Help German shepherd first heat pregnancy! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Help German shepherd first heat pregnancy!

Ok , I'm so glad I found a site dedicated to these beautiful ,brave and loyal dogs! Basically I have two wonderful GS's in Egypt , however I live in England! They were firstly intended as guard dogs but because i spent 9 months in Cairo raising them , they turned into pet dogs that are trained to protect( the better option in my opinion).

I knew nothing about dogs before we got them but made sure to do some heavy research everyday for those 9 months , trained the dogs to sit ,stay and other basics. Although i spent 9 months in Egypt , i had to come back to look for work in England , and my mother is the person who visits frequently throughout the year ! We have hired people specifically to look after the dogs , someone is living in the villa just to prepare the food for the dogs and another person comes everyday to let the dogs out of the kennel to play and stretch for 3 hours. ( When i was in Egypt they were never in the kennel , I hope they adjusted well to their new routine )

In Egypt dogs are seen as dirty ( in religious context) and this bothers me not knowing how they are being treated when i am not there ! The only thing that gives me relief is to know that Simba and Lucy have each other for companionship ! Also that they know how much the dogs mean to me , and if anything happened to them they would be fired)

Anyway to get straight to the point of this post ! While i was in England and my mother was in Cairo , Lucy the youngest got her first heat , she is around 10 months old ( is this late? ) , the trainer who comes every Friday warned my mum and said that Lucy should be separated from Simba during this period ! Ofcourse my mum did not immerse her self in reading about dogs and to be honest has little interest in the dogs , she simply wanted guard dogs, I'm just glad someone who truly cares about these dogs ( me) is around to make sure they get the best treatment possible whatever the situation. Anyway my mum listened to the trainer and was preparing a separate kennel for Lucy , however her naive attitude and fundamental understanding meant she left Lucy and Simba in the cage together for one day , and well the obvious happened! I was very worried and told my mum to take her to the vet to get her the morning after injection - something i came across in my readings - or to get the emergency spay. It was hard to deal with my mum and the vet from abroad and well i guess my opinion was side lined and Lucy remained pregnant to this very day ! she is now only weeks away from giving birth. I have decided to come to Egypt probably around a week before she is scheduled to give birth to her pups. I can't tell you how worried i am for her life I will do everything and anything possible to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible. As soon as i land i will be taking her to the vet my self and getting an x ray done so i know how many pups she is carrying. My research tells me that the fewer the pups the bigger they will probably be and the larger the amount of the pups the smaller they will be ! I am praying they are many so she has no problem expelling the pups. I realize how taboo this is and i really tried everything possible to stop this from happening, however now i have to be strong and well read to deliver these pups and make sure Lucy is alive after her pregnancy ! Ive been through so much with her and can't wait to see her i know she will be crazy happy to see me again. What are the chances she will have pelvis problems? she is about 10 months old i know she could make it and it will stunt her growth but how can a dog die from this situation? what do i need to do to make sure she doesn't die !

P.S. I basically live in the dessert and 24 hour vets are hard to find in Cairo! I think i have spotted a 24 hour vet but it is Egypt where reliability is always an issue. I may be stuck in a really ****ty situation and i need all the advice i can get so i can be strong and informed during her pregnancy.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:13 AM
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Whelping a litter can alway have a bad result. However, GSD puppies are normally long bodied with normal head sizes, and generally come out without a lot of trouble. Buy a few books on whelping litters and keep them with you.

There are things you need to know, like when there are problems. A young bitch like that should not get so tired out that she just stops, but you never know. One thing is that her stress level is the most important thing. You need to set up a place for her to whelp, be it in your basement or garage or kitchen, but it needs to be well-lighted, and warm, and dry, and most importantly, calm. No other dogs and really no other people should be bothering her during the first few weeks. If you are her person, than you need to be there with her as much as possible, probably for the whole of the first week, and certainly until the umbilical cord fall off.

Her age is a problem because some youngsters are not ready to be mothers. She may not understand the mother thing completely. Avoid a C-Section unless it is a true emergency. They are not easier on the bitch, and there can be serious trouble raising the pups after a c-section if the bitch does not accept them as hers.

Be prepared for a LOT of blood and fluid. It is a messy business and there are no shortcuts to that.

I am sorry that this happened. If dogs are considered dirty there, I am wondering how you are thinking about managing to find homes for the puppies.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 01:36 AM
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I have no advice but I'm curious as to why the dogs did not go home with you in the first place? It just seems like this would have made more sense and then perhaps this wouldn't have happened at all.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 01:58 AM Thread Starter
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well the people who would be taking the puppies would want them ! there are different social classes in Egypt and the upper social strata love their dogs ! The farmers and workers are more religious and would not be looking for a puppy!

They were not meant to be brought back to London , they were meant to be guard dogs for the villa in Egypt due to the security issues we are facing back there ! I grew very attached to these dogs and well i care a lot about them , even though this isn't the perfect situation i can sitll do everything possible to make sure she makes it through this !

I have another question ! It has be 4 months since i last saw her , i am her person! However should i expect some aggression as i have not been there for her for a while? or should she accept me still ? This is bothering me , i don't know if i am going back to find the same loving dog that i was connected too , or a grown up puppy who fell pregnant when i wasn't there for her! Will she let me look after her?

Thanks for the advice Selzer really appreciate ! I feel really alone in all this , it is like no one truly understands the magnitude of what is going on except for me

Last edited by SimbaplusLucy; 01-31-2013 at 02:02 AM.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 09:13 AM
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I have no advice, just positive hopes everything goes well.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Will need this positive energy for the potential disaster
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:17 PM
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Try and get some books on whelping litters, and make sure she is in a calm and safe place to whelp the litter. Also make sure you give her a clean "whelping space" and keep washing the towels and blankets she has the puppies on. Keep things keep, quiet, calm, keep the vet's number at hand, etc. Good luck!

Perhaps try finding pet homes in London?

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:26 PM
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Hopefully some of the breeders here see this, maybe someone can be online with you? I think I've heard of this service before but don't remember what it's called.

I understand not importing the dogs. Aside from it being a totally different environment/purpose, it can be extremely difficult and expensive to import dogs especially to island nations. I'm not sure about the UK but I know Ireland is almost impossible. They are without some of the diseases that other places have and aren't about to let dogs come over and spread stuff around. I believe they have a 6 month quarantine (that you of course pay for). Even if you can afford it that is very hard on a dog.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 02:35 PM
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She should remember you. It is important that as soon as you get there, you are very hands on with her. She needs to trust you completely.

As soon as you get there, set up the whelping area, and introduce her to the area. Just walk to the area and let her check it out. Her mother instincts should set in, and she will probably find it to her liking to go where it is quiet and warm, and she has papers to tear up.

I use newspapers -- lots of them. When she starts nesting, she will go in and move the papers around, and crash around in there a bit. Then when she starts whelping and during whelping, she will scratch and tear the papers, usually a bit frantically. I am wondering what kind of newspapers and what availability you have there. Black and white newspapers on rough paper (not shiny paper) are what you want. Our papers do have some colored ink and I have not had any problems with it, though others believe there is chemicals in the colored ink. The shiny stuff is of no use at all. It does not absorb and is slick -- not good for the bitch or the puppies.

If newsprint/newspapers are a problem, you can use wood shavings for bedding. Wood chips, straw, or old blankets. Blankets are the worst because it is a lot of cleaning and you will have to be very careful that she does not get a puppy stuck in a roll of the blanket as they can suffocate.

This is a VERY MESSY business. What I do, I go to WalMart and pick up packages of cheap washrags 14 for $2, more or less, and I pick up a couple packages of them. I wash them, and then when the puppies come out, I use two or three of them to dry each pup. After the pups are dry these washrags will be stained. If you are planning to never do this again, throw them away.

Again, get a book. Get two. Read them, keep them on hand when you go to whelp the puppies. The German Shepherd Today by Winifred Strickland and Jimmy Moses, has a decent section on whelping puppies. There is another book that I always refer to also: http://www.amazon.com/Breeding-Litter-Complete-Postnatal-reference/dp/0876054149/ref=pd_sim_b_6/182-0311458-3592716
And come if necessary and ask questions.

It is scary to see your bitch working to push out a puppy, and bleeding and the whole nine yard. Sometimes they come out head first, sometimes in a bubble along with the placenta, and sometimes they are feet first -- all perfectly normal, but sometimes it can be tricky. I remember my first litter when I saw nothing by tiny toenails, and I was on the phone with my vet and they are asking if they are front toenails or back toenails, LOL. Occasionally you do have to help. Really though, let's hope the main part of your job is as a cheer leader, "Good girl!" "Push." "Push the puppy out."

The books will help you know if your bitch is in trouble. If she spews water, then she should present you with a puppy within 30-45 minutes. If two hours goes by and no puppy, then you need to call a vet. If she is straining hard for two hours, and no puppy you will need to find a vet. If you do an x-ray, don't be 100% sure of the count, they may say 8, and there may be 10, but if they say 8 and she stops trying after 2 or 3, then you should give her some white (vanilla ice cream) or condensed milk to try and get her going again.

It is perfectly normal for her two have puppies as close together as 20 minutes, and as far apart at 4 hours. She may even surprise you with another one after you go to sleep for the night. Since this is her first litter, if at all possible, set up a cot for yourself right in her whelping area. Sleep with one eye open. I literally slept on top of my covers so I would be in an uneasy sleep and could hear what was happening when I thought we were getting close to the time.

Some other essential equipment:
1. A cheap digital thermometer for people -- you will want to rectally take her temperature twice a day from the time you get home. Her normal temperature should be between 101.5 and 102. It will start going down prior to whelping. It will go up and down a bit. Usually when it get down in the 98 region and stays there for about 12 hours, she will have the pups within 24 hours. After having the puppies, if her nose is dry and if she does not eat or drink, take her temperature. A fever over 103 and call your vet.

2. A kitchen scale -- cheap ones can be bought at discount stores for 10-12 dollars around here. You will want to weigh the pups each day and mark down their growth or loss. It is normal for them to lose a little at first when the mother is producing colostrum. But then they should start gaining. A method to mark the puppies is also important. I use rick rack because it does not tighten like yarn can, you have to check it every day, not let it be too loose or puppies will get their paws stuck in it. But it can't be too tight either. Some people use finger nail polish to mark them, I never have so get someone else to tell you what is safe and how they do that.

The puppies will all probably look black unless they are sables, and you will need some way to identify them from each other. JB wholesaler or other on-line pet stores have identification tapes you can use and small collars. The collars really need for the pups to be about a week old, or they will be too large. And after a week or two you really should not need to do all the weighing.

Good luck. Sorry if this is a little out of sequence. I am just thinking and spewing. A book should have everything you need in an ordered manner.

Jenna, RN CGC & Babs, CD RA CGC HIC
Heidi, RA CGC
SG3 Odessa, SchH1, Kkl1, AD
Ninja, RN CGC & Milla, RN CGC
Joy, Star Puppy, RN CGC
Dolly CGC & Bear CGC
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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I really can't thank you enough for the time and knowledge you have dedicated to Lucy Thank you so much , every inch of advice will be useful! Is it possible that a puppy could get stuck ? When it comes to helping do you mean to gently help pull the puppy out? I will certainly get a book or two !


Also this idea of having a breeder live with on the net during the pregnancy would be amazing!
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