Shih Tzu - Birth Process/The Placenta and The Cord
If you need to help remove the afterbirth: First be sure your newborn puppy is breathing well on its own, the sac has been removed from the face, eyes, nose, head and the puppy has either been stimulated by mother or you, the doggie midwife, to breathe well on its own, you can then remove the afterbirth if it does not appear on its own of course. To do this, with one hand about one inch from the stomach of the puppy, grasp the umbilical cord and, with the other hand close to the matron, gently try to pull the afterbirth down and out of the matron, but be sure you do not pull hard on the cord near the navel of the puppy.
If your shih tzu matron does not cut the cord of the newborn puppies, and sometimes this does happen, it is wise to have on hand before the whelping day, a pinch-type clothespin which has been cleaned in boiling water or sterilized in alcohol, or if you prefer, a professional hemostat. The clothespin should be closed on to the cord about two inches from the puppy's navel. Once you have this in place, cut the cord (with sterilized surgical scissors) on the puppy side of the clothespin or hemostat. Now you have part of the umbilical cord hanging out of your matron with a clothespin or hemostat attached and the puppy should be in your hand with about two inches of umbilical cord left on the puppy. This method prevents the umbilical cord from slipping back up inside the mother.
If the cord hanging from the puppy does not stop bleeding after you have pressed it hard on the end between your fingers for several seconds, you can use another clothespin to pinch it on the very tip of the cord for a minute or two. This should cause the blood to clot. You can tie a piece of string or thread on the tip of the cord, but I have found just pressure with your fingers or the clothespin treatment does stops the bleeding. You can also use the same kind of blood-clotting agents from pet supply houses that you use to stop the bleeding from a toenail cut too close. Cornstarch (cooking type) can be used in an emergency. The cord just dries up and falls off eventually just as they do on newborn human babies. Sometimes there might get to be an infection. I have used just plain Neosporin antibiotic gel a little dab on the area if it does get infected, and this heals up nicely.
The placenta looks like a small chunk of very ripe liver. Yelk!! Birthing puppies is a very interesting and exciting process. I like best, however, when the mother is able and willing to do the entire process while I just watch this miraculous act of mother nature.
Whelping day has always been an exciting time for me and usually it occurs in the middle of the night, which is probably why I have got my entire routine of life on a 3rd shift schedule. Just put on a pot of coffee and relax. After it is all over, give your matron lots of attention and some special kind of food you know she likes. Make it sloppy food for the first few days after the whelping.
Connie Limon publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts on shih tzu puppies are offered to subscribers. Weekly updates of available puppies. Sign up at: http://www.stainglassshihtzus.com