Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark, Ohio
Another whelping experience, Odie
Ok, so a little over a year ago, maybe a year and a half, Odie had come into labor early and lost the litter. Well, when she came into heat this time, I went ahead and did the progesterone test which stated that she ovulated on January 7 or 8. My vet does not have a lab that can check this, so they have to send it out. Anyhow, figuring 24 days in January, 28, in february, she should have been due to whelp on the 11 or 12th of this month. She was as big as a house.
I was afraid to set the whelping box up too early, didn't want to give her ideas. So I set it up on Saturday. On Saturday and Sunday and Monday morning, she was not too interested, just did a bit of paper crashing, but her heart wasn't in it. She was very happy and lively and no problems.
Did I mention the toothache that woke me up on Thursday. And the closest they could get me in was Monday. So I threatened to shoot the tooth out of my mouth, and they called me in a couple of prescriptions. Anyhow, on Monday at noon I let them pull that molar out. Yay! The dentist didn't hurt me at the time.
Well, I got back home, after putting in dog food, another heat lamp, going to the bank, and stopping at my parents at 4 PM. Odie looked great. The novicane and gas had worked itself away, and I was not thinking as nice thoughts about the dentist. I changed into my easy-to-sleep-or-lounge in clothes thinking it might be a long night, I would take a nap.
At 4:11pm, I heard heavy panting and crashing around in the whelping box, GREAT!
I was glad that I did ALL the work that morning prior to going the dentist. And went out there with my books and coke and phone (for the time), turned on the heat lamp and started my vigil.
Did I mention calling the vet on Saturday to let them know that things were getting close and finding out the only surgeon would be out of town until Tuesday? Lovely. No point even calling into them. I figured I would go to North Ridgeville if I must, but that is 2.5 hours away, and I really, REALLY wanted to avoid that.
No fluid. Lots of frantic nesting, and pushing, no fluid.
I took her temp. 100.3. Ok, she is coming back up. She had gone down to 98.6 at one point. And this really wasn't unexpected. I did some puzzles, I encouraged her to push. I read some. I got my whelping books out again. She is panting and pushing. No fluid.
I got a can of milk and gave her that, she lapped it up. Good. More contractions. No fluid. I stuck my finger where fingers ought not go. She was yet small. Hmmm.
Ok. I walked her around. STILL no fluid.
Uhg. 6:00 came and went. I know you are supposed to wait two hours after hard labor. But other books say to not let her strain for two hours. Well, it wasn't continuous. I hung on until 9:00 mostly hoping she would proceed. But at that point, I figured I was out of my league.
I threw my clothes back on, and hefted her into the SUV, and called my dad on the way into town to do a mapquest. It was raining and dark, and I was taking IBs and Vicadins for my jaw. The dentist actually called me and asked me how I was doing, and told me to stagger the Ibs and vicadins. Well, uhg!
At Dad's I took three IBs and put them in my pocket, and the map quest, and drove to N. Ridgeville. I got there at 12:30AM, with Odie on and off crashing in the crate in the back. But no whelping smell. So I had just kept going.
I got her in there, and explained her history, and vital statistics. They took her temperature which did not change, they did a vaginal exam, and said she was not totally dilated. They said they could do a progesterone test, or an x-ray, or a c-section, or I might want to try and free-whelp her.
The progesterone test seemed like doubling the info. She was definitely ready this time. I felt sure, by both the number of days from when she was bred, and the date of ovulation. I opted for the x-ray as it would tell us if there was anyone in the canal -- or getting close, and it would give us a number.
4, there were four. Their heart beats were good too -- while they were doing an x-ray, the did an ultrasound. The vet who seemed to hesitate at first with her, seemed to really like her after taking her for the x-ray. Odie is such a little lady. But they were no where near the canal. There was a whelping assistant there or master whelper is a better description, and the vet, otherwise it was deserted. There was a dog on siezure watch, but otherwise it was really quiet. The master-whelper said that she looked to be in first-stage labor.
I had to make the decision to try and free whelp either at home or there, or go with a c-section now. I decided to wait there. I spent the night on the floor enouraging her to push at times, and at times sleeping with her, on the floor of a veterinary exam room. Yay. I can think of better places to spend the night. One hard half bench and the floor -- I cought a couple of winks on both.
I had taken those three IBs at 12:30 before making any decisions, and by 4AM, I was looking for a drug-vending machine. No such luck. I would just have to tough it out.
4, became 5 became 6 became 7. It seemed like every time I finally conked out for a few minutes, they came to suggest we let her go outside to potty, or to do another ultrasound. At seven the heart beats were still strong and fast.
I decided to wait until the regular shift came on to do the c-section. I had no doubt that that is what they would suggest. Perhaps it was foolish not to do it in the middle of the night. It just did not seem like there was enough people there to do it. And there was that pouch thing I wanted to ask the repro-vet about that.
Anyhow, he came in at 8:30 and I looked a mess, and wasn't thinking that great either, but he took her temperature -- hadn't changed, and he said we should go ahead and do the c-section. He looked at the x-ray and measured the one puppy. It was his opinion that she was in a form of inertia, and she would not free-whelp and at this point we needed to be concerned with the placentas separating.
I said go.
Around 9:30 the puppies were born via c-section. It did not take much to get them fluid free and incubating. It took Odie a little longer to be sewn up and sufficiently awake to let her nurse the puppies.
Finally, I could take care of the bill, and have them help me get them out to my car.
I kept falling asleep on the way home. It was terribly dangerous, but I could see no way around it. The hot salt mixture bag would not stay warm long enough for me to nap on the side of the road. And the puppies would have to eat when I got them home. It was awful. I was drifting into other people, and kept jamming myself awake. I would take another sip of pop and pray not to fall asleep again. Even the ache in my jaw was welcome.
I finally got back into town. I left the car running and went in, and put Heidi out, and Bear in, and let Babsy out, and cleaned the papers out of the box and replaced them. I put Babsy in a crate and then brought Odie and the puppies in.
I got them used to each other again. Then went over to the other side of the room and took care of Jenna and Company. Then, I crashed for a couple of hours. Odie has been doing really well with the puppies. I weighed them all. I have to watch that closely to make sure they eat enough and it gives them enough nourishment. When I got up, I fed her a can of dog food and some yogurt, which she scarfed down. I also gave both of us some pain meds.
I guess she will just need c-sections. I don't know why. I asked if there was anything wrong with her uterine horns and he said no. But he said that it was a good thing we went in when we did, the placentas were separating.
We are not out of the woods, but they look good. Mom and pups are doing well.
RIP Arwen, CD RN CGC
RIP Whitney, RN CGC
Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC (not AKC)
Heidi, RA CGC & Tori, RN CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear