.

The umbilical cord should be tied about one inch from the puppy’s body with fine thread and then cut on the side of the knot away from the puppy. It is best to apply a few drops of betadine to the cord after it is cut.

If a puppy seems to be lodged in the birth canal and the mother cannot expel it, rapid assistance is necessary. There may not be time to call your veterinarian or drive to the clinic. Grasp the puppy with a clean cloth or towel and exert steady, firm action, pulling the puppy downwards instead of straight back. Do not jerk or pull suddenly. Traction could be applied for about five minutes. It you cannot remove the puppy, take the animal to your veterinarian, who will either manually remove the puppy or do a Caesarean.

During the whelping and nursing, your pet may not be herself. She may be nervous and filled with a sense of protectiveness for her new family. Any aggression she may exhibit usually fades as time passes.

Notify your veterinarian if any of the following occurs:

1. You cannot remove a puppy lodged in the birth canal.

2. There is strong, persistent labour for one hour without delivery of a pup.

3. There is weak, intermittent labour for six to eight hours without delivery of any puppies.

4. It has been more than six hours since the last birth and it is probable that more puppies are still inside.

5. There is a greenish black discharge and no labour or puppies within three to four hours. The greenish black colour is normal, but such a discharge should be followed very soon by delivery of the puppies.

6. If the pregnancy lasts more than 68 days.

During the first few weeks of the newborn’s life, the mother provides the necessities of warmth, nutrition, and stimulation. The owner’s responsibilities consist of careful observation to detect problems before they become serious.

Your puppies should not be left at the mercy of the elements, like the rain or direct sunlight.

A well-fed puppy has a round stomach and seems content. Notify your veterinarian if puppies seem uneasy or cry frequently.

Extended periods of crying is usually a sign of trouble.

Tail docking/dewclaw removal: puppies of breeds in which these procedures are done should be presented at two to five days of age.

Eyes: the puppies’ eyes should be opened by nine to 14 days of age.

Weaning: three weeks after birth, pan feeding could commence. You could start with milk or cereal with puppy food ground up and mixed in. Puppies are generally weaned at six to eight weeks of age.

Vaccinations: a series of immunizations should be started at six weeks of age.

For further information, contact: Dr Collin Boyle
Unique Animal Care Co Ltd Tel: 456 4981