Wednesday night into Thursday I did my usual night shift with the babies and Daisy Poppy. At ten AM I was brushing my teeth to get ready to sleep for a few hours when Honour said “Mom, she’s shaking really hard all of a sudden.” I peeked into the box and said, “Get my phone, quick.”
(Fill in one hour of racing around frantically looking for shoes and puppy baskets and heat pads and waiting for calls back from vet and then throwing three humans, nine puppies, mom dog who couldn’t even stand normally and had to be carried, and service dog, in the car that has no gas and running like heck to vet.)
I am way too tired to tell the long story, but the short one is that she evidently started to build up an infection – definitely mastitis, but also perhaps a bit of uterine stuff because she had more discharge today than usual – and so she began to run a high fever. That made her shiver, which used up her calcium too fast, which sent her into early eclampsia – basically a whole-body horrible shiver and weakness that can go into seizures if you’re not able to get calcium into them fast enough.
We did x-rays to rule out a missing placenta or puppy (clear, thank God), got a ton of calcium into her via injection, and then got her on Keflex for the infections. While we waited to see if the calcium would work the vet (who is a breeder herself, and I adore like nothing else) also did puppy checks for hearts and lungs, evaluated the tinies (she said they look amazing for hand-fed babies and said “Isn’t it hell? I can’t even do it anymore; when they need feeding I just farm them out to the techs!”), told me good war stories about her own bitches and cuddled babies in between doing neuters in the back room. She OKed us moving from tube-feeding to bottle-feeding now that puppies are bigger, which was a huge relief. We were back home in mid-afternoon, substantially poorer in the bank account but with a happier but still sick Daisy Poppy.
I got everybody settled and fell into bed (which is only a foot from the whelping box) while Honour took nurse duty. When I woke up again it was obvious that the mastitis had settled in; she’s got one big lump in a back mammary but thankfully no more tremors and she’s able to walk and move normally. Basically from here we let the Keflex do its work, keep up her calcium very carefully, make sure we’re putting puppies on that mammary, hot pack it, and give her as much rest as we can. Puppies are looooooving the bottle and we’ve managed to keep weights going up today – certainly not as much as normal, but in the correct direction.
Breeding: So easy, so fun, so cheap.