Helping your Shih Tzu birth its young can be a stressful, though rewarding experience. Unlike humans, canines carry their young for a short span; about nine weeks. During the last two weeks of pregnancy, you should start preparing your materials to deliver the puppies. You can opt to provide a quiet room within your home specifically for the birthing process, which will also help keep your Shih Tzu at ease. Since Shih Tzus have small pelvises, it's important to watch for signs of your dog having difficulties when delivering its young.
Preparing for Birth
Set up a whelping box within your home. These boxes help contain puppies after the birthing process, while allowing your Shih Tzu to bond with the pups.
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Line the box with blankets, to provide comfort for your Shih Tzu. Place a heating lamp near the whelping box to provide warmth for the puppies. Wrap aluminum foil around the outside of the lamp and poke holes in it. This will protect the puppies' eyes from accidental contact with the lamp.
Get your Shih Tzu accustomed to the whelping box. Prior to delivery, use dog shears to remove excess fur around the abdomen and underside. This will help puppies find the nipples, as well as assist in birthing.
Take your Shih Tzu's temperature daily near the end of her pregnancy. A normal temperatures is 101 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature drops by 2 degrees or more, it indicates your dog's body is preparing for labor, according to All Shih Tzu. Temperatures should be taken rectally, using petroleum jelly to lubricate the thermometer.
The Birthing Process
Place a laundry basket near the whelping box. The basket will hold puppies that were just born. This will allow your Shih Tzu the freedom to pace until it can deliver all its pups.
Allow your Shih Tzu to push its puppy out. Assist in removing the birthing sac from the puppy's face if your dog doesn't naturally do this.
Take a thread and tie it onto the umbilical cord, 1 inch from the puppy's abdomen, instructs Purina. Take another thread and tie it 1 inch away from the first thread. Cut the cord between the two threads.
Have your dog lick the puppy, which will stimulate blood flow. If your dog doesn't do this, take the puppy and rub it with a towel.
Place the puppy onto a heating pad lined with a towel in the laundry basket. Use a syringe bulb to remove fluids from the puppy's mouth and nose.
Introduce the puppies to your Shih Tzu after you've helped birth them all and cleaned them. Offer food and water to your dog after the delivery process.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.