Beach Bears Wrecking Ball
Beach Bears Age of Legends
Our deepest heartfelt sorrow for our lost puppies.
One of the hardest lessons learned in life is not to take something for granted. Well, both my mom and I took for granted having a vet who knew what they were doing and whom we had utmost faith in. We never had to think twice about breeding dates, progesterone numbers, or anything for that matter. Unfortunately after losing our longtime vet to cancer just prior to the litter due, we had to scramble to find another vet. To our relief we got in contact with another reproductive vet in the area.
After receiving Naughtia's medical records, they told us the date to come in for scheduled progesterone prior to the c-section. They say she is ready, so the following day we do the c-section. Anxiously awaiting the puppies, it took a bit longer that normal to get her under, prepped, and opened on the table. First puppy is a big beautiful male followed 9 more beautiful babies. 10 puppies total and not one single cry... finally after what seemed like an eternity, 3 of the pups were doing well and breathing on their own, but the other 7 pups the techs were still working on. They were not responding to anything they were doing. I take the first 3 and start trying to get them to nurse and to my relief 2 more puppies were revived and brought to me. At this time they tell us that we lost the other 5 girls. Devastated at the news, I was at least thankful I still had half the litter.
The vet did a necropsy of his own and sent one off to the state along with a blood sample from Naughtia. Everything came back normal so there was no reason for the loss of 50% of the litter. These were the most lethargic puppies I had ever dealt with. All of my previous litters come out screaming and full of life with the occasional one who doesn't grasp the concept of latching on right away. This litter we constantly had to shake to wake up and I couldn't get any of them to latch on and nurse right away. Finally, on the ride home I started to get a couple of the kids to nurse.
Once home and settled in, I was still unable to get 2 of them to latch on so we resorted to tube feeding those. The little orange boy gained enough strength that he was able to latch and join the other 3 nursing with occasional tube feeding. Pink girl grew in strength, but wouldn't nurse so she was tube fed for every meal. 2 am the night after the delivery, sitting on the floor with mama and babies pink all of a sudden couldn't breathe. She is gasping and her entire body goes rigid. I do anything I can think of to stimulate this kid; rubbing, flinging, compressions, and some mouth to mouth. Naughtia and I work on her for sometime and at last, I get a squeak out of her and she slowly starts to breathe. 12 hours without another episode and she was doing fine apart from latching. She was strong and squirming around like the other kids.
I thought we were out of the woods and it was just an isolated incident. I had a vet friend come out to check on the kids and another episode happened while she was there. We speculated what could be happening so I worked on keeping her a bit warmer and fed more often. Constantly checking temps and feeding ever hour 45 min. Much to my dismay, orange boy started having the same episodes. Then Green boy suffered from 1 small episode, and thankfully bounced back fast.
That afternoon pink had a major episode and, as hard as I tried, I couldn't get her to snap out. Later that evening orange boy suffered multiple back to back episodes and we lost him too. At this point we are left with 3 puppies, but they finally start gaining weight and thriving. We sent pink girl off for a more in depth necropsy, but had to wait 3 weeks for results.
In this time these kids progressed slowly. Eyes didn't open till 3 weeks and motor skills were very delayed. Apart from size, these kids were a week behind. This got us questioning more, so we looked at dates. These kids were taken 4 days early! That might not seem a lot, but lungs being the last thing to form, a couple extra days in the oven make a difference. With that in mind we delayed our usual feeding till 4 weeks. All 3 of then took to the food well and their weights started to skyrocketed.
The day after Roz passed, I was trimming nails and Tory threw a temper tantrum about being on her back for it like I normally did them. I knew she had just eaten so I decided to abort the trim and do it later. Just as I flipped her back on her feet she couldn't breathe. I nearly broke the window trying to get mom's attention. She rushed in to help and slowly Tory calmed down and was able to breathe. Immediately called the vet and the rest of our support group, 2 of them said it sounded like reflux.
Thankfully she has been fine, though now I'm in constant fear of stressing her out. After about a week on solids, green boy started to be a bit fussy after feedings and progressively got worse. We gave gas relief meds, but when he became lethargic, more uncomfortable, and his stomach was hard, we took him to the ER vet. The vet gave him something to calm his stomach as well as some different gas meds and we altered his diet some.
The following days he seemed more alert and a bit less gassy. I was even getting him to play with me when I was loving on him. With his sharp little teeth and play bites earned him the nickname of Sharky. He was still eating, drinking, and occasional bowel movement. At this point we notice he is lame. His hock seems to be a bit swollen and seemed off on the diagonal front shoulder too. So off to the vet we go for more x-rays. Poor boy's stomach still hurt and now his hock and shoulder, so we are given pain meds to help ease his discomfort.
Unfortunately the pain meds slow the gut down so the gas starts to get worse again and then no bowel movements. He stopped wanting to eat, but was at least still drinking when offered water. We were at this point giving subcutaneous fluids and nutrical along with spoon feeding him. One of our NICU nurse friends gave the suggestion of a glycerin suppository to get the gut moving again. It worked, but was obviously too late and he passed the evening of his 6 weeks.
Now we are left with the first 2 puppies born in the litter. A big beautiful boy who goes by Jarl and a sassy little bitch we call Tory, named after her sire Troy (later renamed Claire when she went to her forever home). Both are seemingly healthy and doing well for the most part yet I'm plagued by paranoia every time they make a strange noise or anything. Breeding is definitely not for the faint of heart. When I look at these 2 kids and all my kids in the past with their families it makes my heart smile and I am reminded why we persevere.