Thursday, July 06, 2006

Shih Tzu - Difficult Deliveries

Shih Tzu – Difficult Deliveries

Most Shih Tzu puppies present themselves normally at birth. There are times, very few times, of which I have experienced with the Shih Tzu that required assistance. Usually the most difficult Shih Tzu puppy birth is the first one. Delivery of a dry Shih Tzu puppy or overly large Shih Tzu puppy can take longer than normal and may affect the next Shih Tzu puppy birth. This next Shih Tzu puppy may be stillborn or have more fluid in the trachea and lungs. Oftentimes, subsequent Shih Tzu siblings are born normally.

Not every stillborn Shih Tzu puppy or difficult delivery is the result of a Shih Tzu matron suffering inertia. The problem of inertia, however, will cause a higher percentage of stillborn Shih Tzu puppies. Shih Tzu puppies are normally vigorous while attached to the uterine wall. Once freed from the uterine wall, a Shih Tzu puppy has limited time in which to arrive.

Once the Shih Tzu puppy has arrived, time is crucial. If the matron does not immediately tear the sac from around the puppy. You must quickly tear the sac from the Shih Tzu puppy’s face, nose and mouth and then proceed to remove the sac from the rest of the Shih Tzu puppy’s body. Rub the Shih Tzu puppy briskly while it is in a head-down position. Use a pediatric bulb syringe to suction the Shih Tzu puppy’s oral cavity. Clear the trachea and lungs by shaking the Shih Tzu puppy down. Each direction of the arc’s swing should take about 3 seconds. Repeat the procedures several times until the Shih Tzu puppy’s oral and tracheal passages are cleared as much as possible.

Dry Delivery:
A dry delivery is when the Shih Tzu puppy’s protective sac breaks inside the birth canal. A dry Shih Tzu puppy delivery can either a head-first or breech (rear quarters first). A Shih Tzu puppy breech birth is a normal canine birth position; however, a dry breech delivery can be dangerous to a Shih Tzu puppy. The Shih Tzu puppy is presented entirely or partially free of a sac. If the Shih Tzu puppy’s legs get stuck delivery progress is impeded. The Shih Tzu puppy’s head may turn back blocking passage or even its body turned sideways in the birth canal. Under these circumstances the Shih Tzu dam cannot deliver without assistance. Cooking oil may be substituted in an emergency to use as a lubricant.

While it is most important to get a Shih Tzu puppy breathing on its own as quickly as possible, the Shih Tzu puppy must never be pulled indiscriminately. You need to work with the Shih Tzu dam’s contractions. Place one hand in the dam’s inguinal area directly behind the Shih Tzu puppy’s position in the birth canal and exert a slight pressure to help prevent backward slipping. Grip the Shih Tzu puppy firmly with a towel in the other hand to prevent the Shih Tzu puppy from being withdrawn. Wait for the next contraction and exert a slight, steady pulling pressure downward toward the Shih Tzu dam’s feet. One or two contractions are usually enough to deliver the Shih Tzu puppy.

Your hands must be scrubbed, your nails trimmed and filed smooth in case adjusting the Shih Tzu puppy’s position is necessary. Use sterile surgical gloves or dip your hands in surgical antiseptic. Using a small amount of lubricant, gently insert one or two fingers into the Shih Tzu matron’s vagina. The Shih Tzu puppy should be palpable presenting facing the dam’s feet. You can feel if the Shih Tzu puppy is still confined or if the sac has been broken. If the Shih Tzu puppy is still in the sac, additional lubricant will not be needed.

If the Shih Tzu puppy’s head is foremost, gently ease the legs into the correct birth position. Gently push the Shih Tzu puppy a few millimeters back into the birth canal. Reposition the Shih Tzu puppy with the forelegs extended first. The Shih Tzu dam should then have little difficulty expressing the Shih Tzu puppy with one or two more contractions. Firmly hold the Shih Tzu puppy as it is presented and withdrawn back inside the birth canal at the end of contractions. If the Shih Tzu puppy presents itself head-first, keep the puppy’s face down toward the dam’s feet. If it is a breech delivery, hold the Shih Tzu puppy’s hind feet “facing” the dam’s paws.

Connie Limon is a Shih Tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

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