Newborn Puppy Birth Emergencies
Here are ways on taking care of weak newborn pup to help them thrive and survive.
Though the majority of dog births progress without any problems, there are times that some pups will be having trouble breathing or wont be breathing at all. A newborn puppy breathing with their mouth open can be a sign that they are not getting enough air. A newborn puppy gasping for air will need immediate assistance. If you noticed a newborn pup gasping for air or struggling to breathe, use a suction bulb (breeders should have one on hand) to gently clear their noses and airways.
Your newborn puppy struggling to breathe will be able to bring air into their lungs. Stimulate them vigorously by rubbing them with your hands. If this does not help and and your puppy continues to have difficulty and even stops breathing, you may have to give your newborn puppy CPR. Compress your puppys chest with your fingers once per second, positioned right behind their front legs. You can also perform mouth to mouth resuscitation. Continue until breathing resumes or your vet is able to take over. Please take time to train yourself in performing neonatal CPR prior to puppies being born as it is easy to injure these little ones.
Nursing Difficulties for Baby Newborn Puppies
For the first few months of life, puppies will considerably depend on mama dogs milk for necessary nutrients and vitamins for them to grow healthy and strong.
According to Pets WebMD, the normal birth weight for puppies depends greatly on what the breed of the pups is. Throughout the first few weeks of life, a healthy pup’s body weight will increase to up to two to three times. Newborn pups who don’t gain sufficient weight or lose significant weight during these specific weeks have lesser chances of survival.
I feel that when the puppy is really dehydrated and sick, one needs to be careful not to feed it too much. When an adult dog has diarrhea, your vet will often tell you to not feed them anything other than water for 24 hours. With pups, I think we need to be careful. If its really not feeling good, it needs nutrition but we should not constantly pump food down its throat every 4 hours. I make a judgment call and will tube 10 to 15 cc of Lactated Ringers 2 to 3 hours after a formula feeding, especially if I feel I still have a dehydration problem. I think this helps flush the system. Water (or Lactated Ringers) will move through the pup much quicker than milk replacer. It will not cause the pup to back up with food. On the contrary, I think that it helps the digestion process. If any vets read this and disagree, I certainly have an open mind on this issue. Maybe there is something better to use that has more electrolytes than Ringers.
If you get behind the 8-ball and a pup really gets dehydrated, you are going to have to deal with this. Simply tubing is oftentimes not enough to bring the pup around. Fluids injected under the skin do more to improve hydration than simply giving oral fluids (thats why people get IVs when they are dehydrated).
Dehydration kills pups in a hurry. They can do downhill and die in 24 hours. Dehydration is often caused by loose stools. If the mother is cleaning her pups, this can be hard to spot. What I look for is a puppy whose back end looks wet (or slick) even though it may be dry. The hair will look slicked down and stuck together to give a wet look. If you see this, you need to step in and help this pup.
One final point on this issue is that there is always the possibility that after days of treatment (which includes getting up a couple of times per night), the pup lives but ends up having some type of abnormality that forces you as a responsible breeder to make the difficult decision about its future. I have had this happen twice.
I have found that when a pup is really dehydrated, this is a “do or die” situation. Under these circumstances, I will do it but I dont like it. I accomplish this unpleasant task by picking the pup up with 2 fingers by the skin at the shoulders. This creates a pocket of skin. I insert the needle just below my fingers, making sure I dont hit a muscle and being careful not to push it all the way through both folds of skin. If you push it through both folds, you have created a broken balloon effect. Pulling the needle back through the second fold of skin has created a hole and that area will not hold fluid. You will now have to try a different spot (which makes it even harder on your mind).
What do I do if my puppy is gasping for air?
Why is my 4 week old puppy not breathing?
Why does my dog sound like he’s struggling to breathe?
- Low birth weight or no weight gain.
- Decreased activity.
- Neglect from the mother.
- Stomach pain indicated by paddling movements.
- Diarrhea or soft stools.
- Continuous crying.
- Trouble breathing.