Dog Breeding – Helping a puppy to breathe

The amniotic sac that surrounds the newborn puppy should be removed within 30 seconds so the puppy can breathe. If the mother fails to do this, tear open the sac and remove it, starting at the mouth and working it back over the body. Remove the secretions from the puppy’s mouth and nose with a cot- ton swab, or gently suction the secretions using an eyedropper or a bulb syringe. Rub the puppy briskly with a soft towel.

Another good way to clear secretions is to hold the puppy in your hands while supporting his head. Then slowly swing him in a downward arc, stopping when his nose is pointed toward the floor. This expels water from the nostrils. Present the puppy to the mother to lick, sniff, and cuddle.

After a difficult delivery, a puppy may be too weak or too limp to breathe on his own. Squeeze the puppy’s chest gently from side to side and then from front to back. If the puppy still does not draw a breath, place your mouth over his nose and blow gently until you see his chest expand. Do not blow forcefully because this can rupture the lungs. Remove your mouth to allow the puppy to exhale. Repeat this several times until the puppy breathes on his own.

There is an acupuncture site that can stimulate respirations. This is located on the upper lip, right under the nose. Carefully sticking a sharp, sterile needle into this spot and moving it gently in and out can help stimulate breathing.