Shih Tzu - Birth Process/Clearing Passages

Published: 27th November 2005
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Shih Tzu puppies are often born with amniotic fluid present in their lungs. As they take they first breaths a shih tzu puppy may inhale amniotic fluid left in the oral cavities, mouth and nasal passages. These first breaths will be neither lusty nor vigorous if the shih tzu puppy has inhaled amniotic fluid. You will hear a gurgle and bubble sound from the shih tzu puppy and the shih tzu puppy will be unable to produce a lusty cry. What you need to do at this point is hold the newly born shih tzu puppy at a head-down angle. Never position the shih tzu puppy's head higher than its lungs before hearing a vigorous cry!. Do not remove the shih tzu puppy from its proximity to the mother. Depress the bulb of a small syringe and gently insert the tube portion in the shih tzu puppy's mouth. Slowly release the bulb, withdrawing fluids accumulated from the shih tzu puppy's oral cavity. You may need to repeat the procedure two or three times. Follow this by gently swabbing the mouth with a thin clean towel, sterile diaper or cotton swab.

As soon as the shih tzu puppy is free of ties to the placenta, briskly rub it with toweling still in the head-down position. This brisk stimulation of the shih tzu puppy helps the shih tzu puppy's ciruculation, causing it to take deep life-giving breaths.

If the shih tzu puppy's breaths are still gurgling, this is indicative of potentially serious trouble. Gently open the shih tzu puppy's mouth. Make sure the shih tzu puppy's tongue is not rolled back into the throat. Quickly use the bulb syringe and briskly rub the shih tzu puppy down again. Are there bubbles coming from the shih tzu puppy's nose? Hold the shih tzu puppy near your ear and if you continue to hear an abnormal gurgling breathing, you must shake the shih tzu puppy down to clear its lungs and trachea.

Shaking a shih tzu puppy down:

Wrap the shih tzu puppy in a towel to have a secure grip. Hold the shih tzu puppy head-down firmly in both hands. The shih tzu puppy's spine should be along your fingers, its stomach facing your abdomen. One hand supports the head, neck and shoulders. The other hand, directly behind the first, supports the remainder of the shih tzu puppy's spine down past its hips. Stand slightly straddle-legged and think of the shih tzu puppy as a "delicate" but large thermomenter that you must shake down in fluid motions.

Now you are ready to shake the shih tzu puppy down. Neither too fast nor too slow, in an even one-two cadence, swing the shih tzu puppy in an arc from slightly below the level of your shoulders. Continuing the arc, rapidly lower the shih tzu puppy until you are slightly bent over. Stop the arc abruptly when the shih tzu puppy's muzzle faces the floor. The shih tzu puppy's head should be even with or between your legs. Do not bend over so low that the shih tzu puppy is in any position but that of head-down.

Shaking the shih tzu puppy down in this manner helps to clear the lungs, trachea, throat and nasal passages of any accumulated fluids. A small spray of amniotic fluid may fly out of the shih tzu puppy's nose and mouth when it is shaken down in this manner.

After shaking the shih tzu puppy down two or three times. Stop. Listen to the shih tzu puppy's breathing. It should sound much clear. If the shih tzu puppy is still not breathing well, continue to repeat the procedure over several minutes, as necessary. When the shih tzu puppy has had enough, the life-threatening gurgles will change to a loud, clear-sounding lusty cry. And wha-la, you have saved the tiny life of a shih tzu puppy.

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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