CHIHUAHUA PREGNANCY & WHELPING ADVICE CONTINUED
Breech presentations should really be clasified as normal in Chihuahuas, as so many bitches have their puppies arriving feet first ( which can often be detected by the shape of the puppy below the bitch's tail). Provided that a breech puppy is born quickly it will cause no trouble. But the moment that you suspect the puppy to be arriving feet first be prepared, and as soon as you see a foot, however a tiny a part of one, take hold of it immediatelyeither with a hankerchief or your fingers and on no account let go. If you do, the foot may easily dissapear up into the bitch again and precious minutes may be lost. Hold onto the foot and try to pull the puppy out. When two feet appear, get hold of them and continue to pull the puppy, always pull between the bitches legs and towards her nose. Never directly away from her, as this can cause damage. As you get the body out, take another grip as far up as possible and continue pulling round. There is no time to wait for the bitch to have a contracion, the puppy must be got out immediately if it si to be born alive. A bitchs vulva rarely tears and so continue to pull until the puppy is born. These puppies often need artificial respiration, and either revive drops you obtained in advance from your Vet or a small drop of brandy on the back of the tongue.
Some puppies when born may be very blue and flaccid, if there has been difficulty in the birth. Firstly remove mucus from the mouth and shake the puppy upside down to dislodge any mucus in the air passages. Then pull the tongue forward, and place a tiny drop of the Vets revive, or the brandy on the back of the tongue. Rub the hair on the nape of the neck up the wrong way. Lay the puppy on its back on the palm of both your hands, with its head on your right hand, and its feet on the left. Then, quite forcibly close both palms together making the puppy concave, and open them again quickly, even making the puppy slightly convex. Do this twenty times a minute, then every five minutes, gently tip its head back, cover its mouth entirely with yoursand gently blow into the lungs a small amount of air. The artificial respiration can be kept up for at least four hours, which I have done successfully on several occasions. Puppies that have appeared to be dead I have revived in this way. Heat is also very important in these puppies.
Occasionally, instead of the puppy arriving with head first with its back nearest to the dams back, it arrives with its tummy uppermost. In these cases, using a little olive oil, try to turn the the puppy to the normal position before assisting it out.
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BIRTH.
As soon as each puppy is born, place clean paper in the whelping box. Always examine each puppy for a cleft palate or any other deformity. Offer the bitch a little warm goats milk and glucose after each puppy is born. When the last puppy has been born leave the mum to rest quietly for several hours. After a long rest take her out to relieve herself.Some puppies are weak and slow to start feeding. In this case, open the puppys mouth with a teat by pressing the teat onto the bottom jaw. As soon as the puppy opens its mouth, insert the teat and keep the puppy on it until it has achieved a good suction. It should then be able to stay on the teat by itself, but keep watching to make sure it hasn't slipped off, indeed watch to make sure all the puppies in the litter are feeding.The mum produces colostrum in her teats for the first few days. This fluid is very important to the puppies as it is rich in antibodies, which give the puppies protection in the future. The milk comes in gradualy about the fourth day and the colostrum then becomes weaker.
After the birth of the puppies the bitch may have a discharge which is bloodstained, and on coming into contact with the air changes to a dark greeny-blue colour. This is quite normal, however if there is a smell to this discharge, then you must inform the Vet immediately, as there may be a retained puppy or placenta. The bitch's temperature usually remains at about 103 deg F (39.4C ), but should return to normal on the third day, if her temperature remians up, then once again contact your Vet immediately as this also could be the sign of a retained puppy or placenta, and if left you could loose your bitch. Sometimes they can suffer from diarrhoea for a short while after they have given birth, if this happens then a little Kaolin mixture can be given for three days, if this persists beyond this, then once again your Vet needs to be contacted.
The bitch requires plenty of nourishing food whilst feeding her puppies and she should have plenty of fresh water to drink. She must be taken out at regular intervals to relieve herself, and she should not have strangers looking at her puppies. Keep her quiet and away from other dogs and animals. She needs plenty of calcium in her diet too. This will help prevent eclampsia. This very rarely occurs in maiden bitches, but should be watched for. If she has a type of convulsion, about three weeks after then this is what is likely to be the cause. The first indication that a bitch may be having eclampsia is the alteration of temperament. The bitch becomes hysterical and then lethargic, convulsions may follow, and she can even become unconcious. The Vet needs to attend immediately, and they will inject large quabtities of calcium, and a strong sedative. The puppies should be immediately taken away from her, and must not be permitted to feed from her until she has quite recovered.. She should be kept quiet in a darkened room, and touched as little as possible, and only very gently and quietly when it is essential. The bitch should on no account be mated at her next season. You will need to hand feed the puppies. After the birth of all the litter, give the bitch a little glucose and milk, preferably warm goats milk. Leave her quietly alone for several hours, then take her out to relieve herself. Refrain from showing this lovely litter to anyone. What mum and pups now need is peace and quiet. If you have other pets, make sure that they can not come into contact with Mum or pups. Always putting mum out to the loo seperately. Keep a close eye on Mum and make sure all babies are feeding properly. Regularily check mums teats are not hot or hard. Make sure she has a good rich diet, and plenty of fresh water at all times. If possible while Mum sleeps then you need to sleep, or at least rest. As you may be required to assist every two hours through the night with puppy feeding. If you keep well, and you make sure that mum keeps well, then you should have healthy thriving puppies.
If you click on the Pups link below it will take you to a page where I will show you how to make a Puppy Incubator/ Box. This is very useful, and I always make one for new Chihuahua babies. It is very hygenic and safe, and can be thrown away once the pups outgrow it. Very cheap to make too.
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