Sunday, September 21, 2008

Whelping Record (Another Informational Post)

What follows is the detailed account (by date and time) of this litter's whelping. I just went through all my notes (yes, we write everything down as it happens, often using single words or our own shorthand) and rewrote the account here (and in my AKC breeder notes manager).

Some of you may find this interesting. Again, I've put it here for future reference as much as anything else. But you'll at least get to see how crazy it got for a while! ;o)

(NOTE: what follows won't be grammatically correct -- it's just notes!).


Elsie whelped 10 pups (8 males, 2 females), but one was stillborn, leaving us with 9 viable puppies (7 males, 2 females). Dr. Paulding (the doc on call) felt the pup probably separated prematurely from its placenta and died in utero (the stillborn pup was fully developed with a full coat and weighing 1 pound). Elsie spent 1.5 hours actively pushing this pup out (after strongly expelling fluids). Once he delivered, two more followed eight minutes later at a minute apart.

Detailed notes from whelping follow:

Sunday and Monday, 9/14-9/15: Elsie's temperature is running between 99 and 100 degrees (F).

Tuesday and Wednesday (9/16 & 9/17): Elsie's temp drops some more and stays consistently between 98 and 99 (F). Once during the day Elsie "nests" rand late Wednesday night she nests twice more. She also begins panting and refusing food.

Thursday, 9/18 (very early a.m.)(Day 61 by our count):

12:30 a.m. Elsie starts active Stage 1.

1:00 a.m.: a few nesting attempts and panting

2:00 a.m.: Elsie is very restless and doing more insistent nesting in the whelping box.

2:30 a.m. :Elsie rests.

2:45 a.m.: She grows restless again, pacing, panting, wanting to go outside, nesting, etc.

From 2:45 to 4:00 a.m.: intermittent contractions (early, not really visible, and no pushing with them) and continued restlessness and panting

4:00 a.m. Everything stops.

7:30 a.m. Elsie starts up again: heavy panting, circling, licking her bottom, digging, nesting, whimpering and desperate to go outside

8:30 a.m. still nesting, panting, etc.

9:30 a.m. through 12:15 p.m.: fast pacing, eating ice cubes like crazy, wanting to go out, panting, etc.

12:15 p.m. Elsie lies down in whelping box.

12:15 p.m. I NOTIFY VET that Elsie is in Stage 1.

12:15 p.m. through 11:30 p.m.; Elsie continues Stage 1 (active nesting, digging in whelping box, panting heavily, wanting to go in and out, pacing, wanting to hide or sneak away, etc.

11:30 p.m.: It appears Elsie's water breaks (sudden violent release of fluids, splatting on brick floor - starting Elsie). Fluids are mostly clear. Elsie continues with more insistent Stage 1

Midnight: Jeanie comes over to help (brings donuts and coffee!).

Friday, September 19th (Day 62), very early a.m.:

2:00 a.m.: Elsie begins visible contractions with pushing.

2:20 a.m.: It's a girl (pink)!

In sac, cord already detached from placenta, NO placenta. I break sac on pup's face, Elsie cleans pup and chews off umbilical cord. Good strong vocalizations, lots of kicking. Strong suck reflex.

Pup hangs out with Elsie starts pushing again.

3:05 a.m.: starts pushing again. We remove pink from Elsie and put in warming box.

3:09 a.m.: It's a boy (blue)!

In sac, cord still attached to its placenta, Elsie eats this placenta while I break sac on pup's face. Vocalizes and moves right away. Strong nurser.

We put Pink back in with Elsie and Blue.

3:33 a.m.: Elsie starts pushing again. We remove pups and put in warming box.

4:49 a.m.: It's a boy (green)!

In sac, but no placenta, cord already detached from placenta. Don tears sac from pup's face while Elsie cleans pup and chews off umbilical cord. He moves and cries right away. But suck reflex seem weaker (can't seem to stay attached to Elsie's teat). We rub him a bit to see if this will "wake him up" -- he protests with nice, strong vocalizations. We put him back on Elsie's teat, where he suckles for twenty or thirty seconds, then falls off again.

We leave green with Elsie and return the other two pups to her.

Then Elsie seems to take a 2-hour break (takes a nap, eats bouillon poured over her normal dry food, potties both pee and poo, spends a long time nursing and nuzzling her three newborns and naps some more)

5:00 a.m. Daniel checks on us, then heads up to sleep.
6:00 a.m. Jeanie leaves to go home and then to work..
6:45 a.m. starts pushing and contracting again (we remove pups to warming box).
7:00 a.m. stops
7:15 a.m. Don leaves for work (I'm on my own now). I put pups back in with Elsie to nurse.
7:30 a.m. more contractions and pushing (I remove pups to warming box).
7:45 a.m. stops (I put pups back in with Elsie).
7:55 a.m. starts pushing. (I remove pups to warming box.)

Elsie passes another BIG, violent gush of fluids (these ones green and black), then continues to be restless, nesting, and pushing off and on. She seems more unsettled. I take her outside again (where she promptly starts to push). I bring her back in and she heads right for the whelping box. She circles in the whelping box, and digs some more. She pauses to check on her neonates in the warming box, then starts straining (this cycles on and off for nearly 30 minutes).

8:30 a.m. delivers stillborn pup (pup #4, a boy)
No sac, pup is gray (gray lips, tongue, nose, and paws) and covered in (and heavily stained by) dark green sac fluid, is completely lifeless, no muscle tone or reflexes (completely limp), no movement (no twitching, no signs of breath, no sounds at all). I let Elsie try to stimulate pup (let her lick and nudge him). No response.

Suctioned fluids out of pups mouth (bulb syringe).

Briskly rubbed pup with towel - no response. Tried again, still no response.

Suctioned probably two more teaspoons worth of fluids out of mouth and throat (using infant bulb syringe), suctioned yellow mustard-like mucus out of nostrils. Tipped pup head down, and more yellow mustard-like fluid oozes out of his mouth and nose. Cleaned out and suctioned this fluid from pups airway. Tried gentle chest compressions (pushes more fluid out -- slowly dribbling out of mouth). Tried carefully "flipping" the puppy (a last resort), and more mustard comes out of pups nostrils.

Suctioned again, Rubbed with dry towel some more, more check compressions. Then tried mouth-to-muzzle resuscitation. Still no response. Tried again. No response. Tried again. No response.

Through all this the pup remained grey and limp (never pinked or responded at all, never even twitched).

Seven minutes into these efforts, I hear Elsie push out another pup.

8:37 a.m. It's a boy (red)!
No sac, no placenta

I continue with stillborn (rubbing aggressively with towel) while watching Elsie tend to this pup (again, no sac, and no placenta). Elsie is doing a great job cleaning him and chewing off his cord, but he still hasn't cried.

I turn to set stillborn pup down on towels in warm oven (door open). (The oven was already warmed to 110 degrees to hold our puppy clean-up towels.)

8:38 a.m. I head a thud. Elsie has dropped another pup (a minute after the previous pup), this time while standing to deliver.

It's a boy (yellow)!
Full sac, no placenta, already detached from placenta at delivery.

I leave the stillborn on the warming towels (door open) to help Elsie with her latest two. I break the sac on yellow's face, then let Elsie tend to him, then pick up red (who still is not breathing) to suction, dry off and rub. He starts vocal protests! I give him back to Elsie and pick up yellow, who is not yet breathing either, to do the same (suction, dry off, and rub). Yellow finally protests. :o)

9:35 a.m. Elsie starts pushing

Jeanie arrives. :o)

9:56 a.m. It a boy (black)!
Full sac, no placenta. VERY strong suckle. Very vocal, came out kicking.

10:35 a.m. Elsie rests

10:40 a.m. Elsie starts pushing

11:01 a.m. It's a GIRL (sky)!
no sac, no placenta,

Came out with a snoot full. Had to aspirate with bulb syringe, got lots of fluid. Also covered in lots of green. Slow to breath and cry. Continue brisk rubbing and drying. Get a small squeak from her.

11:08 a.m. It's a BOY (lime)!
Full sac, attached to placenta (we dispose of this placenta), plus clear (transparent) sac half-filled with thin red watery fluid (about the size of a golf ball) also attached to placenta.

Hand Sky to Jeanie, who continues brisk rubbing (finally gets a good loud protest and strong movement from her).

While Jeanie works on Sky, I break Lime's sac while Elsie works on his cord and cleans him. I let her clean him for a bit more, but he's still not moving.

Pick him up, remove fluids from his mouth (these are clear this time) with bulb syringe, rub briskly, and he finally twitches and opens his mouth. His vocalizations are quieter than the rest, but he starts making them. I keep rubbing with a towel (to warm him up and get his circulation moving). And he seems to wake up.

11:10 Elsie expels another forceful load of green fluid (comes out like projectile vomiting).

We clean that up, then give all the pups back to her to nuzzle and nurse. She and they nestle together for the next 2.5 hours, and Elsie sleeps, but she still looks like there may be a pup or two left in her.

1:45 p.m. Elsie starts circling, contracting, and pushing. We remove pups to warming box.

1:55 p.m. It's a boy (white)!
No sac, no placenta.

He's slow to start, but responds to Elsie's and our efforts. We clean Elsie up and take her out to pee and poo, we give her some solid food covered in beef broth, and while she's eating we clean up the whelping box, then return all the pups there with her. She sleeps for at least the next three hours while they nurse and nuzzle.


Elsie expels two more placentas overnight (between 5:00 pm and 3:00 a.m.the next morning).


Susie said...

all the information that you have posted is so helpful! Is there any way that you would share your Birth Record Form with your breeder readers?
I have one that I use but I bet I will like your's better!
Pups are GORGEOUS and so is Elsie! If only I could have looked that good 24 hours postpartum!

Susie in BHam

JuliaR said...

I'm exhausted just reading this! What a great job you are doing.