Taking care of the newborn puppy if you are midwifing the Mom can be quite exciting. Watching a new life come into the world is a miracle in itself. Observe the birth in awe, but be ready to help Mom if she is having trouble.
You will need several items when whelping (birth) starts. Have these ready beforehand so you don’t have to leave Mom during the birth. You will need plenty of towels, a heating lamp, scissors, betadine, alcohol, dental floss, paper and pencil, and lots of patience until the big event happens.
When the first pup is born, let it start to nurse immediately. This helps to stimulate contractions for the next pup. Place the new pup under a heat lamp for warmth. After each new pup is born, you can place all the puppies back until the next contractions start.
If a pup is lifeless after birth, rub him down with a coarse towel to help him take that first breath. Some people also try placing the pup in water, alternating between hot and cold to get them to breathe. You can also try CPR by placing the pup on his back and blowing into his mouth. Then apply pressure to the chest. DO NOT GIVE UP! Some people have revived pups for up to thirty minutes after birth.
Encourage the new pups to start nursing right away. They need the colostrum that is in the mother’s milk. This nourishing fluid contains antibodies and special vitamins that help protect the newborn pup from sickness. Make sure all the puppies are able to latch on and get the colostrum. Some of the bigger puppies will push off the smaller ones.
After each pup is born, look for any problems that may be present. Obvious ones like a cleft palate or a shortened limb are easy to spot. Sometimes there are internal problems like organs that are not fully developed. Call the vet immediately if you spot a problem.
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