As part of the birthing process for newborn puppies, the mother will need assistance with a few small tasks. One of these tasks is removing the amniotic membranes from newborn puppies. The amniotic membrane is also referred to as the amniotic sac, and it is attached to the placenta or afterbirth and umbilical cord on each newborn puppy.
After each puppy is born, it is important to wait between one and three minutes prior to removing the amniotic membrane; this is necessary because mother dogs are known to take up to three minutes to remove the membrane. If the mother has not removed the amniotic sac within three minutes, however, you should step in - without assistance from you, the puppy could suffocate.
Prior to assisting the mother with removing the amniotic membrane from the puppy, be sure to thoroughly clean your hands using warm water and an antibacterial soap. This will help protect the newborn puppy from the risk of infection. Some individuals also wear gloves while performing this task, but this is not a necessity.
The easiest way to separate the puppy from the amniotic membrane is to tear the sac toward the top of the puppy's head to release the nose and mouth first. Then proceed by carefully pulling the rest of the puppy through the hole you've made in the amniotic membrane. It is very important during this process to not tear the umbilical cord.
Once the puppy has been safely removed, many individuals also remove the umbilical cord. This procedure can be done by tying the umbilical cord near the puppy's stomach with a piece of thread or dental floss, and then snipping off the umbilical cord above the tie, about a half inch from the puppy's stomach. After removal of the umbilical cord, to prevent infection dab the snipped umbilical cord with a small amount of iodine.
Once the above steps are completed you are going to then use a rubber air bulb, to clear any mucus in or around the puppy's mouth and nose. Clearing the mucus will help the puppy breath easier.
Removing the amniotic membrane from newborn puppies is a very important task that should be done with extra care.