neonatal care puppy

Neonatal care to the mother and her kittens, especially in the breed of Chihuahua, is a practice absolutely necessary in order to limit the many issues related to this delicate stage. Below is a concise “handbook” that every serious breeder should know and practice scrupulous and during the birth of her dam.


The death of newborn puppies is a possibility much feared by the farmer, the incidence is between 10 and 30% in the period from birth up to the first 7 days (on average 12% of all deaths) and 65% of total mortality concentrated in the first 15 days. The grief associated with economic loss mean that the neonatal diseases are a major concern of a breeder. The state of health of newborn puppies depends on many factors, and in particular: the state of his parents, in terms of genetic makeup, his mother and his nutrition during pregnancy and lactation with hygiene and the environment in which the bitch gives birth.

The basic care for newborn puppies can be summarized in four points: oxygen, heat, hydration and nutrition.

OXIGENATE the first breath of the newborn is extremely important especially if immature at the time of the expulsion or if the puppy comes breech in this case the first breath may occur before complete expulsion with the risk of inhaling the liquid in the lung. The risk is the same in the case where there is an early placental detachment that potentially can be induced also by a wrong use of oxytocin. It ‘also possible that untrained dogs, often agitated at the time of delivery, do not take up enough of newborn puppies; if the amniotic sac is not broken as soon as possible after the expulsion (at least within the first 2 minutes) it is possible that the puppy choking because of the inspiration of the liquids contained inside of the bag (amniotic fluid). In order to cope with this eventuality is good to take the puppy, holding it with his head facing down and your mouth open and do some light but firm oscillatory movements that allow you to) expel fluids possibly inspired. (Figure centrifugal see photo)

handling neonatal

handling neonatal

To free up the nostrils is also possible to use a lens from enemas. L ‘use of a respiratory analeptic (doxapram) can be taken into account if the manual described a moment ago are slow to good effect: deposit 1 or 2 drops under the tongue after securing the airway. After the ‘expulsion of the placenta if the mother is inactive it will be necessary to tie the umbilical cord with absorbable 1-2 cm from’ puppy’s abdomen and then cut the cord 1 cm below the ligature. In the case where it is not available in the suture thread is also possible to grip the cord with a sterile forceps for 1-2 minutes thus exerting a hemostasis and cut into approximately 2 cm from ‘abdomen of the puppy. It ‘a good idea after this operation to disinfect the umbilical cord stump with gauze soaked in disinfectant such as chlorhexidine, to prevent the risk of infection.

HEAT : in case the dog is excited or has a poor maternal instinct so avoids licking the puppies will need to rub the puppy with a clean cloth, wipe from the amniotic fluid that bathes their skin cools them, especially on the chest, to stimulate respirations. Profit for the use of a simple dryer (hair dryer) to help in the drying stage of the puppy and at the same time to warm up. In puppies newborn thermoregulation is not yet active so they are very sensitive to cold. The ‘neonatal hypothermia may be aggravated by the lack of reflection of cringe (until day 6) and the low level of subcutaneous fat. As puppies they tend to heat up contact with each other, putting close to one another, are completely dependent on the ambient temperature for at least the first 15 days. The body temperature of the pups is from 35.5 to 36.5 ° C during the first week and goes to 38 ° C at the 3rd week. If this temperature is lowered to 35 ° C, the puppy is no longer able to feed themselves spontaneously and despite the tears, very often is removed from the same mother; at 22 ° C body temperature of the puppy is amorphous. It is generally easy to avoid the ‘puppies hypothermia by controlling the temperature of the delivery room and the whelping box. It is recommended that the temperature in the whelping box either at birth of 31 ° C and then gradually reach the third week at 22 ° C. In the event that you have in front of a litter hypothermic must proceed to a gradual warming in the ‘arc of 1-3 hours with the help of bags of’ hot water or warm cloths and carpets with heating to be fixed to the floor of the whelping box. (See Figure ).

heated box parturition

heated box parturition

And ‘necessary to avoid warming the pups too quickly because this would result in peripheral vasodilation which increases the demand for oxygen in the blood resulting in an excessive workload of the heart and lungs, which can be fatal. Another important element is to maintain moisture in the delivery room between 55-60%. * (Photo litter).

REHYDRATE : as well as the puppy is sensitive to low temperatures so dehydration can also cause several problems including the loss of weight. Several factors explain this particular ease the puppy to dehydrate: first, the ’82% of the weight of the newborn is made up of water, the body surface is very important: the skin accounts for 25% of the total weight, the keratinized layer at birth is almost non-existent and will definitely be working only 20-30 days. The kidney puppy is totally immature, the resorption of ‘water filtered in the kidney is not rappresnta that 20-50% of what would happen in the kidney of the adult dog. The ‘ideal humidity is 55-60% of the delivery room, if the humidity reaches 35% the risk of lung water losses are considerable. A ‘of moisture’ 80-90% is not recommended unless the initial stage of dehydration. Besides these values ​​facilitates bacterial multiplication. For the sick puppies that need to be heated is preferred to use the bags of ‘hot water or heat from below obtained by heating the platforms rather than the infrared lamps because this’ last too dry the’ ambient air. The daily requirement of water of puppies is 1-2 ml/100 g. weight. A dehydrated puppy stops eating, loses vitality then cools and is rejected by his mother. Confirmation of dehydration is indicated by the weight loss more than the persistence of skin folds. If the puppy loses more than 10% of their birth weight in the first 24 hours, it should be immediately re-hydrated with a bottle of sugar water, if there is no recovery, you must feed him artificially administered subcutaneously in isotonic saline (1 ml/30 g of weight).

NOURISH: the adult dog is a good user of fat as an energy source and can remain in prolonged fasting even up to 3 weeks without express hypoglycemia. In contrast, the newborn puppy up to 5 days of age, and in the case of premature puppy even further, has no reserves and its potential enzyme essential for gluconeogenesis is insufficient. Once born the puppy should keep your blood sugar to normal levels with nutrition frequently receive from the mother or a wet nurse or by ‘artificial feeding. Mother’s milk is the best food for newborns is provided in sufficient quantity and of good quality. When a dog has mastitis or has an insufficient lactation for all puppies must resort to ‘artificial feeding. Since the newborn should not lose more than 10% of its weight during its first 24 hours, will be used to ‘artificial feeding if the puppy has not increased weight on the 2nd day. It is estimated that the ‘increase in the daily weight puppy should be 2 grams for each kg of weight that will have an adult (for example, a labrador adult weighs 35 kg, it must have a daily weight gain of about 70 grams). If the mother takes care of the puppies or there is not, it is always necessary to stimulate urination and defecation massaging the perineum with a damp cotton ball. In case the baby is not able to take food l ‘gastric intubation is a simple technique to implement. It must be ascertained before the ‘insertion length by measuring the length of the tube between the mouth and the sternum, to avoid gastric perforation, the syringe is filled and the’ air that you can find inside is ejected. The puppy is held horizontally with the head extended along the body so that the tube can slip in the ‘esophagus. L ‘intubation must be gently without forcing the progression of the tube, the milk must have a temperature of 37-38 ° C and the contents of the syringe is injected into the stomach progressively and slowly; a slight resistance indicates that the stomach is already full. As an indication, the volume of the stomach of a puppy is about 5% of its body weight (500 gm of a puppy. Can ingest 25 ml of milk). And ‘advisable to repeat this process at least 4 times a day. * (Power scheme) These few notes should be part of the cultural baggage of a careful and conscientious breeder and with the valuable help of a veterinarian who alongside one should minimize the loss of puppies , an event that tends to create uneasiness and discomfort to those who breed with passion and dedication.

NEONATAL CARE: healthy puppies should increase daily 2-4 gm per kg of weight as adults, this for the first 5 months of age .. For example, a puppy that weighs 10 kg adult will increase from 20 to 40 grams per day. Another parameter can be a daily increase corresponding to 10% of birth weight.

ARTIFICIAL FEEDING: The preparations of the trade for artificial feeding of the puppy make on average from 1 to 1.24 kcal of metabolizable energy per ml of reconstituted milk.

The amount of milk taken daily will be approximately:

13 ml reconstituted milk per 100 gm of weight during the 1st week

17 ml “” “” “” “2nd”

20 ml “” “” “” “3rd”

22 ml “” “” “” “4th”

these quantities must be divided equally into 5-6 meals a day. The temperature of the reconstituted milk must be of 37-38 ° C

ASSISTANCE TO DRUG DELIVERY: must be attributable to a veterinarian who will identify the conditions for having to intervene with the ‘use of drugs to facilitate the’ completion of delivery. The drugs used for this purpose are rather limited and should be used with the certainty that the non-expulsion of the puppies is not due to dystocia with obstruction of the birth canal.

OXYTOCIN is effective in small doses between 1-10 IU subcutaneous or intramuscular drug that promotes the onset of uterine contractions, without making it more effective. You can find directions in childbirth “languid”, higher doses than those listed may cause excessive spastic contractions of the myometrium with the risk of premature placental detachment and consequent hypoxia of the puppy.

CALCIUM GLUCONATE TO 10%: increase the ‘intensity of the contractions with lower risk of spastic contractions of the myometrium, is effective in doses of 1-4 ml subcutaneously depending on the size of the patient. Do not repeat dose if repeated interspersed with 20-30 minutes for a maximum of 3 doses.