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Category: Dog
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Puppy is coming out feet first. Help!

Customer Question

What do I do if my bitch has a breach birth (the puppy is coming out backwards)?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  None Listed replied 10 years ago.

It is however very common to have a puppy delivered feet first, the first part to emerge from the vulva are the rear feet and legs, this is not a breech birth, but a rear presentation. In some of our litters, up to 50% of offspring enter the world in this way. It is more difficult to deliver than a head first puppy, but happens very often.

If a breech birth occurs (butt first), or if the puppy literally gets stuck, you can help the female by holding onto the puppy and very gently pulling during the contraction. Do not do this unless you are sure the puppy is stuck. If a pup remains stuck for too long it will suffocate and will die.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.

I have been told that holding a hot match (not lit) to the vulva will cause a contraction to make it easier to get the puppy out. Is this a method? Are there other methods?

Expert:  None Listed replied 10 years ago.

Please do not do anything that might harm your dog. Holding a hot match up against her may hurt her! She will naturally have contractions on her own. If a breech birth is occurring and the mother is straining without progress, I recommend lubricating your fingers with Vaseline and attempting to pull the pup out. If you can see the feet, see if you can tell what color they are. If they are turning blueish or look white, the puppy is severely deprived of oxygen and time is of the essence. If you cannot get the puppy out, you need to get to your vet immediately. These situations can kill a mother dog and her young. In extreme situations an emergency c-section may need to be performed.

Once you have the pup out, remove the sac from around it immediately. Hold the pup at an angle (head slanted down) while you gently rub with a towel. This angle will help to drain the fluid from the pups nose and mouth. If you have an aspirator, you can use this to clean out the nose and mouth. It is important to get the sac off an quickly as possible since the pup will have been deprived of air during the breech birth.

A list of warning signs for possible emergencies. If any of these occur, please take your dog to the vet immediately:

Sudden drop in body temp of female and rapid pulse- this could be shock
Muscle spasms/seizures
Fresh blood from vulva
Blackish/dark green liquid from vulva before any puppy has been delivered.
Your female has not deliverd any/anymore puppies but is severely straining during contractions for more than half an hour

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