How Long Can A Shih-Tzu Be In Labor For?


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
You can expect your Shih-Tzu to be in labour for two hours. If, after this time, she still hasn't produced any puppies, then you will need to phone your vet.

It is particularly common for small dogs to suffer from complications during labour, so don't take any risks - she might need to have an emergency caesarian section, and you should prepare yourself for this possibility.

If you haven't done so already, then you should get in touch with your vet - who will be in a much better position to advise you. Also, you need to be sure that you have someone to call if your dog goes into labour in the early hours of the morning and complications arise.

Most bitches do give birth without any problems, but it's important to make sure you know what to expect, so do some reading on the subject. I'll outline some important tips to keep in mind in the rest of this answer.

Key Things to Know About Whelping
Whelping is the term used to describe the process of a bitch giving birth to puppies. After your dog has gone into labour, you can expect the puppies to begin to emerge after about two hours. The puppies will each be born in their own placental sac, which the mother will normally tear off (and sometimes eat).

The mother will then begin to lick each puppy to stimulate its breathing. If she neglects any, then it's important to tear the sac membrane near the head, and to rub the puppy gently with a towel. Time is of the essence, because a puppy only has enough oxygen to survive for a couple of minutes inside the sac.

Take care to remove mucus or fluids from each puppy's mouth. If the mother doesn't sever the umbilical cord itself, it can be tied with dental floss, then cut about two inches away from the abdomen. Cover the cut end with iodine to prevent infection.

Try to encourage the puppies to suckle. It's important that they do this shortly after birth, because it provides important antibodies, which help them fight infection whilst their own immune systems are still weak.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My Shih-Tzu just had puppies yesterday. She was in labor for exactly 2 hours and had 5 puppies. All are very healthy and doing well. She was pregnant for 64 days.

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