Another whelping experience -- so you want to be a breeder...
Well, last thursday, I took my girl's temperature. She's 2.5 years old, the last I will get out of Jenna/Gispo, and I love her like crazy. She's a little thing, about 60 pounds, nd this was her first attempt at breeding. She went into heat before her second birthday, and I decided we could wait -- that was during that nasty, awful, bitter cold winter.
Anyhow, she was at 98 point something or other, so I went to work, and let them know I wouldn't be in the next day. This was the first dip. Usually, they will stay around 98 for 12 hours or so and then it will come back up before the whelping begins.
And, when I got home, she had mussed the papers good, but no fluid, and as she did not particularly care for the thermometer, I just decided to wait it out. Finally at 1AM, I went to bed telling Babs to let me know if something happened.
Babsy woke me up at 5:30. I jumped up and went down the hall and into the whelping room, and there was Karma, licking off her first puppy. Good girl!!! It was squeaking. I picked it up and weighed it. 18 ounces, good, and she was right up there with me wanting him back. I put a blue rickrack around his neck and put him back with her.
She did good. She delivered most of them without any more from me than a "Puuuush, push the baby out." I gave her white ice cream which she loved, and I was just putting some rickrack on another female, when she was cleaning off another. Unfortunately, it was not completely formed, and not alive. I gave her the other new one and quickly removed the other. It's sad, but it happens.
She had 3 boys and 3 girls, and I thought was done at 3PM. I went and lay down on my bed, and told Babs to let me know...
Babs woke me at 5:30. This was a deliberate action, both times. So I jumped out of the bed and ran down there, and she was cleaning off another, a small female. Not tiny though, 16.7 ounces. All of them were 18 ounces, except a male at 16.1 and the last female.
Well, I had to go pick up the girls at their swim meet. I watched my bitch, and decided that while she seemed a little nervous, picking up the puppies more than I would like, she seemed to like having them in the box (cleaning the box was a real chore as she kept trying to move them back in). I went ahead and went and got the girls. It was a long day, picking them up from the swim meet, over to the theater performance, then another performance of one of my sister's roommates, and then over to my other sister's houses, to feed them picnic food and over to Mom's to pick up a comforter for the girls to sleep with, and home.
I shouldn't have worried. All was well. Karma was still a little more hyper than I expected her to be, but the puppies were fine, and she was ok with the girls coming in. Every time I tried to let them hold one, she would get up and come over, and I would give it back. But otherwise she was fine.
All the puppies had lost weight, but it didn't seem abnormal.
The next morning the girls helped me weigh the puppies. The last girl had lost the most, but she was the last out. Some of them already started gaining again. We named the blue boy Percy, and the purple girl Pikachu, the pink girl Pansy, orange girl Parvotti, the black boy, Peeves, and the little red boy, Potter. The naked girl (no rick rack) we called Padma.
I weighed them again on Saturday night. Little Padma lost weight again. But I checked all my excel sheets of all my litters. It was still in the normal range. By Sunday morning she was down to 13.8 ounces. I have seen worse, but I decided she needed help. I showed the girls how to tube feed.
I was worried. I tubed her again. That night she seemed to stay around 14 ounces so I did not tube before going to sleep, but by 6AM, Monday morning she was 13.3 ounces. The girls had to be an hour and a half away by 10AM. I tubed the puppy and put her back in with her dam. Then I went out and fed everyone.
I gave the girls their breakfast and weighed the puppy again. 13.7 ounces. I figured if I left her with her dam, she would be dead before I got back home. I called the vet at 8AM and told them I was bringing her in. I told her no subcutaneous fluids, but keep her warm and tube her. I figured if she would just turn that corner while I was gone... I met the vet as we were driving off and told him I left a puppy there, she shouldn't need subcutaneous fluids, but just tube feeding for the day.
They called at 12:30 and told me she had passed. Darn! That happens sometimes. She must have had something wrong with her. Maybe I should have just left her with her dam, but I couldn't fathom how she would react to having a pup be dead and in there with her until I could get back. I asked the tech what happened.
She said that she did need the subcutaneous fluids, she was dehydrated. She said she was down to 92 degrees. And she had fed her when she was too cold, she vomited. But she got her up to 97 and she kept that down, when she came back half an hour later she was dead.
According to Dr. Hutchinson, they all do subcutaneous fluids, but it doesn't help. In fact it will chill them quicker. It isn't a good way to hydrate a pup. Feeding them when they are cold -- under 93 will kill them because the digestive tract shuts down. They should be at 96 degrees. Keeping them too warm will dehydrate them.
I can only believe that there was something wrong with the puppy. She should have turned that corner and started gaining by then. Taking her to the vet was a last ditch effort. I can second guess it forever, wondering if I should have just taken her over to the repo-vet as I was going in that direction anyway. But, you can't do anything after the fact. I should have told the vet that I did not want them to do subcutaneous fluids. But how do you tell someone something that has been your vet for over 30 years? You can't say, "Fix my puppy, but here let me tie your hands first." Sometimes puppies just don't make it. And this is something breeders have to manage.
If I would have taken off work, not taken the girls home so they could get to their doctor's appointment, and tubed that puppy every two hours instead of taking her to the vet, maybe she would have made it, but maybe she would have had something serious wrong with her.
The good news is that the others all did turn their corners and are gaining weight. The little male, Potter is slow to grow, but he is growing. This morning he jumped nearly two ounces overnight, so I think he is out of the woods. Karma is doing a great job.
Heidi Ho, Odie
Joy-Joy, Bear Cub, Hepsi-Pepsi
Cujo2, Karma Chameleon
Ramona the Pest, Kojak -- who loves you baby?
Tiny Tinnie, Susie's Uzzi, Kaiah -- The Baby Monster.