Monday, August 14, 2006

Shih Tzu Mammary Gland Care After Whelping

Shih Tzu Mammary Gland Care after Whelping

It is necessary to examine your Shih Tzu matron’s mammary glands daily, directly before whelping and throughout nursing and weaning periods. A secretion of moderately thick liquid clear or brown with streaks of white milk is normal. If this discharge is bloody or yellowish in color you need to consult with your vet. The first secretion, known as colostrums, is normal and present in every new mother. Colostrums contain the mother’s antibodies and are necessary to newborn Shih Tzu puppies, particularly in the first 24 hours of life. If you are tube or bottle feeding, and the Shih Tzu dam has colostrums, express some into the formula. Keep your Shih Tzu dam updated on immunizations prior to mating time. Never vaccinate a pregnant Shih Tzu. The antibodies in the colostrums protect the newborn Shih Tzu puppies against infectious diseases to which the mother is immune.

Shih Tzu matrons will shed hair along the abdomen prior and after whelping. However, since the Shih Tzu has so much hair, it is likely you will need to trim close also. The best is to shave down the entire abdomen and genitalia area just prior to whelping. Shih Tzu puppies can ingest air while nursing if hair remains around the mammaries. The presence of hair also collects milk and promotes rapid bacterial growth and can cause illness in the Shih Tzu puppies, which can lead rapidly to death.

Heavy mammary glands require daily washing and thorough drying of the entire abdominal area until the Shih Tzu puppies are weaned. The Shih Tzu dam’s milk glands should always feel pliable, being moderately soft although heavy and full feeling to your examination. Your Shih Tzu matron is in trouble should there be any hardness in an entire individual gland or row, visible redness and/or red streaks or yellowish or bloody discharge expressed. Placing a bandage over the nipple of the affected teat is usually sufficient to stop very young Shih Tzu puppies from nursing. Use a small amount of camphorated oil of Vicks VapoRub to stop older Shih Tzu puppies from nursing at an infected site. Seek veterinarian care for your Shih Tzu matron. Nursing from infected mammary glands could cause serious illness and diarrhea in the Shih Tzu puppies.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Designer pet clothing is available on the website. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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