The morning of 3/2/16
I am awakened by my alarm to get up and check on the puppies. I drag myself out of the warm bed and stumble down the hallway to the nursery, to my delight everyone was peacefully sleeping, even Maya she didn’t even get up when I came in the room.
I couldn’t get back to my bed fast enough to hopefully catch another hr. or two of sleep if I’m lucky before duties calls.
I jumped out of bed, I heard a super loud bark thinking it was Maya I headed to the nursery, and now that I was awake I realized it was a bark from one of the dogs downstairs. I went into the nursery, pups getting a little fussy now, and notice that Maya vomited her food and was looking kind of lethargic & didn’t want to get up. It sometime around 6am now.
I go downstairs and tell Michael of my findings and said I was going to take her temperature to see what’s going on. You should always watch your dam closely after delivery and for a few weeks after for any problems.
I took the old fashioned mercury rectal thermometer out of the cabinet drawer and wash it with soap and water, grabbed a q tip with some Vaseline to rub on the tip of the thermometer for lubrication.
I sat down for just a moment, days and night have been exhasting waking up and checking on puppies every 3 hours. I drink a lovely cup of coffee, it taste so good! Fresh and hot! But alas it’s back to the nursery I go.
I had to put a leash on Maya to pull her out of the cage to take her temp. 103.8, yes she has a high fever. I take her down stairs and outside to go potty. She urinated well and it was clear, which is a good sign, she walked around the yard and took a poop, I took her back upstairs, and it’s about 8am by now.
I check her skin for dehydration and that’s good bounces right back to place, and I look at her gums and they are showing good color. Maya drinks a bowl of water and ate some canned meat, all good signs.
I go downstairs, sit down, and have another cup of coffer while I wait for 9am to call the vet. I call once the animal hops was open and was told to bring her in at 11am. Great as its better to be safe than sorry, it is obvious to me she isn’t feeling well.
Michael helps me get Maya into the car and we head off to see Dr Joe. When we arrived, he called us right into the exam room and checked her temperature; sure enough it is over 104. I point his attention to a swollen teat on her left side. He examine’s it and found the milk to be infected; Dr says you will have to hand feed the babies with a mild replacer for at least 48-72 hours, maybe longer depending on the infection. Maya is going to need antibiotic’s and a shot of penicillin, and when you get home give her 1 ½ Bayer aspirin to reduce the fever.
Dr. says the pups will need to be hand/bottle fed every 4 hours. I say, What! Dr you want to come over and help? He replies, No, I like my sleep, meaning Lori you are not going to have any. Dr gave her a penicillin shot, which of course fever and all, she growled at him! In true Canis Panther fashion. He prescribed amox/clavomox, it will be easy on the pups once she returns to nursing. You do have to watch so the puppies do not get diarrhea.
We go home and I take Maya upstairs to her cage, the pups are all warm and sleeping in the box.
Now I have some time to gather supplies, I have a large container of milk replacer on hand; something a breeder keeps supply of. You never know when you will need it, plus it is a good dry treat to top on mama’s food. I need some baby bottles, I will have to run out to town and get some of those, and it’s been a long time since I needed them. Off to the store I go.
Washed and cleaned my new bottles, after spending too much time trying to figure out how to get the caps off the bottles, Had to call Michael for help, guess I have to go back to school to learn how to operate a baby bottle.
Gathering my supplies, burping towel, warm paper towels, bottles of milk, I’m headed to the nursery.
I start with the big chocolate male, as I try to position him on my lap he is wiggling all over finally he gets a taste of milk and accepts the nipple, he’s aggressive, kneading my hands, getting him some milk. OMG, I notice he has one eye open, holy cow he only 9 days old.
Big Bertha buckskin girl is next, she was very aggressive and stubborn didn’t want that strange nipple in her mouth, finally she accepted it and drank away. I proceeded down the line until all pups got their ill bellies full. Each pup also needed to be burped, yes like a human baby. And each pup needs help to eliminate, I use a paper towel soaked in warm water to rub on the belly until they potty. After each pup has finished I placed them in the basket where they huddled together and fell asleep.
The day is going by quickly; I have to place warm compresses on Maya’s teat a few times a day.
By evening time Maya’s fever has broken and she is looking better, I take her into the bathroom, using hot running water for my compress, she just stands without any trouble, she is the sweetest girl. After I finished I wipe her down with warm water which I’m sure she appreciated, she drank a bowl or water and ate her food, I am so glad and happy we caught this right at the start, I am hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.
By now its 7:30pm time to feed the pups again, I put on my “ nursing vest” don’t laugh it’s a fuzzy vest & soft, I let Maya rub all over it so the pups smell her scent, it worked because nursing went easier this time around. Its takes close to 2 hrs. Before I’m done with feedings.
Its 9:30, I do a nite time check around, clean bottles and layout my supplies for the next feeding.
I thank my husband who is doing all the other work around here. I drink some water; maybe have a glass of wine before I try to catch a hr. or so of sleep. Did I eat today, I don’t remember.
12am feeding. 1:30am back to bed. 4 am feedings, pups strong and aggressive, eat, poop. Sleep.
Its 8 am already, I’m tired! I’ll say it. Time for some coffee.
9 Am. Pups up and hungry, here we go again; I try to alternate who is first theya re all greedy lil babes. They are nursing vigorously off the bottle, peeing & pooping well. I know because I have been pooped on several times this am. Everyone now comfortable and back to sleep.
Maya looking great this morning, eating and drinking well taking her medicine, even up barking at noise outside. Warm compress to the infected area, this time with massage, she is up and looking great. I also have to squeeze the other teats to drain them, milk squirting all over.
1pm feeding time, babies seen to be doing well on the bottles, fill those bellies and back to sleep.
I will now try to get some of my other work done, email, internet, house chores, phone calls, taking care of clients, dogs, dogs, dogs.
5p-7p Feed and potty babies, put them in the warm bed to sleep.
Hoping now to catch some TV, American Idol and Vikings on tonight.
9pm Taking care of Maya, outside, feed and another 30 minutes of warm compress and message.
10pm Feeding time again for babes, I added raw egg to formulas this evening, a little added protein, they ate and pottied well. Sleepy time. 11:30p
I going to the kitchen to clean up, prepare bottles for next feeding, find a bite to eat and try to get some rest, check email, drink a little wine, and lie down its 1am.
It’s a 4am wake up call, hungry puppies this morning, eating well, no sign of diarrhea.
Maya looking better, mastitis shrinking, will give Dr J a call today for report. I think it’s Friday.
I’m going to try and catch at least one hour of sleep before I start my regular work day.
8 am phone is ringing, no more rest for me, and it’s up and at it again. I am dragging; thank you hubby the coffee is ready and waiting. Drinking coffee, catching up on daily business.
Good morning babies, they are so precious and needy at this age, I have a different respect for the nursing mom as this point. She has to do a lot of work, not just lay there and nurse, but clean each and every pup- with her tongue! You must treat that nursing dam like gold, give her all the extra’s she wants, I hug her & tell her how special she is and what a great job she is doing, she smiles.
Feeding and potty went well, all tucked back in the warm basket. I am trying to keep them from being too far apart but mr big, the chocolate guy knows how to climb in and out of the basket!
10am Maya is doing remarkably well today, she never stopped eating or drinking and once the high fever broke on Wednesday she’s been good. Today you can notice visible shrinkage in the infected breast.
It takes at minimum 48 hours for the antibiotics to work and infection to pass through, that’s the main reason for taking the pups away for a couple days, the infected milk could cause digestive issues for the puppies, not to mention illness if left unattended.
I take my girl into the bathroom; I like the running hot water compress, get that rag nice and hot, place it on the infected area and above , with pressure you give a gentle message to the area. I also squeeze out milk from her other teats, for one, I’m checking to see the milk has no blood or pus, excellent! Just nice looking milk comes out. At the same time I am releasing some of the un used milk so none of the other teats become clogged.
Before the next puppy feeding I have got to get dressed and go out to pick up some supplies. Off I go……………
1pm Home again! Grocery store, feed store, gas station, unload, and time to feed the puppies.
4pm. Spoke to Dr Joe and gave a full report on the past 48! The Dr has given the green lite for Maya to be reunited with her babies tonight. . Praise God, thank you Jesus. We have weathered the storm……….
Maya has been successfully reunited with her babies and I am going to get some sleep!