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The bitch will start pushing as a puppy enters the birth canal and the intervals in between pushes will lessen as the strength of the contractions increase. Remember that we need to be phoned if you see any of the alarming symptoms

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Photo courtesy of Karen Street

It is good to keep people and other animals away from the dam during delivery to keep stress at a minimum.

A puppy is born surrounded by a sac that looks like a water balloon. The mother usually breaks this sac and stimulates the puppy to breath by licking it. Often, a first time bitch doesn’t do this, so you need to break the sac gently and remove all membranes from the nose of the puppy.

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Then, suction out the mouth and nose with the pediatric bulb syringe and rub the puppy vigorously with a warm towel to stimulate it to breathe. You can also pinch it on the top of the neck behind the head to help it take a deep breath.

Once the puppy is crying and breathing well, tie off the umbilical cord about ¾ inch from the body and then again about 1 inch from the body with dental floss. Cut the cord in between your 2 ties and dip the cord in iodine solution.

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It is important to let the bitch lick the puppy so she bonds with it and then put the puppy on the mammary gland. Nursing the first milk, called colostrum, gives the puppy antibody protection and stimulates more uterine contractions to assist the bitch with continued whelping.

You want to be certain that all of the puppies have been delivered when she appears to be done. If you are unsure, you should bring her in for an X-ray to confirm that all the puppies have been born.

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