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A date which will live in infamy

December 9, 2010

Ok not as dramatic or world-changing as Pearl Harbor day but December 7, 2010 will be remembered as a really LONG day here at Solstice Kennels.

As you know we were expecting Lindy’s litter around 12/6 and the X-ray taken showed 7 or possibly 8 puppies so we were ready!

I had added some new things to my whelping kit.  I set up a warming box as suggested by Myra Savant Harris, RN instructions, I had my O2 set up (thanks for the help Cody).  I had my new ThermaWhelp system set up (www.breederbase.com) which is very cool, well really warm.

Of course as a responsible breeder,  I try really hard to be ready and have things on hand that will help mom and babies.  We plan and take precautions but of course we really hope for a nice natural whelping with lots of healthy puppies. 

Mother Nature always has the most control over any whelping and she doesn’t always want to cooperate.

Lindy started pre Labor around midnight on 12/7 and by noon her water had broken.  She went into labor and seemed to take a long time.  I called my vet and while waiting  to talk to Dr. Robin (Thanks Northeast Vets!) the 1st puppy was born, unfortunately a stillborn boy puppy at about 3:30pm.   Dr. Robin said wait about an hour and then come into the clinic.  About 45 min later the 2nd stillborn girl was born and while we were trying to see if there was any life left in her # 3 showed up, a live puppy boy!

Things sort of stopped again and we were packing up to the clinic the 1st live girl puppy showed up and followed by another about an hour later.  Then Lindy slowed down again, never seemed really in distress, taking care of the 3 babies and being a great Mommy.  This is around 9pm and by this time I have been up over 24 hours.  Around midnight our 3rd girl puppy showed up. 

By 3am Lindy had pretty much stopped and was taking break.  I knew the Lindy’s Mom Gig had done the same thing so maybe what we thought was the last puppy was coming later.  Plus I was so tired I knew I could not safely drive to the E-clinic.  At 4am I set the clock to wake me up every 15 minutes to check on everyone.  I got up and took care of the other dogs and took a shower to prepare to go to the clinic when they opened at 8am and when I came back in the room Lindy was once again having pretty strong contractions and I thought OK, let’s wait a bit and see if we get a puppy.  Big NO!  Damn it!  So at 10:30am we packed up and went to the Clinic. 

X-rays were taken and about 24 hours after her water broke we found out that there were 3 left in there and they were nowhere near the birth canal.  Dr Bailey (shout out to Dr Bailey!) did some blood work and all her levels were good so she gave her an Oxy shot to try and get them moving along.  About 20 minutes we had the 1st arrival and then another not to long later and even with the hard work done by Dr. Bailey and the team the puppies just were gone. 

Nothing happened for a while so another Oxy shot was given and even after lots of strong contractions that last puppy wasn’t showing up.  During this time the babies had nursed and been mothered by Lindy so they were doing well in their nice little warm box. 

Since nothing was happening Dr. Bailey took another set of X-ray and sure enough the puppy was right at the birth canal, a big ole puppy in the breech position and he wasn’t coming out.  At 3pm we decided to go in after the puppy via C-section.  I packed the babies home and waited for news (we pretty much knew the puppy was going to be dead).  I hadn’t been home long when Dr. Bailey called and said that with the help of Dr Scott (Yay Dr. Scott) they had whelped the puppy without the surgery but they had used anesthesia on Lindy to relax her and they wanted to keep her for a couple of hours for recovery.  At 6pm I went and got her and brought her home.   

We got settled, babies fed and cleaned and then I went to BED! 

So we started at 12am 12/7 and ended at 8:30pm 12/8.

Lindy is fine and a great Mom!  We have 4 vigorous puppies, 1 boy and 3 girls and I got about 6 hours sleep last night.

I of course am in the “what if” mode, if I had done xxxx  would things have turned out different?  At this point second guessing will only make me sad, I did what I thought was right and we will now work hard to make sure the 4 we have do well.

Just remember if you want to breed a litter, be prepared because Mother Nature does what Mother Nature does and you can be really prepared and have a battle or you can be like some people who have no preparation and have an easy time.  You never know until it happens.

This morning all the girl puppies gained some weight and the boy stayed the same and with the drama I expected a loss so I was very pleased.

I’ll try and post photos later today.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    December 9, 2010 7:49 pm

    Whelping is never easy and right now it will do you no good to question the “What if…?”. Enjoy your babies and give it some time to sink in. Enjoy the ones you have and the fact that LIndy sounds like she’s doing a great job!

  2. December 9, 2010 7:56 pm

    Ginny,
    So sorry for the pups that didn’tmake it. Glad that the final fousome and Mom are doing well. Breeding stock of ANY type is a gamble and those of us who roll the dice know this. Grow llittle ones and Ginny, get some sleep.

  3. Dawn permalink
    December 9, 2010 9:27 pm

    Congrats on the fab 4. Dont kick yourself over the what ifs, there is no way to know that you wouldnt have had exactlyt the same results had you done anything differently You have a beautiful momma and some lovely babies. God Bless them all.

  4. December 9, 2010 10:04 pm

    Jinnie, I went through the same thing with the Leidy litter — there were eight puppies and four survived. In retrospect I should have scheduled a C-Section and let Dr. Donny rescue the entire crew for me. I didn’t. Somehow I got into Leidy’s rhythm and her calmness, and I lost four puppies. No matter how prepared we think we are, we don’t have crystal balls. Enjoy the babies you have and catch up on your sleep while Lindy is still in charge.

  5. December 10, 2010 12:42 am

    Big hugs Jinnie – we all can only do the best we can. It’s hard to say what would have been the “right” course of action, you could do a scheduled c-section and then have no milk or mother rejecting babies. I obviously haven’t experienced much but my heart goes out to you. Congrats on the 4 babies!

  6. Harry permalink
    December 10, 2010 4:05 pm

    I think you handled the whole ordeal as well as possible. We make choices as the situation develops not as it appears in retrospect. Next time I’m sure you’ll just schedule Lindy and save yourself a lot of grief 🙂 Now it’s time to turn attention to what you’ve got, which is beautiful!

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