Your female Yorkshire terrier has just delivered a litter of helpless, tiny puppies and you may be asking yourself, "Now what?" If you've never raised yorkie puppies or if you're feeling unprepared, there are a few tips that can help you turn those tiny newborns into healthy, active pups.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Fresh bedding, food and water
- Dog nail clippers
- Worming medication
- Styptic powder
Allow mum to do her job. According to the Yorkie Info Centre website, the mother is the puppies' sole caretaker for their first three to four weeks of life. Provide mum with fresh bedding, food and water, along with nutritional supplements, if recommended by the vet.
Clip the yorkie puppies' nails if they are long. The puppies can scratch the mum's skin when trying to reach the nipple, causing irritation and possible infection. Since yorkie nails are black, it is impossible to see the vein of the nail; therefore, use dog nail clippers to cut only the very tip off. Cutting the nail too short can cause pain and bleeding.
Look for signs of undernourishment and hypoglycaemia in the yorkie puppies. If a puppy is much thinner than its litter mates, it may not be getting enough nipple time. Remove the other puppies to a separate area while the underfed puppy attempts to eat -- doing so will help provide adequate nursing time. Puppies with hypoglycaemia often stumble, are weak and may faint. If you suspect your puppy is suffering from low blood glucose, contact your vet immediately.
Administer worming medication to your yorkie puppy at about three weeks of age, if approved by the vet. Most puppies are born with intestinal parasites, which are passed on from the mother. Unless treated, the worms can cause a variety of issues including diarrhoea and weight loss. The vet may prescribe worming medication for you to give, based on the puppies' weights. Wormers are usually available over-the-counter at pet shops, as well.
Touch your yorkie puppies' feet, ears, face and mouth often. As a breed, yorkies generally require routine grooming, which involves touching these typically sensitive areas. Touching your pup this way now will help it become familiar with being handled, preventing anxiety and protesting when being groomed as an adult.
Tips and warnings
- Use styptic powder, which is available at most pet sshops, to stop the bleeding on a nail that was cut too short.