Well, it’s been a long couple of days; sorry for not updating yesterday.
Daisy Poppy came home from the vet with antibiotics and calcium and good instructions on how to keep her going. We got moving right away, but unfortunately with how sick she felt her milk supply went in the bucket for a couple of days. So we’ve been bottle-feeding around the clock, all nine puppies, while we tried to get her built back up with food and fluids.
Yesterday her mastitis abscessed and ruptured, and since then has continued to bubble and rupture, so she now has one zombie mammary with horrid deep holes in it that looks awful – but we’re actually very thankful she did it. Once the infection was draining OUT instead of IN, she started to feel much better and got interested in the world and her puppies again. I’ve had one other mastitis that ruptured, in a Dane bitch years ago, and the vet told me to expect it this time as well since she got so sick so fast, so I knew it was coming and actually cheered a little when it happened. The puppies neither notice nor care, and continue to nurse even on the zombie nipple, which is also a good thing. The more we can keep the milk draining out and the blood moving around, the better.
It’s the wee smalls of Sat/Sun night right now and I am hearing calm, quiet, sleepy puppies for the first time in a few days, so I have hope that her milk is back up and I can start to back off on the bottles. Fortunately all the babies have taken to bottle-feeding with great glee. You should see them when a human steps in the box now – if I thought they were enthusiastic when I tubed them, bottling has upped to the point that it’s now like a Bad Seed movie involving puppies. They all start shrieking and heave themselves toward you with as much speed as they have in their little hamster bodies and swarm your feet and climb up your pants legs and try to suck on your legs and drag you down with them into their milky pit. I have been combining homemade formula (the Leerburg recipe, which is a pretty standard one, but I use 8-10 oz of Pedialyte and 12 oz of evaporated milk instead of 3 oz of water and 10 oz of evaporated milk) and sub-q fluids when I was worried puppies were thirsty instead of hungry, and they have thrived on it, but mom milk is always the best and the more of that they can get the better.
Meanwhile, around feeding time the house looks like a scene from a TLC show where somebody brings home a set of multiples – everywhere you look there are bottles and various nipples and tube supplies and a house full of very sleepy humans bouncing and burping tiny creatures. Honour or I will feed, and then if it sounds a little bubbly we hand the puppy off to somebody who will bounce and pat the baby; we then feed another and lay it over our legs and bounce our legs while we feed a third. Everybody ends up covered with full, yawning puppies in various stages of decompression. Once the baby has had a few minutes of bouncing we listen to lungs and tummies carefully, check skin and pee color and the inside of the mouth for hydration, throw in 10 cc of saline under the skin if they need it, then they curl back up against Daisy Poppy for another couple of hours until it all starts again.
Thank God for coffee, is all I can say.