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I feel so bad to be coming on here and writing about this, but my concern for my little Khorra is more important. I am worried that she may be pregnant. I did not want to get Khorra spayed until she was a bit older because she is so small so when she started to come into heat, we kept her and Dakota separated. I had no intentions on breeding them, I know better than that and do not want to add to the problem of having puppies when there are so many dogs and puppies out there needing homes. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, accidents happen. My brother had let Dakota outside not realizing Khorra was out there and they tied according to what he was describing. Now, I need advice on what I need to do to prepare so that I can make things as easy as possible for Khorra and her puppies if she is pregnant and to keep her safe. I've read so many horror stories about things going wrong with small chi's. I will be taking Khorra to the vet, but I trust everyone's advice on here much more. I have no experience with this and have been doing a lot of research over the last couple of weeks, but it's so hard to find answers that aren't conflicting and to find specific info concerning chi's. The only experience I have with animals giving birth is from cats and horses on the farm that I grew up on. I've seen many of those births, just not dogs.

Ok, so here is what I know so far-
They tied on Jan 19th which means she would be 24 days today. (though I'm not positive if that is actually how you count the days, meaning from the tie date.) I'm not 100% sure she is pregnant but her nipples are a bit bigger now than when she first went into heat, and occasionally it looks like she is having "morning sickness". She has dry heaved a little bit but hasn't thrown up. Do dogs experience morning sickness? She does eat though sometimes she eats less than other times, but her stools seem normal. Her tummy is a tiny bit rounder/firmer. She seems to rest a lot more than she was and isn't quite as active, but she doesn't seem sick. She will still play and run around, just not for as long and takes longer rest breaks. Usually when her and Dakota are together he is definitely Alpha and calls the shots, but lately she seems to be the bossy one and he gives in to her.

Khorra weighed 3.68 pounds and Dakota weighed 4.14 pounds right after Christmas.
Today, Khorra weighs 3.84lbs and Dakota weighs 4.40lbs so they are both still growing.
Khorra was born on May 25th 2012 and Dakota was born on May 9th 2012. So she is still very young which is another concern for me. I did not want this to happen and I am so worried about all of it. Also, Dakota is a bit bigger. I've heard about it being dangerous to have a larger male breed a smaller female, but would this size difference be a concern?

Some of my questions- (omg I feel so helpless and uneducated it's scary)
-For how long will it be okay to let her and Dakota play together? Will I need to separate them later?
-Do chi's need a whelping box or is that for larger breeds?
-Since she is 24 days along if she is pregnant, when would be the best time to take her to the vets? We are short on money right now because we came into some very unexpected expenses so I am trying to keep cost down as much as possible without taking any risk with her. That is actually why Dakota's neutering was put off a couple of months. I will do whatever is needed for her and I am aware that with smaller chi's the risk of a c-section is greater so I want to be prepared. I just don't want to go in for multiple vet visits that may not be needed. I was thinking maybe when she was far enough along where they could check to see how many puppies she has. When would that be? I've read that singletons are dangerous because they can be bigger causing complications.
-Do I need to be giving her any supplements? I've read online that you should NOT give them any supplements or vitamins but that you need to feed them good puppy food for the second half of the pregnancy. I am feeding her Fromm's grain free and I switch between surf and turf and game bird. Is that good enough?
-I've read that when the time is getting closer that her temperature needs to be monitored to have a better idea of when she will go into labor. Is there a special thermometer that I will need or will a basic rectal baby one work?
-What supplies do I need to be prepared with?

I have a ton more questions but this will end up being a book so I will leave it at this for now. Any more advice anyone wishes to add would be greatly appreciated.
 

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How far along in her season was she when they tied? Dogs are only fertile in the middle of their season, but will allow dogs to mate still in the final week when they are not. The first day that you notice blood is counted as day one of a season.
If her nipples are still enlarged it does sound like she is pregnant.
If you don't want to risk her going through with the pregnancy you could consider getting her spayed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They tied around her 10th day of being in season or so. I could be a couple of days off though since she was extremely clean and I barely saw any blood the whole time.
 

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Hi, my ruby has had 2 litters, she coped very well & there was no need 2 c the vet till after & that was a quick check & vax 4 puppy's. hopefully as she is young she might not hav many. I read that they only average 1-6 pups. We had a litter of 3 & one of 4!
Both pregnancy were about 60 days. But she didn't show til about half way or after.
In our house it did change who was boss! & dad always let ruby eat til she was full b4 he would even touch the food!!
There are lots of scary articles on line! As long as she is healthy & well fed during & especially after & u read up on her labour u should both b fine!!
Oh we didn't hav a box she just delivered in her bed & then I kept them all in a playpen! I kept ruby & dad together until the last week :) then she had time 2 rest!!
Hope that helps a little!!!
It's such an amazing thing 2 go through with ur baby!! Ruby was a natural & amazing!!


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If you look through my old posts, I posted recently about the risks in breeding that are Chi specific, and around Christmas I posted a list of supplies needed for whelping.
If you decide to go ahead with the pregnancy I am happy to help in any way I can. Do you keep in touch with your breeders? You will need an experienced person on hand for the birth.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I haven't kept in touch with Khorra's breeder at all, they weren't breeders, I think it was just an oops litter and have since moved out of state. I also haven't talked to Dakota's breeder in quite awhile and she is pretty busy so isn't the easiest to get in contact with. I don't have any friends with chi's so I really don't know anyone around here that can be of any help to me. I'm doing as much reading as I can and hopefully will get good advice from my vet when I take her in. I'm sure I will get a lot of good advice from everyone here and will keep posting about what is going on with Khorra. I will go check out your older posts as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would much rather keep the litter if possible. I am very much against abortion and have a hard time not thinking of this as the same. But at the same time I don't want Khorra in danger. When is it too late to decide to do a spay/abort? Would I be able to take her in for an ultrasound to see how many puppies there are and how big they may be and judge at that time how dangerous this is for Khorra?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi, my ruby has had 2 litters, she coped very well & there was no need 2 c the vet till after & that was a quick check & vax 4 puppy's. hopefully as she is young she might not hav many. I read that they only average 1-6 pups. We had a litter of 3 & one of 4!
Both pregnancy were about 60 days. But she didn't show til about half way or after.
In our house it did change who was boss! & dad always let ruby eat til she was full b4 he would even touch the food!!
There are lots of scary articles on line! As long as she is healthy & well fed during & especially after & u read up on her labour u should both b fine!!
Oh we didn't hav a box she just delivered in her bed & then I kept them all in a playpen! I kept ruby & dad together until the last week :) then she had time 2 rest!!
Hope that helps a little!!!
It's such an amazing thing 2 go through with ur baby!! Ruby was a natural & amazing!!


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How much did Ruby weigh? I think that is one of the biggest concerns for me is that Khorra is so little.
 

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I would much rather keep the litter if possible. I am very much against abortion and have a hard time not thinking of this as the same. But at the same time I don't want Khorra in danger. When is it too late to decide to do a spay/abort? Would I be able to take her in for an ultrasound to see how many puppies there are and how big they may be and judge at that time how dangerous this is for Khorra?
I think you should definitely take her to the vet and talk to him about what to do. I'd make that decision after talking to the vet. I would be concerned simply because she is smaller than Dakota. Are you planning on fixing at least one of them after the pregnancy (or him sooner)?


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Discussion Starter #12
I am absolutely getting both of them fixed. I don't want to take any chances of this happening again. Plus I want Dakota fixed before he starts lifting his leg and marking.
 

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Hi :) ruby is just under 2.4kg. She is tall but quite petite!
I was also talking 2 the breeder that I bought my other 2 chi's off as the dad is bigger then mum. She said they were a little worried the first time as the mum is only small but she has now had 2 litters with no problems delivering (touch wood) :)


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Where are you in relation to Dallas?

I have bred litters before, although, not from tiny dogs, but I would be willing to at least offer moral support.

I am going to recommend talking to your vet, but you may also consider doing an x-ray at 10 days or a week before she is due - to sort of guage number of pups and size of them compared to her pelvic girdle. If the pups seem too large, you *may* get a lower priced c-section than if you wait to find out the hard way and have to pay for an unsceduled surgery as an emergency.

I'll pm you also.

Best wishes!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I live in the SW Houston area so Dallas is quite far. I definitely want to find out ahead of time how many puppies and how big so that I am better prepared and to help avoid an emergency c-section.

What about the food I'm feeding her? Do I need to be giving her anything different at this point or will I need to start adding anything? She's on Fromm's game bird grain free right now.
 

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So sorry to hear that this has happened without you wanting to. There's no point beating yourself up about it now though. You're doing lots of research so that's great. There's a thread on here from when another dog became accidentally pregnant. The owner did lots of research and she updated the post lots so we heard step by step about her temperature and behaviours and such. http://www.chihuahua-people.com/chihuahua-health/75029-omg-cupcake-pregnant.html
 

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Ok, since I can't seem to get my pm's to work (crappy internet service out here Argh!) I'l try here.

Have her x-rayed at or after 45 days, that's when the pups' bones have calcified so you can get a better count and an idea on how they're progressing. At that point, you and the vet might want to consider scheduling a c-section if deemed possibly needed.

At about 10 days before she is due, start taking her temperature rectally (use a regular thermometer) twice daily. Chart her temperatures to see what is normal for her. When her temp drops a degree or more, pups should show up usually within 24 hours. All bitches are diffrent as far as nesting behaviors, so don't go off waiting until she starts that. I have one here who doesn't start until after she's already had her first.

As for a whelping box, for my poodles, I used an x-pen surrounding a rubbermade under-the-bed storage box. Line it with newspaper, then put in a few handfulls of shredded paper on top. Don't use towels or sheets for the first few days because puppies can strangle in them. You can switch to fabrics after a few days once they are able to pull themselves out of it, but watch them very closely. I keep mine confined so I don't find (another lol) litter born on my bed - white comfortor and all. blech! You want them confined to a safe, quiet place out of traffic so mom feels safe and can't move them to all sorts of weird locations all over the house. For her last week of gestation, she only goes outside on a leash with you supervising closely. I have heard horror stories of bitches running off to hide and have pups under sheds and houses, etc.

In your whelping kit, what I have found useful over the years is liquid dish soap (great lubracant), 2 hemostats, dental floss (for tying cords if needed), iodine to dip cords (helps to disinfect and dry them faster), lots of clean towels or rags to help hold pups for guiding out of mom or just drying/rubbing pups. I use cloth diapers. They work great and fairly cheap, and reusable with a touch of bleach while washing. You may want to have a little sugar water or beef/chicken broth for mom - offer her small drinks throughout birthing and watch for twitches, stiffness, bizarre behavior and/or seizures warning of a calcium imbalance. (you'll need to wach for that for about 2 weeks after, also). That is a dire emergency, don't wait to see your vet at the first sign of twitching.

As far as food, I'm possibly going to annoy some folks, but as long as she's on a good balanced diet (and Fromm's is), she does not need to be switched to a puppy formula. I also don't feed any of my pups puppy food. They may not grow as fast, but I have never *knocking on wood* ever had joint or growth issues in any breed on a good adult diet.

Just in case, I also keep several cans of goat milk for bottle feeding in case mama doesn't produce enough or god forbid, she's unable to nurse for any reason. Do NOT use the commercial puppy milk replacers, they are nothing but chemicals and junk. I can link you to a great recipe for puppy milk replacer, but honestly, I have raised an entire litter on straight goat milk and they are just as healthy and active as any mama raised dog I've ever owned. As far as calcium suppliments for mom, soak her food in diuted goat milk or offer cottage cheese if she can tolerate that. (Goat milk is safe for lactose intolerant animals of all species - even I can drink it. lol)
I'll add more later, but just realized I'm late for getting my daughter from school. Oops, these dogs get me everytime!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thank you so much for all of that info! I have some questions regarding some of the things you mentioned but I'm out camping this weekend so I'll get into that when we get back. Internet is very spotty here, lol.
 
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