The earliest way of determining if a pup has a problem is to pick up
everyone of them so you know what is normal and what is not, after you
have identified a couple it will become very simple.
What you will notice about these pups is that they are always lying
flat on their belly. If you lay them on their side they will immediately
return to lying on their belly. This is what is known as the righting reflex.
You can observe this by disturbing a sleeping litter of very young puppies
and watching all of them 'right' themselves. They immediately crawl upright
to their stomachs and begin to look for a nipple. Many of us have seen
this very thing and remarked how cute it was, not understanding what really
made them seem to explode into action. The righting reflex is the FIRST
RESPONSE TO NURSING AND THE CAUSE OF SWIMMER PUPPIES.
Occasionally one puppy doesn't want to return to a normal relaxed state
on its side and insists or remains upright causing the flattening of the
chest which, if left undisturbed, leads to swimmer syndrome and probable
Description | Past
Theory | Observations
| Cause | Cure