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Old 06-14-2010, 07:57 PM
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Default A Chi Litter's Journey from birth to new home

Friday, 6/11/10

It's their birthday, and we know that because we scheduled the c-section for 9AM that morning. Mom had x-rays done on Day 58 to check mom and puppies for a natural delivery. Lacey's pelvis was too narrow and the puppies heads too wide for a normal delivery, called free whelping, thus the need for assistance.

Thursday night, Lacey had her last food and water at 9PM and then got a good night's rest before heading to the vet Friday morning. Right at 9AM, we got her started with an IV catheter and fluids. Once she had received her prescribed amount, she was given a Propoflo induction, entubation, and Isoflurane gas anesthetic. Her belly was shaved, scrubbed, and prepped while I got the incubator all ready off to the side, with oxygen and all the other necessary equipment ready to revive pups. When Lacey was opened up, we saw that all 3 pups were in the same uterine horn, which is very unusual. This means it would have been a c-section regardless because the uterus would have become too tired to continue the whelping naturally. Good thing we were already at the vet. When the time came, I "caught" the first puppy, which was a black tri boy. Two techs got the second (cream/white girl) and third (cream boy) puppies. Because of the medications used, they were awake, crying, and breathing on their own within 60-90 seconds. I got my boy settled in the incubator and got the other one so the tech could get back to Lacey. While I worked with the puppies, the vet spayed Lacey and got her all ready to wake up. By reducing the anesthic agents, by the time the last suture went in, she was waking up, swollowing, and her trach tube was removed as she was placed in my arms. I held her in my arms with a towel and heating pad while she woke up. The pups were right next to me in their warm nest, snuggled in quietly together. Lacey got about 100ml more fluids and then we disconnected the fluids but kept the cath in while I introduced mom to her new pups. Since she was still under the affects of the medication, she was never left unattended with the puppies. I held her in my lap while I put the puppies on her nipples. All three immediately started nursing and we remained sitting there for as long as they stayed "plugged in." Once they were done, the vet gave them an exam to make sure all was well, they went back in their incubator, and we ensured Lacey was OK to go home. The vet examined her, took her vitals, checked her color, made sure she would stand and walk, and then we removed her catheter. She had already received several injections for pain management and preventative antibiotics. We got her meds to take home, paid the bill, and packed everyone in their seperate crates to bring home. Moms and puppies never ride together because anesthesia can make them hallucinate, etc. and can cause things to happen which are fatal to the puppies.

Once home, Lacey settled into her bed with the puppies next to her in their incubator. She was disoriented and uninterested in the puppies. This was her first litter and she had not gone into labor, so the natural hormones released by the body were not in her system yet. She had received an oxytocin injection and once the pups were nursing good, this would hopefully resolve. Meanwhile, it's my job to keep the pups warm and fed and Lacey comfortable. We arrived home and were settled by 11AM. I got myself a drink and popped the top on a can of beer for Lacey to help bring in her milk. This is an old school technique that has saved many a breeder from hand raising puppies. The beer is allowed to go warm and flat sitting opened on the counter (I try to do this the night before the surgery if it's scheduled but I forgot.) and the mom is given 3CC every 2 hours for a minimum of 3 days. I can't explain why is brings in milk. Something to do with the malt and the fact that mom is more relaxed, but it has never failed anyone who uses it. Over the years, most of the vet's offices I've worked at now give them same instructions. Kinda funny to see the owner's face when told to get the dog a beer on the way home from the clinic.

Anyway, we started the clock for 2 hours feedings. I brought Lacey and the pups the the living room, held Lacey in my lap, and plugged in the pups. They are very slow nursers at this age so it took about 45 minutes for them to have their fill. Lacey's belly was sore so I had to hold her down and stretched out for the pups to latch on. When they are kneeding her belly, I was moving their feet off the incision. Even with pain medication, it can be very uncomfortable for them. I know, I've been there myself. I do everything I can to keep any pain to a minimum for her. Once the babes were done, I put them back in their incubator, gave Lacey her beer, and let her rest while I did the same. This was continued around the clock by setting the alarm. At about 5:30AM, Lacey finally started showing some interest in the pups by smelling and licking them. I was able to sit with her and all the pups in my lap on a towel, without holding her, while she cleaned her babies. It was such a relief to me. After about 45 minutes of bonding, I tried putting them together in the same bed in her puppy pen (3'x3' enclosure with elevated floor and top that closes). Lacey immediately got out of the bed and went to hers beside it. Oh well, we were atleast making progress. I checked on them about 1/2 hour later as I went for more coffee and she was in the bed with them. Yeah!!! She's been there ever since....such a good momma.

The most vital part now is ensuring that Lacey is eating and drinking enough and there's no infection from the surgery. As of now, I'm warming up canned food with water and dry kibble and hand feeding her in the puppy box. That's the only way she'll eat. I force walk her several times a day so she can potty and I change the bedding, weigh pups, and check them over to make sure no cord infection, etc. We're focused on mom for a few days while we try to catch up on some much needed sleep.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2010, 08:18 PM
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Default Early Neurological Stimulation

Monday, 6/14/10

Well, the pups are three days old now and doing great. The weights are as follows:

Cream/White Girl - Birth @ 4.8oz Day 3 @ 4.6oz
Black Tri Boy - Birth @ 4.3oz Day 3 @ 5.0oz
Cream Boy - Birth @ 3.8oz Day 3 @ 3.9oz

They all lost a little bit of weight the first day but started gaining again by the second day. This is normal for a regular delivery. It was expected with this one because Lacey's milk hadn't come in good until Saturday.

Today we removed the declaws. All three did just fine. No excess bleeding and they snuggled back up with Lacey and started nursing immediately when put back with mom.

Today also starts the early neurological stimulation regimen that we call "the treatment." They get the treatment from day 3 through day 16. I've attached a link to better explain this for those who are interested in learning about this process. I've been using this technique for many, many years and I can attest to the fact that is makes a big difference in the development of the puppies. This is a very well known technique and I think every breeder should be utilizing it. In addition to the added benefit of the treatment for the puppies, it's an ideal time to provide human contact for the puppy as well as being able to examine the puppy for any early signs of illness. It takes only moments per day per puppy and gives lifelong benefits. Puppies must be handled from birth. They may not be able to see or hear, but they can certainly smell and feel.

http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/ar...ulation_en.php

All three pups did great. The girl was the most vocal during the process. The black tri boy struggled the most during the prone position. The cream boy is the most laid back at present and took it all in stride. None liked the cold towel, but who can blame them. I've yet to have one that just lays on that but some do crawl faster than the others. lol

In addition to the things noted above, I also handle each foot and run my finger in the mouth and around the muzzle of each puppy. This gets them used to having their feet and mouth touched and handled so it's not an issue when they are older. Whether a pet or a show prospect, every dog should be able to sit still during a pedicure and having teeth brushed/cleaned. This sets the foundation for that.
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The smallest breed with the biggest heart.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:32 PM
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thanks for sharing...can't wait to read more about their progress.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:47 AM
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Oh I almost missed this! Thanks so much for sharing this with us! I too look forward to following their progress.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:11 PM
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Lisa...how are the puppies!!?? Can we get pictures soon assuming everyone is doing well? I had no idea about the beer trick, but that is hilarious LOL. "Lacey gets her beer". Also hard to believe your little ones are almost a week old now. Sorry, I know you are way way busy. You can ignore these questions, but we are thinking positive thoughts for you and your babies!
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Old 06-16-2010, 07:34 PM
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Default Wednesday, 6/16/10

https://www.chihuahua-people.com/show...t=52123&page=4

Here's birthday pics. I've tried to type an update for the last 20 minutes and am having a storm, which is throwing off the power. Keeping losing what I type. So frustrating.

Pups are healthy and gaining weight. Nursing vigurously. Not much change in the first few days other than gaining weight.

Lacey is healing well. No redness or irritation at the incision site. She's turned into a great momma. She no longer gets her beer but doesn't seem to mind as long as there's yummies in her food.

More later.
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The smallest breed with the biggest heart.
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2010, 10:58 PM
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Glad to hear everyone's doing well. The puppies are so tiny and cute!
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:05 PM
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Default Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The babies are growing and doing wonderful. Both boys have almost doubled their birth weights. The girl is gaining more slowly.

Girl - Birth @ 4.8oz .... 11 days @ 5.3oz
Blk Boy - Birth @ 4.3oz .... 11 days @ 8.0oz
Cream Boy - Birth @ 3.8oz ..... 11 days @ 5.3oz

I'm keeping my fingers crossed this isn't a sign for the future. I'd really like her to be around 4 1/2 - 5 pounds when she's grown. Pigment is coming in on both the light colored ones. They are speckled right now but that will all eventually fill in. The cream boy has more markings coming through so he may have some flash yet. Baby girl began peeping at the world today as her eyes have opened. The boys are still tightly shut but should be opening soon. Ears are not opened yet so they still can't hear the world. Treatment continues and they are getting more active.
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