Shih Tzu Postpartum Care
Whelping a litter of Shih Tzu puppies can sometimes be physically and emotionally exhausting for both you and the Shih Tzu matron. Before you take your well deserved rest, be certain the Shih Tzu matron and Shih Tzu puppies are comfortable, each Shih Tzu puppy has nursed well, the heat lamp is not too close, and the heating pad is not turned up too high. At this time it is crucial to maintain proper environmental temperatures. Newborn Shih Tzu puppies are incapable of controlling their own body temperatures. Chilling to any degree leaves newborn Shih Tzu puppies susceptible to infectious disease. Room temperature should be maintained at about 85 degrees Fahrenheit for at least their first few days.
Initially offer your Shih Tzu dam only soft, messy-type foods and supplements of a high quality milk replacement added to her food. I like using Pedigree Lamb and Rice canned formula with Just Born milk replacement powder sprinkled on top or mixed within.
Most Shih Tzu dams are ready for a good meal once whelping is over and the puppies are all settled in nursing well. However, do not worry if she refuses one or two feedings during her first 24 hours of motherhood. Do not expect her to leave her newborn Shih Tzu puppies. If she is too exhausted to eat right after whelping, she will be ready by the next day most usually.
To prevent serious cleanup problems, place four interlocking layers of open newspaper on the floor over heavy plastic film such as that used by painters. Plastic sheeting covered by newspaper saves all flooring, is nonporous, makes any cleanup easy and is inexpensive to purchase.
Use Clorox bleach, ¾ cup to a gallon of water to disinfect the Shih Tzu whelping box and immediate area. You will need to disinfect daily.
Two days following whelping, offer your Shih Tzu matron soft food mixed with a high quality dog food. I use HealthyPetNet Life’s Abundance and have found it to be the absolute best food for my Shih Tzu.
Your Shih Tzu dam should be seen by a veterinarian for a postpartum examination within 24 hours of whelping. It is not uncommon for a Shih Tzu dam to retain one or more placentas, large amounts of blood and other body fluids in the uterus. It is also possible that she retained one or two Shih Tzu puppies as well. All of these need to be expelled immediately. Retention will predispose the Shih Tzu dam to infection. Many veterinarians will give the oxytocin shot within the first 24 hours of whelping to help her expel any retained fluids, placental material and/or 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. Pet clothing is offered on the website. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com
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