When the bitch is ready to give birth, her master and all members of the adopted family are usually buzzing. Everything must be ready for the birth of the puppies to take place in the best possible conditions. Let’s see what are the main precautions to take.
The behavior of the bitch before giving birth
The female not far from giving birth to her young looking for a quiet place and more or less flees the company of humans and animals, whether they are fellow humans or not. The relationship with his master sometimes changes. Some bitches are even more begging for hugs while others take a distance. There are even some who can be a little aggressive if they are disturbed.
This change in behavior says a lot about the imminent birth of the puppies and it is necessary to respect the tranquility of the bitch. In most cases, females are completely independent and parturition proceeds as follows.
- A few hours before the first contractions, the dog loses amniotic fluid.
- The interval between the birth of two puppies can last up to two hours. Beyond that, it is necessary to contact the veterinarian urgently.
- The mother cleans her young as they are born and cuts the umbilical cord with her teeth.
It can happen that everything does not go so smoothly, if only when the too exhausted bitch does not give first aid to her young. In this case, the master must take over. It is up to him to cleaning each puppy with a warm, soft towel and then cut the umbilical cord, as we will see later. The use of a Baby Fly can be very useful if a puppy, on its first bark, fails to expectorate the fluid which can then obstruct its airways.
It is obviously essential to thoroughly disinfect your hands before handling a newborn puppy.
Birth of puppies: precautions to take beforehand
Around the 50th gestation day, a ultrasound is useful if you want to know the exact number of fetuses. This makes it possible to better anticipate the birth and to prepare everything. You also have to treat your bitch against parasites external and do it deworm this, 15 days before the farrowing date, so that the puppies are not contaminated at the time of their birth.
As far as possible, the breeder takes care to reserve a specific place where the bitch can bring her litter into the world, safe from comings and goings and well secured. Better that it is not bathed in light because the bitch will be much more peaceful in a moderately dark place. It should be neither too hot nor too cold.
It is necessary to install there the cash register a little larger than the bitch so that she can lie down comfortably, knowing that the puppies will also have to have enough space in this nest. The bottom of the box should be covered with a good thickness of newspaper and a waterproof fabric type alèze. Newspapers should be discarded as soon as they become soiled and fabrics machine washed as regularly as possible. The bitch must have adopted this nest a few days before giving birth.
When the gestation period comes to an end, it is essential to respect the serenity of the little female. This does not exempt from the discreetly monitor so that she does not notice anything and is not disturbed. This surveillance is therefore carried out while respecting distances. The master must remain vigilant in order to react as quickly as possible in the event of a complication.
Precautions to be taken during the birth of puppies
It is necessary to place in the immediate vicinity of the bitch a water bowl that the master will not hesitate to renew as soon as necessary so that it always remains clean and fresh. The bitch also needs a bowl containing protein foods such as meat.
Must have at your fingertips contact details of the veterinarian or veterinary emergency services. This is very useful so that the bitch and / or the newborn puppies can benefit from a rapid care in case of a problem, day or night.
We also recommend having a first aid kit containing:
- Of the betadine, a disinfectant that can be used in all circumstances without risk,
- A clamping forceps or a pair of scissors to cut the cord if the mother does not do it herself. Before use, remember to soak this material in a modified alcohol bath.
- A sewing thread spool, knowing that the piece of wire taken to tie an umbilical cord must first be immersed in betadine,
- Of hand sanitizer gel, absolutely necessary and which must be used very frequently during farrowing,
- A thermometer which allows you to regularly check the temperature inside the nest in order to act quickly in case of variation,
- Of clean, soft and well absorbent towels, if possible warm, which will be used to clean the puppies if their mother does not take care of them.
It is more often the first-time bitches (that is to say, giving birth to young for the first time) who fail in their duty. A first birth can indeed be problematic if the mother does not have the instinct to cut the umbilical cord that connects her to her offspring. Hence the interest of preparing a first aid kit in advance.
Clamp forceps should be used. Otherwise, sharp scissors and disinfected with modified alcohol do the trick. The procedure for cutting the cord is as follows:
- Tie a tight tie around the cord with a thread, 3 cm from the puppy’s abdomen, and tie a knot,
- Untie the thread after at least 4 hours,
- Form a new tie around the cord 6 or 7 cm from the abdomen this time,
- Cut the puppy’s umbilical cord with the clamps or scissors between the two ties.
If he has no competence in the matter, the dog owner must not intervene without the help of a healthcare professional animal.
Another precaution is to be taken in a bitch who is having babies for the first time and who can be clumsy and not very attentive to her reach. It happens that the mother crushes a baby by simply changing position.
On the other hand, maintain a comfortable room temperature is essential so that puppies do not suffer from thermal shock when they are born. Under far too low a temperature, they can die within hours. We can use a incubator lamp if the nest has been installed in an unheated room, and remember to start it up before giving birth. The room can also be heated with an electric heater. Puppies that come into the world should not be cold under any circumstances, which is why it is also necessary to avoid drafts and if necessary try to insulate the crate with cardboard boxes, old blankets or throws.
The teacher must plan colostrum infant formula for puppies in order to feed newborn animals if the mother dies during childbirth or if the bitch does not have enough milk. This is a frequent case when the reach is important. In this case, one can resort to a food probe as advised by veterinarians or, failing that, to a baby bottle.
Finally, from their birth and then the following days, it is very useful to weigh the puppies to make sure they are developing properly. A simple kitchen scale is enough. The owner can establish a weight curve for each puppy so that the veterinarian can take note of it because this data will be useful to him.
The coming into the world of small dogs should not be a worry and it is necessary be soothing to the bitch. Moreover, in the majority of cases, these females do not need to be helped during the birth and the birth of the puppies goes well. We can of course keep an eye on the progress of operations without interfering excessively because it is better let nature take its course. The presence of the owner can cause stress in the bitch, especially if she is anxious, which is absolutely undesirable for the well-being of the animal and its young.
Some masters who cannot stand to attend this type of event prefer to take their pregnant dog to the vet. so that the puppies are born in the office or in a veterinary clinic. It is a self-respecting choice and that it is necessary to discuss with the practitioner a few days before giving birth.