Chihuahuas are popular little dogs who offer a spunky personality and a loving nature. Breeding the Chihuahua can hold a few challenges due to their small size. Many times during whelping, they will require veterinarian intervention and a caesarean section. Chihuahuas are also notorious for suffering from eclampsia during and after pregnancy due to the loss of calcium. This condition can lead to seizures and even death. Chihuahuas need to receive regular prenatal care from a veterinarian throughout pregnancy. During whelping the female must be closely monitored so emergency medical intervention can take place if necessary.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Whelping box
- Infant aspiration bulb syringe
- Heating pad
- Iodine solution
Purchase or build a whelping box for puppies to be delivered within and place in a secluded room of the house. The box should be large enough for the female to comfortably lay within. The sides of the box should be between six and eight inches high. Line the box with old newspaper.
Watch for imminent signs of labour. The female will appear restless and unable to sit still for long periods of time. Chihuahua females often whimper and whine. Some female dogs may follow you around the house but others might seek seclusion.
Take the female Chihuahua outside to urinate and defecate when you think labour the female is in labour. Labor normally lasts between six to 24 hours. Place your hand on the Chihuahuas abdomen and you will feel a tightening with each contraction. Often a mucus plug is expelled through the vagina.
Place the Chihuahua into her whelping box and sit with her. As delivery draws closer many first-time mothers do not lay down but begin to deliver in a standing position. Others will lay down. Either position is acceptable.
Watch for a fluid-filled sac to begin to protrude from the Chihuahua's vagina. It will look like a small balloon filled with brackish water. Within seconds to minutes of the sac materialising, a puppy will come out within the sac.
Assist the mother Chihuahua in freeing the puppy from the sac. Most mother dogs will tear the sac away and chew through the umbilical cord. Other mothers are confused and will do nothing. You must promptly tear away the gestational sac, cut the umbilical cord within an inch of the puppies abdomen and then place the puppy into a towel to firmly rub dry. The rubbing of the puppy will stimulate it to breath.
Watch for any afterbirth to be expelled and wait for another puppy. Within 10 to 15 minutes after the first puppy, another puppy will appear. If you know there is another puppy inside the female Chihuahua from a prior ultrasound but delivery does not happen within 30 minutes, call your veterinarian for advice.
Tips and warnings
- Keep your veterinarian's 24-hour emergency number within reach when deliver is imminent and begins.
- Litter size is between one to three puppies.
- Gestation averages 63 days.
- Keep the puppies and mother warm on a heating pad set to a low setting.
- Puppies can be born head first or butt first. All positions are normal and acceptable.
- Many gestational sacs break during delivery. This is acceptable. Simply clear away the sac from the puppy.
- Decide if you wish to let the mother Chihuahua eat the afterbirth of if you want to dispose of it. There is different opinions on this issue amongst breeders and veterinarians.
- Apply a drop of iodine to the end of each puppies umbilical cord.
- If the sac should materialise in the mothers vagina but no puppy comes out and the labour continues rush the mother dog to an emergency veterinarian immediately.
- If the sac materialises but the mother fails to push it out then gently grasp the sac with a wet towel, tear the sac and try to pull the puppy out using firm consistent pressure. Do not jerk the puppy out. If the puppy cannot be pulled from the mother then immediately rush the Chihuahua to the veterinarian.
- If the sac comes out but there is no puppy, rush your Chihuahua to an emergency veterinarian immediately because the puppy is stuck in the birth canal.
- If a puppy does not breathe, take the bulb syringe and suck out any fluid in the noise or mouth. If this fails then place the puppy upside down and gently shake it a little bit with a swinging motion and then rub the puppy again with the towel.
- If the puppy still does not breathe, try to gently place your mouth over the puppy's nose and mouth and gently blow. Give the puppy mouth-to-mouth but be extremely gentle with each breath. Watch for its tongue and gums to turn pink. If the puppy remains limp with blue tongue and gums then the puppy is more then likely dead and will never breathe.
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