may occur in litters of Corgis or Newfoundlands. Any breed can be
affected. It is not the length of leg that predisposes a puppy or a
litter to report this problem. The condition is not necessarily
hereditary, even though it may occur in the litters of one bitch.
puppy bones are little more than rubber bands in their first weeks of
life. If you notice the shape of the chest of your puppies as they are
born, you will see a normal oval shape, with the long axis vertical. As
puppies crawl around the whelping box and nurse, often they begin to
acquire a more flattened shape, with the long axis of the chest becoming
more and more horizontal.
which contribute to this are:
1. A mother with great deal of milk willing to stay in the
whelping box for long stretches. This is what accounts for repeated
litters of swimmers from one bitch.
Flat whelping box as there is no way for a puppy to alter pressure on the
rib cage by crawling up onto a toy or something similar.
Temperature in room too warm as puppies are content to lie in one
position and not move around looking for a warm spot.
walking and aspiration pneumonia are possible consequences of
this flattened shape.
not have the room too warm
A heating pad under the blanket in the
center of the box will give the puppies a reason to move around when the
bitch leaves the box, going to the warm spot where they can use each
other as ramps to get their head and chest going uphill. If your puppies
are spread out all over the box when not nursing, your room and box are
too warm. They should want to congregate in one area, and touch one
another. If they pile up (literally) and whimper, they are too cool.
Keep the room at a comfortable temperature of 68 to 72, so the
bitch can be comfortable and not stressed by heat, and so that the
puppies will gather in one area of the box. This has the additional
benefit of keeping them from being squashed by the bitch or against the
sides of the box when she enters the box and lies down.
'hobbling' the puppies legs has been used to help get these puppies up
on their feet. In some short legged breeds this may indeed help, but
generally speaking, the prevention and treatment guidelines above will
be all that are necessary. If puppies have aspiration pneumonia from
pressure on their stomach and lungs, cold nebulization and antibiotic
treatment may be needed.
Always consult with
your Veterinarian for treatment, questions or before treating your dog
with any medication