Friday, May 28, 2010
Harmony is very small just barely 4# I kept her intact to show her ... she was a extreme piebald parti and beautiful... her first time in the ring she placed 1st in her class and took best of opposite in sweepstakes which back 13 years ago was pretty unheard of... parti color didn't win...
Well, unfortuantely, it only took one time and she was pregnant. She was HUGE the poor thing was miserable.. she had 3 weeks to go and she became paralyzed.. she could not use her rear end... I was freak'd.. she was/is my baby. It turned out the pups were laying on a nerve in her back and she could not do anything.. couldn't stand just leaked pee.. it was horrible... I contacted all kinds of dog vets, acupuncturists, chiropractors to see what we could do to help her. Everyone said once the pups shifted she would be OK.. well I gave it two days and if they didn't move I was aborting them.. I wasn't risking her life for the sake of puppies.
Luckily 2 days later sure enough they shifted and she was fine! She was so "stuffed" she could barely eat I had to feed her canned food every hour... she was a week early and she went into labor... Now I had assisted my vet husband with emergency c-sections a million times.. but I was a wreck I couldn't even watch.. she was my extra special baby.. (she also only had one kidney - see my second litter story)
They gassed her down.. and my husband got out the scalpel (now remember she was seriously like a stuffed pork chop) he made the initial slice down her belly and the pups BURST out of the inscision so fast he actually cut the face and leg and almost amputated a toe off one of the pups and they flew out. They were 5 and 6 oz puppies two a male who is Banjo and a girl who I called Cut-her cause that's what he did but they call her Cutter! Cutter ended up 12 pounds and Banjo 6 pounds! beautifully marked parti's. (dad was a 6# parti)
Harmony got spayed at the same time because I never wanted to go through this ever again. Showing for me wasn't more important than her life.
Because Harmony was so small she didn't have much milk. Luckily her mom had whelped a singleton the day before she did. He was huge... their pens were right next to each other.. the pups stayed with Harmony and she took care of them but she must have known she didn't have enough milk she would get out of the whelping box and her mom would come in lay down and nurse those pups.. in all the years I had been breeding or had dogs I've never heard or seen a bitch do this (most bitches want to kill another bitches pups) then when Harmony's mom was done she would go back to her pup and Harmony would go back to her pups.. they did this til they were weaned.. it was amazing.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
by Julie Clemen, Rise N Shine Poms
First you need puppies! Then you need a small room you can control the temperature in fairly easy.
Tools of the trade:
100% cotton pads (square or round) work great and don’t “shed” like cotton balls.
Formula (I’ll list some recipes at the end) you can use home made or store bought. My preference is Just Born mixed with fresh goats milk.
Nutri Drops, Fading Puppy Syndrome, IV fluids, Bene Bac, Pedialyte, Nutri Stat, Nutri Cal, Phazyme infant drops.
1 cup measuring cup that can be put on stove top.
Syringe and silicone nipple ( Mothering Kit available through Jeffers) or you can use the small pet bottles. I found my puppies loved the silicone nipples over the latex or rubber nipples. At a week old I switched to human small baby bottle with silicone nipple from my local grocery store.
Notebook for a weight chart
Thermometer to keep track of room temperature
Whelping Box - something small I used the bottom of a 100 crate. Across the front of the crate I tape a piece of cardboard as tall as the crate so they can’t crawl out.
Comb or soft brush
Lots of Towels!
My babies arrived via c-section on a Sunday morning. The mother was deathly ill from pneumonia due to a bad case of bordetella. She was too sick to even look at puppies so I was on my own totally! I immediately gave them Fading Puppy Syndrome and did every hour for the next 6 hours.
I prepared their box. I took a standard human heating pad and took a bath towel folded it in half and wrapped the edges around the heating pad. This fit perfect in the bottom of the 100 crate. I turned the heating pad on to 1.
I also had a heater in the room so my room was a constant 80 degrees. I weighed each puppy then placed it in the box. I took a towel and placed it over top of the back of the crate leaving 6 inch opening towards the front and tucked it under the crate sides. I just let the puppies be for the first 6 hours. At 6 hours I gave them Just Born 1 cc’s per ounce. But knowing what I now know I would only give goats milk or glucose for the first 24 hours. They have a hard time digesting the first 24 hours. The mother’s colostrum is thinner than their regular milk. I fed the pups every 3 hours. Every book I read and even the formulas gave different opinions on how often. I decided every 3 hours and this worked for me.
I syringe fed for the first week. Tube feeding is a whole other ball game and I’m not going to get into that in this article.
I would pour the formula into the measuring cup and place on low on the burner…you could also boil a pan of water take it off of the burner and place the measuring cup in it to warm the milk. The trick is to just warm the milk not cook it or you’ll constipate them. If your milk develops a skin on top toss it and start over.
At this same time I would boil the nipple and sterilize it and the syringe by drawing up the boiling water into it.
I fed the pups first then got them to defecate after they ate. I found this much more productive than trying to get them to poop first. To stimulate them to poop I dipped the cotton pad in warm water ( I used a coffee mug) then gently rub from below the tail up to the base of the tail in semi quick strokes like a mother dog would lick. Their poop due to the formula is the consistency and color of Gulden’s Mustard….ok so you won’t look at mustard the same again but it’s worth it! It can be seedy looking. I gave Bene Bac to the pups as directed on the label. Make sure you burp your puppy after feeding. Hold the puppy in the palm of your left hand and with your right hand start at the base of the tail and make slow circular motions all the way to the top of the pups shoulders. If they don’t burp that is OK.
It’s very important to make sure the puppies don’t experience any drafts for the first couple of weeks. They cannot regulate their body temperature. It’s also important to make sure they are not getting too hot. You can check for dehydration by lifting their skin up on in the middle of their back if it snaps back they are fine if it rolls back they are dehydrated. You can add Pedialyte to their formula or just give separate between feedings. If the skin is sticking straight up they need IMMEDIATE attention and should be given IV fluids under the skin. Hydration is very important.
Make sure their skin is pinkish red color but not bright pink red. If it’s a bright pink red they are too hot. If you turn the heat down and it doesn’t change you then need to make sure they haven’t developed a bacterial infection, which can occur between 5 to 7 days that can fatal. Take them to your vet for antibiotics.
When feeding the puppies if milk comes out their nose…it’s not a good thing. Immediately wipe it off their nose. You don’t want them to inhale it into their lungs which could turn into Pneumonia. It’s not the end of the world if the milk comes out the nose just try and avoid it. It seemed in my experience if the pups drank too fast it would come out their nose. When this happened at 1 and 2 days old I did give them some amoxi drops to make sure it wouldn’t go into pneumonia.
When I fed straight Just Born in the beginning the pups would have a pasty mouth and would easily become dehydrated. I started mixing it with Fresh Goats milk. ( a note on goats milk. If the mother goat is in the first month(s) of milk production the milk is richer than towards the end of their milk cycle and you will have to adjust your feedings accordingly) The goats milk was more “watery” and they didn’t dehydrate. Because the goat I was getting milk from was toward’s her last month of production her milk wasn’t rich enough to sustain the pups on it just plain. I found too that if I made the “formula” to thin it had a much greater chance of coming out the pups nose than if it was thicker.
I had a problem with the two pups sucking on each other private parts and drinking the pee and not wanting to eat as much. At two days as hard as it was I had to separate them. Splitting a 100 crate was too small so I moved them to a 200 crate bottom. You can try a rolled up towel and place between them or I created a T out of card board and placed it long ways down the middle of the whelping box. With the front of the T covering the opening to the crate. Because they no longer have a sibling to cuddle with it’s important to give them a “faux” sibling either by a stuffed animal or you can use a sock stuffed with other socks and tie a knot at the end.
I came up with the following schedule 7 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm , 7pm and 11 pm. This worked great for me. I did this for the first 2 ½ weeks. After the first two weeks I switch to every 4 hours round the clock. At 3 weeks I switched to 5 hours at nigh. During the day 4 hours and at 4 ½ weeks I switched to 6 hours at night but 4 hours during the day.
I weighed the pups 2 times a day every day no matter what. This is the only way to make sure they are continually gaining and that you are feeding them enough formula. I made a weight chart and kept a clip board right next to my scale.
I increased the puppies formula according to their weight and added a cc. Some books said they would stop when they got full…not mine..they would drink until it made them sick so I would have to make sure I didn’t over feed them. My pups never cried when they were hungry.
I did encounter constipation. I used mineral oil a 1/8 of a cc up to ¼ of a cc on a one pound pup. You can also try a ¼ dollop of Nutri Cal. I did have to give an enema. For this I used a #5 French feeding tube and syringe. I took a mild soap (used almond castile soap) one squirt of soap to a cup of water. I drew up 1 cc of soapy water into a syringe. I inserted the French feeding tube into the rectum and squirted ½ of the water. I then took it out and stimulated the pup if it didn’t go then I repeated the above and used the rest of the soapy water until it pooped.
I didn’t have any problems with colic. Everyone recommends phazyme infant drops for this problem.
Since the pups have no mom to clean them at 2 weeks I would take a wet warm wash cloth and rub them with it. I would also take a comb and comb their fur to help stimulate the natural oils in their coat that a mother dogs licking would do. I comb them every day. At 2 weeks I also trimmed their toenails and the hair around their anus. I really trimmed this short as when your hand stimulating them the hair makes it harder to clean their bums. At 3 ½ weeks I trim the hair on the pads of their feed to make sure they have good traction. I also trim the hair in front of their eyes. You want to make sure that no hair touches their eyes as it can irritate and cause damage to the cornea of the eye.
I was able to reunite the puppies after they had been separated at 4 weeks of age.
Most books talk about weaning hand fed babies at 3 weeks. I found that pom babies are just not developed enough to do this. I started weaning them at 4 weeks. First I have them drinking/licking off a spoon for a few days the I pour their milk into a plate saucer. Once they have the hang of that I start switching them from milk to solids.
I take my dog food and stick it in the coffee bean grinder and pulverize it until it’s a powder. I take a tablespoon and add about 2 to 4 tablespoons of hot water and let sit for a couple of minutes and let the food totally absorb the water. I then add some milk too it so that it’s soupy and pour into the saucer. I continue to give the pups bene bac or some sort of accidopholis for their GI tracks during this time. After a couple of days of soupy I gradually make it thicker and thicker. Then I’ll take their regular kibble (this is when they have teeth) soak it in the water until soft and give this to them. I will mix in a bit of Gerber meat baby food.
I checked for worms at 2 weeks and 4 weeks. Though the sample came back clean I did worm them with Nemex 2 at 4 weeks and one did pass a worm. I’ll worm them again at 6 weeks.
Vaccinating and worming are a personal preference. Because my pups have no colostrum I will vaccinate them at 5 weeks. The vaccines state it can be given at 4 weeks but I feel their immune system can’t be developed enough by then. I over vaccinated a dog once and ruined her health. It made her prone to skin problems so I won’t do that again. I will then repeat the vaccine at 8 weeks. For the first shot I will do full shots of just parvo and distemper. Again you must do what you feel is right. There is no right or wrong but they do need to be vaccinated.
Best wishes with hand rearing your puppies!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Spring went into labor but I could tell she was "stuck" to many puppies for her to push out... So a c-section she went. Luckily it was during the day and my favorite vets who "tolerate" all my "rules" delivered 5 babies of various colors. All was going well.. Spring was an excellent mom.
Because Spring had a c-section she was on clavamox. But 4 days later Spring kept shaking so I thought she was having eclampsia (which is common in big litters) and was giving her calcium... but something was just off... Although her temperature was normal, no discharge (which is acutally a sign they should have some bloody discharge) So I ran her into the vet clinic. They checked her blood for low calcium but he white count was off the chart.... Spring was in major trouble she was doing pyrometria... ( a uterine infection) so she was rushed into surgery and spayed.... her whole uterus was a pus mess.
I took her home and got home opened the crate door to blood squirting out her inscision (sp) and the pad underneath her soaked in blood ( mind you I'm 15 min from the clinic) I called hysterically.. (not every day one see's blood squirting out sutured area)... the clinic but it was closed so called the emergency number and finally got hold of the doc she said she meet me back at the clinic pronto.... (this was 9 pm at night now)
My vet ran her in tried sewing her back up but she wasn't clotting.. she had to have a blood transfusion Immediately... and would stay with my vet. She even took her home later to keep on eye on her (thank you Dr. Natalie at Healthy Pets Animal Hospital)
It was touch and go for Spring ... Not to mention I was now handing feeding 5 puppies every 3 hours! The next day Spring was still alive and stable. But the pups would not be allwowed to nurse on her because of all the drugs they had to give her to stablize her... Now how was I going to do that!!
I came up with the idea of using a Human newborns Onesie .. cut out a hole for the tail and put that on her.. now I did have to put duct tape around the leg opening part cause the little boogers would crawl up inside the leg opening to nurse... Spring also developed mastitis and so I had to do warm hot compresses a few times a day and milk her just a bit to keep her comfortable.
The best part of having the momma dog is that although not able to feed she can keep them clean, warm and bonded. I cannot tell you how exhausted I was handfeeding and Nursing Spring back to health!!
These puppies went on to have perfectly normal and healthy free whelped litters. This of course was the last of Springs litters.
She showed me how when you put pressure against it's back legs it couldn't push back.. thus the puppy would not be able to nurse efficiently and was paralyzed. So the puppy was humanly euthanized.
- use only external sutures (never use purple sutures dogs are allergic as are many humans)
- Make sure they tie off the umbelical cords with a suture don't tear them;
- Always have them give mom IV fluids during c-section;
- Always give them clavamox after a c-section cuts down on uterine scaring and helps with mastitis.
- Make sure you have good pain meds I love buprenex(sp)
Always X-ray a bitch one week before they are due.. this can also determine the size of the pups to see if you need a c-section to begin with.
There is a bit of controversy as too whether spaying a bitch at the time of a c-section stops milk production. I found that if the bitch has more than one pup I will spay them but if they only have one pup it does seem to limit and reduce the amount of milk production.
I worm the pups at 2 weeks with Nemex then at 4 weeks my vet recommeded using fendabendazole .. i use .1 per pound of liquid 10% solution and found this works amazingly well. The first time I use it for 3 days then I repeat at 7 weeks for 5 days. This kills Cocci too. I haven't had to use Albon/Flagyl near as much using this regime and my puppies wean really easy.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Normally when a girl starts into labor you may notice them shaking... ever so slightly.. mine tend to shake first... then they go into panting it's a rythmatic type panting not your normal I'm hot or run a muck type panting. Once they start panting then they should within about 6 hours start digging and rootn looking for a place to have pups.
Well my second girl Orca just put herself in a crate... didn't have any real signs just layed in the crate.. I need to run to the store with my then husband well by the time we got back she had whelped a pup.. it was clean and fine.. a boy... then 20 minutes later she had another one a girl... and an hour later she had the last one another girl. When your dog has puppies you should check them for deformaties well one of the girls had a cleft palate ( a hole in the top of their mouths which prevents the pup from getting a good suction on the nipple depending where the hole is or the milk just pouring out their nose instead of going into their stomach and they inhale it into their lungs causing pneumonia. So we euthanized the cleft palate girl.. when I checked on the pups again...the mom had gone back to chew the umbelical cord some more and got too close and ripped the boys stomach open (unfortuantely this can be common) so he needed stitching up.. as it happened my then husband was a veterinarian... so we just stitched him up on the spot... but the mother didn't like "things" on her baby so she chewed the stitches out... so we had to stitch him back up again.. and while we were doing it the mom was sitting next to us and whining and I swear it sounding like she was saying owie owie.. she was quite the "talking" Pom. and again she undid the sutures... so again we stitched him up and put tape around him so she couldn't undo him.. Thus we called him Zipper.. Poor Zip had no energy to nurse and couldn't even suck on a bottle.. so everyone encouraged me to tube feed him... Luckily I had a friend who had done this before and she came over and showed me how. But you had to becareful not to get the tube down into the lugs or you'd drown them... Oh my stars I was a freakn wreck every time I fed the little guy that I was going to kill him.. I was working at the time and luckily I had a wonderful boss that let me keep him in a crate under my desk and feed him... Working full time and hand feeding a puppy every two hours was exhausting.. especially tube feeding. I was still exhausted from my first litter... at 4 weeks the little guys wound developed gangrene.. he was just 4 oz... my ex did surgery on him to cut off the gangrene.. and we put him on antibiotics plus I found a doggie herbalist Marina of Natural Rearing and she suggested putting Oregano oil on it which prevented the gangrene.. so we did all that.. Little Zip was stable but wasn't growing a whole lot... his sister the mom took care of and was doing great. At 8 weeks Little Zip's belly was finally healed up and he weighed all of 6 oz.. and I was weaning him ... I came home for lunch and Annette (my sister) came over and I gave him a little piece of lunch meat ham the flat stuff well he choked on it... You have never seen two more freak'd out women in your life... at the time I lived in town and 2 blocks from a vet clinic I was in high heels so Annette ran Zip over to the vet clinic only to find out when she got their they too were at lunch and there was no staff their that could help... so I had to run Zip to another vet that my vet husband recommended... because his clinic was 1/2 hour away and Zip wouldn't have lasted that long.. so I thought... so I get him there and got lectured about weaning a 2 week old puppy.. of which they in the end apologized but here I was hysterical my pup I worked so hard to keep alive was croaking and they were lecturing me... anyways very long story short... it turned out Zip had mega esophogus a dip in his trachea which then caused him to swallow air into his stomach and his stomach torsioned . They tried putting a tube down his throat but the stomach twisted too much ... they got him stabalized enough for me to take him to my vet husbands clinic so I raced there.. my ex's partner at the time Dr. Keith Tate had some experience with torsion and he took needles through to the stomach cavatie and released the air to see if we could get the stomach back to normal.. in the end we had to euthanize Zip... Mega esophogus can be a hereditary problem but it can also be caused by trauma to the trachea (hence tube feeding) so after this experience I swore I would never tube feed a puppy and I never have. Sometimes mother nature knows best and I should have let him go in the begining but this is a decision we all have to learn to come to and is a personal choice. Zip had a sister a darling little girl we called Harmony. At 10 weeks Harmony started squating all the time and would just pee one drop... but she thought she had to go. she developed staph infection around her vulva because she was dripping urine... So my vet husband took her into the clinic and ran some tests on her... turned out she had a birth defect where one of her kidneys the tube from the kidney that connects to the bladder did not hook up and she was leaking urine... because she was just 14 oz she was not a canidate for reconstruction surgery the specialist didn't think she would make it through the surgery.. that was 6 hours long... It was interesting in that Veterinarians have a "code" between them they offer their service to each other at discount prices which was really fascinating.. So the only other option for Harmony was to remove her affected kidney and she would live with only one kidney. So my vet husband did this.. it was no doubt very nerve wrecking making sure he took the correct bad kidney out and not the good one!! But all went well and she survived. The only other alternative would have been euthansia as she would have developed severe staph and infections from the leaking urine as it was she had skin scald from it. The only problem I had with Harm was that no one told me I should have fed her a low protein diet as her high protein diet caused her teeth to rot out prematurely... She was toothless by 6 years old. But she is still alive today at 13 1/2 with just one kidney.
The only thing I had done with this litter is the flea product Advantage had JUST come out onto the market and the mom was 3 weeks along and I applied it to her... that is the only thing I can think of that would have caused 3 pups to have birth defects.. of course Advantage denied it would cause those problems when I contacted them.
So I decided to clean up the pups and feed them... I had no idea how hard it was to get the poop plug out of them. It's dark brown to blackish color and you have to really work on the pups to get them to poop. Peeing is no problem I just took a cotton ball wetted it and stimulated (rubbed the vulva or boys winkies) and viola' they pee'd sometimes the first pee takes a couple cotton balls.. but getting them to poop that wax birth poop out is another story. You have to rub really hard on the sides of their tail on top and from the vulva area up short strokes.. once you get the waxy poop plug out the normal color poop is a mustard seedy color. Sometimes it takes the next feeding before you can get the wax plug compeletly out..but make sure it is out otherwise they can't poop and will become toxic.
Mom still wanted nothing to do with the little buggers.. so I would make her lay on her side and hold the pups on her so they could nurse... You do this with Poms every 2 hours for the first two weeks if you have 3 oz and under pups... if the pups are 4 oz you can do 3 hours but don't follow the instructions on the puppy formula box or you'll have dead pups.
After two days of this and becoming a zombie from sleep deprevation mom's hormones finally kicked in and took over and Ember was the most wonderful mom!