I would like to share with you my experience of having premature puppies. This is the first time it happened to me. My bitch was supposed to give birth next week (around May 29). But on May 21, she got sick. She had diarrhea so maybe it’s the reason why she gave birth unexpectedly. This is the whole story:
I was out the whole day entertaining my visitors. Around 8 pm, my yaya called me and informed me that my bitch is sick and very weak. So I called my vet and informed her of my shih tzu’s situation. She gave me a medication that is safe for pregnant dogs as well as electrolyte to rehydrate my shih tzu. After an hour of giving her the medicine and electrolyte, she got well. She became responsive and lively again.
12:00 pm – I was supposed to go to a shih tzu grooming seminar. I am ready to leave when I decided to check on my shih tzu. I noticed that she is already pushing her puppy out. I am not prepared for it because I am expecting the puppies next week and not today. So I immediately changed my clothes and stayed home.
12:15 pm – She gave birth to one female puppy weighing 100 grams. The puppy was not breathing when I got her. I removed the fluids in the pup’s mouth and nose. I rubbed her chest for a few minutes. And when I was ready to declare the pup dead, the pup suddenly showed signs that she is already breathing. I informed my vet that my bitch gave birth prematurely to one pup. She said that I should expect all of the puppies to come out now. I asked her what are the chances of the puppies’ survival and she said none. She told me that no puppies survive if they are born one week in advance of their due date.
2:30 pm – Another puppy came out and it is a male shih tzu puppy. The male puppy weighed 135 grams. He is a lot stronger than the first puppy but still, smaller than a full term puppies. We tried to breastfeed the two puppies one by one but they really cannot get milk from their mother. Their sucking capability is so weak.
5:00 pm – Another female puppy came out. She weighed 120 grams and was weak just like the first two puppies. We still tried to breastfeed the puppies one by one.
7:30 pm – I decided to tube feed them so I bought a milk replacer for the pups. I also bought Bene-Bac which my vet told me can help the puppies also.
10:30 pm – Another female pup came out and this time weighed 110 grams. This fourth puppy was weak just like the first puppy. She is very small. I divided one tube of Bene-Bac to the four puppies. Then I tube-feed the puppies again.
1:30 am – The fourth puppy died. She only lived for three hours. I was so frustrated. I don’t know what I should do to save all the puppies.
These are the three pups left after the fourth puppy died. Notice that they barely have hair on their head and feet. It’s because they are still not yet fully developed when their mom gave birth to them. Their body has a thin hair also unlike a full term puppy. I can also see that they are having a hard time breathing. Maybe it’s because their lungs are not yet fully developed also.
I created an improvised incubator for them because they need heat. It’s like a box in a box. Inside a box is another box with towels inside. I placed them together and then put another layer of towel on top of them. I also have a bulb on top of their box.
I just hope that all of them can survive this one.