Determining the cause of puppies being stillborn is nearly impossible without a full post-mortem examination, but can be attributed to premature or traumatic birth or infection. It is not uncommon for animals who give multiple births to have stillborn offspring.
Although it is not unusual for dogs to give birth to stillborn puppies, the cause of the puppy being born dead can be hard to specifically determine. A neonatal examination can help determine the reason for the death and therefore possibly prevent a recurrence in future litters.
If a puppy is born and is not breathing, CPR can be administered. Remove any fluid that may be blocking the airway by holding the dog downward and allowing gravity to drain the fluid. A suction bulb can also be used. When administering CPR, cover the puppy's mouth and nose with the mouth and gently puff small amounts of air into the dog's lungs. Check for a pulse at the dog's chest with fingertips or a stethoscope. If no heartbeat is found, compress the chest area and give more air every 15 to 20 seconds. If the puppy is showing signs of life and a heartbeat, it may need to be stimulated by rubbing or holding it by the scruff of the neck. If no signs of life are seen after 5 minutes, the puppy most likely will not be viable.