Although the mother dog will usually perform the task, cutting an umbilical cord on a puppy is sometimes necessary after birth. Before the puppies begin to arrive, you should have all necessary supplies on hand. You should then wait to see if the puppy's umbilical cord will need to be cut. If necessary, you should first remove the amniotic sac before tying off the cord with some sterilized, sturdy thread and cutting it with sharp, sterilized scissors.
You will first need to place some supplies within easy reach before the mother dog gives birth. Alcohol should be used to sterilize sharp scissors, for example, and you will also need heavy thread to tie a puppy's umbilical cord. Many experts suggest using unwaxed dental floss for this. Providine or iodine should also be used to sterilize the umbilical cord. You may also need cotton balls and clean towels.
Clean hands are important when dealing with newborn puppies. You should wash your hands thoroughly with hot water and soap before handling any newborn puppies. Surgical gloves should also be worn, if possible. It is not usually advised to disturb a mother dog after labor has begun. You should, however, stay close and watch to make sure the birth goes smoothly.
The amniotic sac must be removed within 30 seconds to a minute after a puppy is born. If this is not done, the puppy could suffocate and die. To remove the sac, you should tear it gently near the head. You should then wipe the puppy's face with a clean towel.
After the greenish colored placenta is delivered, the mother should sever the umbilical cord with her teeth. If she does not do this within a few minutes, you will need to help her. You will need to tie the cord, however, prior to cutting it.
Begin by tying a piece of dental floss around the puppy's umbilical cord. This first piece should be about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) away from the puppy's abdomen. The second piece of thread should be tied 0.25 inch (0.64 centimeters) away from the first piece, toward the placenta.
Using the sterilized scissors, you can then cut the umbilical cord between the two pieces of thread. The scissors that you use should be very sharp. A clean razor blade can also be used.
Providine or iodine should be applied to the cut end of a puppy's umbilical cord. Some experts recommend dipping this end into the providine. It can also be applied by dabbing it on with a cotton ball. The umbilical cord will then usually fall off within a few days to a week.
How to Tie a Puppy's Umbilical Cord
When a litter of puppies is born, their umbilical cords can be severed in one of two ways. Usually, the mother will chew off the umbilical cords of her puppies on her own. However, sometimes that isn’t the case. If she doesn’t handle the cords herself, you can do it for her in a few simple steps.
Cutting a Puppy Umbilical Cord Step-by-Step
- Thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
- Full a shallow dish with iodine or antiseptic solution to sterilize the stump.
- Carefully clean and sanitize a pair of sharp scissors.
- Using dental floss or thread, tie the cord off in two places. The first should be about a half inch from the puppy’s body, and the second should be about the same distance from the first tie toward the placenta.
- Using your sterilized scissors, cut the cord between the two ties
- Coat the end of the cord stump in a sterilizing solution to prevent infection.
- The mother will likely eat the placenta, which provides her with many essential nutrients. If she doesn’t show an interest, discard it.
When you cut the puppies’ cords, make sure to wait until all of the puppies are born. When one pup is still attached to the placenta, it can help tug the other attached puppies through the birth canal.
Do Puppies Umbilical Cords Fall Off?
Once you’ve cut the puppy’s cord and ensured it isn’t still bleeding, you should be able to let it simply fall off on its own. It usually takes about 1-3 days for the cord to dry up and fall off.
Over the next few days after birth, take some time to monitor the stump to make sure there are no signs of infection. The simplest way to care for the stump is to clean it daily with a bit of antiseptic or iodine to remove any dirt or germs.
Keeping the cord clean is especially important during the first 24 hours because it hasn’t dried out yet. It’s essentially still an open wound, so you’ll want to check for redness or oozing.
As long as it continues the natural drying process, the cord should become hard over the next day or two. Once it fully dries out, it will fall off on its own.
How to Stop Puppy Umbilical Cord From Bleeding
Sometimes when the mother chews off the umbilical cord, it might not close as it should. Therefore, you must tend to a bleeding umbilical cord promptly. If left uncared for, the puppy could very well bleed to death.
If the mother handled the cords herself and you didn’t assist, pay special attention to the cords in the first 24 hours after birth. If a cord continues to bleed despite cleanings, you can try to tie the cord off just as you would if you’d cut it yourself. Of course, that solution will only work if the cord is long enough to be tied off.
If the cord stump is short and you don’t have sufficient space to tie it off using the steps listed above, you can take the following steps to bandage it carefully.
- Thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water.
- Clean the navel and cord stump with an antiseptic solution or iodine.
- Roll up a piece of gauze and gently place it over the navel, taking care not to put too much pressure.
- Wrap a long piece of bandage around the puppy’s stomach to hold the gauze in place. Keep it snug, but not too tight.
Once the bandage is secure, monitor the cord closely over the next few days. Contact your vet right away if it doesn’t stop bleeding, or the puppy seems distressed.