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She started having contractions at midnight and had her first pup at 12:25. She had her 8th pup at 11:00am. All look strong and healthy so far. She must be exhausted but doing a great job. Xray was inconclusive but best guess was 10 so she may not be done yet. How much time between pups is too long? How much time total from start to finish is too much? I am in contact with my vet. We almost took her in for petosin at 9:30 but then she started having contractions again and had another pup so he said to hold off. Just worried.
 

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Thank you for your response. She had the last one just about an hour ago, so I am really hoping to see contractions soon. I think she has two togo but she has to be exhausted.....I know I am! Do you ever give petosin yourself?
 

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I have given Oxytocin myself, but I don't know, in my first litter, they said 7 and she had 10 so I thought she was done when the ninth came at 2:00PM. The vet came at 6 and palpated, and did not feel anything puppyish. Babs arrived between 11PM and 1AM when I took a cat nap on the couch on the other side of the whelping box. Babs will be 7 in August, and never had any problems.
 

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Update

Just wanted to share an update. I was loading the pups up into a basket to get ready to take Mama and pups to the vet when she gave birth to a stillborn....then immediately after that #10 came and he was alive but barely. I rubbed him until he came around and then loaded them up to go to the vet just to be sure that she was done. Vet did another xray and there were still 4 more in there! FOR A TOTAL OF 14! She had petosin and gave birth to 4 stillborns. Broke our hearts but she is doing fine now, so that is a blessing. I have a puppy rail in the whelping box but she still managed to lay on one yesterday afternoon so we lost another. We ended up with 8......5 little girls and 3 little boys. They are all big and beautiful. This litter was just too big and very difficult.:(
 

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By the way, Selzer, I just read your post again and did the math....that was a lot of hours between 2 pm and the time your Babs was born! What a miracle! The last little boy pup who was born in between the 5 stillborns, we named "Lucky". I am just so glad that my Mama dog is okay. I love her so much and this was a really hard one. Not sure I will breed her again. I don't know what a litter that large does as far as damage to the uterus....so I dont' know if she would have trouble again.....need to do more reading and learning on the subject and maybe retire her....she is only 3.5 and this was her 2nd litter. First one was so easy but this one was just hard. Any advise or words of wisdom would be welcome.
 

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There are no words of wisdom or advice, losing puppies always sucks bad.

Breeding dogs will break your heart, if you have one. I have lost puppies, but some people have lost their bitch, I cannot even imagine the pain of that.

Breeding dogs is also very rewarding, when you see a puppy loved by its new family. One of my boys is two and a half now, and I was over there a few weeks ago, and watching him play with another visitor's pup, and how the people love and care for the boy makes it worth while.

But there is that side, where nature is not all that kind. There are those hours beside the whelping box feeling inadequate, and hoping that she will be ok, and the puppies will come, and you will not need a c-section. There is the time where she watches anxiously as you try, and try, and try to resuscitate a pup who has not breathed yet.

And you are there begging and pleading, praying, and working on the puppy LIVE!!! And wondering if it does live, will it have problems. Maybe this is natures way of removing serious problems.

Nope it always sucks to lose puppies. Having eight healthy pups and your bitch is good, dwell on that, and be happy. Don't let your sadness show to the female. She needs to completely forget about the dead ones, and take care of the live ones.

You may want to try a different stud, the match could have something not lining up well. Hard to say. If you breed her again, I think you might try a different male.
 

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Oh, Arwen's second litter had 14. The x-ray said 8-10. So when she had ten I thought we were done. I thought nothing of it taking 4 hours before she started whelping again. She had a dead pup, and 20 minutes later a live one. She kept on that way into the next day. All told 5 still born, every other one, and one tiny one that did not make it. I do not know what cause her to lose those puppies, but I am suspecting the dog food. Months later when the recall came out, I remember the yellow bile barf, Arwen being off her food, mixing cans with the kibble to get her to eat, and the cans did have the bad lot numbers on them, both the Nutro Ultra and the Nutro Max.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are no words of wisdom or advice, losing puppies always sucks bad.

Breeding dogs will break your heart, if you have one. I have lost puppies, but some people have lost their bitch, I cannot even imagine the pain of that.

Breeding dogs is also very rewarding, when you see a puppy loved by its new family. One of my boys is two and a half now, and I was over there a few weeks ago, and watching him play with another visitor's pup, and how the people love and care for the boy makes it worth while.

But there is that side, where nature is not all that kind. There are those hours beside the whelping box feeling inadequate, and hoping that she will be ok, and the puppies will come, and you will not need a c-section. There is the time where she watches anxiously as you try, and try, and try to resuscitate a pup who has not breathed yet.

And you are there begging and pleading, praying, and working on the puppy LIVE!!! And wondering if it does live, will it have problems. Maybe this is natures way of removing serious problems.

Nope it always sucks to lose puppies. Having eight healthy pups and your bitch is good, dwell on that, and be happy. Don't let your sadness show to the female. She needs to completely forget about the dead ones, and take care of the live ones.

You may want to try a different stud, the match could have something not lining up well. Hard to say. If you breed her again, I think you might try a different male.
Hi Again,
Thank you so much for your responses. I am grateful to have access to this forumn where I can begin to get to know people with this shared love for the German Shepherd.
You described my feeling the other day so perfectly. I was kneeling in the welping box, having already been up all night, tears streaming down my face, begging, praying and pleading, working on the pup to live, my River Dog looking on expectantly, hopefully, and then he breathed and as if on cue, she reached her tongue up into my hands to start to try to lick him and so we worked on him together, her panting, me sweating and crying and he lived. Beauty and pain and love and loss all rolled up in one messy bundle.

If we breed her agian, I will take your advise and use a different stud. Actually the stud we used was exceptional....the best we could afford....but he is moving to a different state this summer so that was it for this pairing. We purchased a stud dog pup last year. He just turned a year old in January and so he should be ready next year if we decide to breed her again after waiting a heat or two.
I will hold back a female or two from this litter as well.

The rewarding part is also just as you described.....we sold the first pup the other night on the phone. They live in a neighboring state and my heart just swelled up when the man said that he had sent the pic of River with her pups all around the country to family and friends but most especially to his son who is serving in Afganistan, saying "one of these will be our new pup!"

Sorry for such a long post....just allowing myself to be present in all of these moments this week...the highs and the lows....all part of the experience of being a GSD breeder. I have wanted to do if for so long and so I am learning and will remain teachable.
Thanks for all of your words....I really appreciate it very much.
Best,
April
 

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One more thing....you also mentioned that bad experience with the recalled dog food...how awful!
I was wondering what kind of food you use now. We have been feeding the Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice for Large Breed Puppies but my Bitch has bad diarhrea...is that normal for after whelping or should I be changing her food? She has been on this same puppy food for the last year. We had her on it before her litter last year, and then all through the weaning of her pups and then we got our stud dog pup so we just kept using it. WOuld love to hear your thoughts on this.
THanks!
Best,
A
 

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If you allowed her to eat all the afterbirths she could be having the runs from that.

I'd upgrade her food to a high protein one if it was me, Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete or something similar.
We used a Blue Buffalo product for a nursing mom here (a Chihuahua mix that nursed an orphan litter of 4 GSD puppies) which was the highest protein you could get.

We added daily yogurt and cottage cheese to her diet as well.
 

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Thanks for the help. :) Yes she did eat all of the afterbirths. Should I be concerned with changing the food now while she is already having the runs, or just add some yogurt and cottage cheese and then change to the higher protein after her tummy gets better? I didn't think of the yogurt....it always calms my tummy, lol. Maybe I will make some homemade yogurt with good organic cultures tomorrow........:apple:
The pups seem to be doing really good. Some are clearly black and tan and some of them the legs are almost a "taupe" color....I wonder if those will end up being black and red like their sire?:rolleyes:
 

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I use 4Health, which I believe is also made by Diamond, and is sold at Tractor Supply Co. It does not have corn, or wheat, or soy, or glutens and the first two ingredients are Chicken and Chicken Meal. It is also 29.99 for a 35# bag. Which is similar to the Diamond food. My dogs like it. I do not use large breed formula and I do not switch to puppy.

When all things are normal, I skip a meal of kibble (I feed twice a day to adults) and give a raw chicken leg quarter about 1-2 times per week.

When I have a pregnant female, I start out by giving her dog food as normal for the fist 3-4 weeks, and if she goes off her feed, I let her for a couple of days, but then I start adding half a can of can food into her kibble at each meal. Then I start leaving kibble down for her at all times. By the end of her pregnancy she will be getting two cans a day plus kibble and the occasional 1/4 pound raw hamburger, or chicken piece with bone.

Once she has the puppies her meals well be 4-5 times a day, a cup of kibble 1/2 canned food, yogurt, cottage cheese or raw meat, and a hard boiled egg (usually 2 total in the day). If I have runny poo I add some pumpkin. Usually the fifth meal is whatever I had for dinner -- yeah, I'm a sucker, but my girls love beef stew, potato soup, roast chicken, chicken papricka. They have a big job to do, and I want them to get the nutrients they need.

I weigh the puppies twice a day to make sure they are gaining.

ETA: I think that the bitch is going to get better nutrition from yogurt, cottage cheese, American Cheese, Egg, and raw meat than they would from any kibble, however much you up grade. If you go with a decent kibble and it generally works for her, then adding the extra means she is getting nutrition that has not been baked/processed to death. That gives me peace of mind.
 

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What we did, but we're a rescue, remember, and she was one of like, 5 or 6 other dogs (plus our own) is put her regular kibble in a 4-cup bucket in her kennel run, and then the high protein kibble we added yogurt/cottage cheese (both together) to and mixed it up and fed it. She was around 15-18lb. and we fed her about a cup of food then mixed in like, 1/8 c. each yogurt/cottage cheese mixture and fed that 2x a day.
But she could free-feed on the regular kibble and had access to it at all times.

She ended up getting almost chubby ;) But I doubt you could feed a nursing GSD mama enough to make her chubby!
All I know is our little mama did great and the puppies got downright chubby as well!
 

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Thank you so much Selzer and Msvette2u. I am taking it all in like a sponge! lol.

Selzer...do you have a website?
 

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No. I do not have a website.

Actually, Jenna gained weight to the point of looking a bit chubby while weaning her litters of 10 and 7. I had to put her on a diet both times afterwards, LOL.
 
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