Puppies arrive in a variety of conditions. Generally, the puppy comes out in the white or translucent sac section of the placenta, followed by the main placenta, attached to the umbilical cord. Sometimes the puppy arrives with the sac already off. Occasionally, the entire placenta still surrounds the puppy. Your bitch may deliver her puppies without requiring any help with removing the placentas, according to Alabama Cooperative Extension System. However, in case problems arise, knowing what to do helps to decrease the chance of losing a puppy.
Prepare a whelping box to help the bitch become comfortable in her surroundings, which increases her calmness and makes placenta removal quicker. Use a whelping box large enough to allow the bitch to stretch out fully and give you access to the puppies during birth. Line the floor of the whelping box with newspapers or cloths such as old sheets, towels or thin blankets. Encourage the dog to sleep or eat in the whelping box for a week prior to whelping.
Collect the necessary supplies needed for assisting with whelping, including a plastic syringe to remove fluids from the puppy's nose and mouth, sterilized scissors with blunt tips, iodine or antiseptic liquid for the umbilical cord, sterile gloves, trash container, towels, alcohol and thread or other material, cut into 6 to 8 inch strips, to tie the umbilical cord.
Begin taking her rectal temperature approximately 59 days from the first breeding. Watch your dog for whelping signs such as nesting or loss of appetite. Whelping generally begins within 24 hours after the bitch's temperature drops below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Vetinfo.
Put on gloves and place all materials within easy reach. Carefully pick up the puppy if the bitch does not remove the placenta or sac within one to two minutes. Make sure the umbilical cord remains loose to avoid tearing it and injuring the puppy.
Carefully hook one finger into the placenta or sac and gently tear it away from the puppy's head. Gently pull the sac off the puppy. Suction fluids from the puppy's nose and mouth. Rub the puppy with a towel to stimulate breathing.
Tie the string, floss or thread into a knot around the umbilical cord approximately one-half inch from the puppy's stomach. Cut the excess ends.
Use blunt scissors to cut the umbilical cord approximately one-half inch from the knot. Dab the umbilical cord with disinfectant solution. Place the puppy with the bitch for nursing.
Place the placenta sac, afterbirth and soiled materials into a trash container. Place used towels into a trash bag. Dip the scissors into alcohol to sterilize for the next puppy. Put on new gloves.
Items You Will Need
- Whelping box
- Newspapers or cloths
- Plastic syringe
- Sterilized scissors with blunt tips
- Iodine or antiseptic liquid
- Sterile gloves
- Trash container
- Trash bag (optional)
- Thread, thin string or dental floss
- Request that a person with whelping experience assist with the delivery.
- Count each of the afterbirths to avoid infections from retained placentas.
- Allow the bitch to eat only one or two placentas as consuming them may cause diarrhea, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.
- Contact your veterinarian immediately if a puppy remains stuck in birth canal or labor does not produce a puppy within four hours.
- Call your veterinarian if the bitch has foul or pus-like discharge, a temperature over 102.8 F or shows no interest in the puppies, advises Vetinfo.
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