After my Chi died from her C Section we were faced with taking her 3 pups home and trying to care for them.
I kept them warm but not too warm with a heating pad. Bottle fed them every 2 to 3 hours with Nurturall-C Puppy replacer the Vet gave me. I wiped them with a warm damp cotton ball to make them potty.
At about 48 hours they started to deteriorate. There tone was not as good, sucking was poor, poop was watery. Then by 60 hours one had died and by 72 hours the last 2 would barely suck and stopped voiding. I felt incredibly helpless.
I went and got a 5 french feeding tube ( I am an RN and used to tube premies) but they passed away before I could try and feed them this way.
Is there anything I could have done differently? I would like to know for my own future knowledge and helping others.
I so felt like I let Lil Girl down in so many ways, one being unable to keep her pups alive. Logically I know the odds were against us. I am not so emotional today but at least I can learn something from this.
Thanks to all of you with your words of kindness and wisdom. BH
Without the moms milk its hard for them to survive. I know in horses its called colostrum(the first milk). It has all the antibodoes the animals need to survive and without it they probally wont make it. Even the supplements can't mimic it so there probally isn't much you could have done.
I really empathize with you. I understand what it is to feel guilt in regards to your loss. I too have had such an experience but not with the heartbreaking loss of the mother though. My mother's pit bull/ bull mastiff gave birth twice both planned pregnancies (all puppies spoken for before breeding). The first pregnacy I helped to deliver her puppies all 9 of them, I slept with her in the whelping pen because my back was bad at the time and traveling down 2 flights of steps would have been hard for me. I helped her to nurse the puppies that were just too weak to fend for themselves, she ended up lying on one and squishing it and I had to put that puppy to sleep.
The second and last pregnancy went wonderful in the beginning she was pumping the puppies out on her own and knew just what to do. A few days later I noticed a puss like substance coming from her breasts and took her immediately to the vet where she was diagnosed with mastitus. She would be unable to nurse the puppies. I set up my new home in the basement with the puppies where I slept for their first 3 weeks of life and hand nursed each of them. Lucy the mother kept a watchful eye on them from time to time and gave me loving kisses for taking care of her babbies. After 8 weeks of caring for the puppies their new families traveled from different states to pick up their little bundles of joy.
I never suffered a loss like yours but I have been through a similiar experience and I know the guilt can eat you up inside especially when no one around you can understand how an animal can effect someone so deeply.
I do suggest you speak with your vet and try to get some answers for yourself in regards to her delivery and then take some time out to love and forgive yourself. This guilt is only going to hurt you further. You did the best you knew how and have learned that nature can be very cruel and unforgiving.
I wish you luck and blessings in your recovery and if you wish to correspond further you may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our very first litter of sheltie puppies was a c-section so I sympathize with what you went through. Luckily our Mom came out of the surgery okay and took to her puppies shortly after we got home. However, we did lose one pup to hypoglycemia and I spent most of the second day home caring for a second pup that started to go down. C-section litters are hard, even when the Mom makes it and takes her puppies as they tend to be weaker, less quick to thrive, and jus smaller in general. I could never raise bull dog puppies.
We just had a sheltie Mom develop a stress ulcer (from her body being over taxed, not emotional stress) and she had to be pulled from her litter 9 days after they were born. Luckily her mother had also just had a litter that was 4 weeks old so she took her daughters litter and nursed them until they were also 4 weeks old. It was hard on us and the puppies as we normally don't wean our puppies until 6 weeks (we START weaning at 3 1/2 weeks but don't pull the mom until 6 weeks) so it meant lots of extra hands on from us. BUT we lucked out and the most inconvient part of the whole process was having to get up at 2 AM and 5 AM to feed puppies.
Having a litter is hard work and it is always a risk for the mother. It is heartbreaking when the Mom doesn't come out of the whole process and even more so when you have to watch the puppies pass away. My thoughts are with you and I'm sorry for your loss.
Temperature is very important when taking care of orphaned pups. The air temp should be about 80 degrees at the level they are at. So if they are on the floor in a box and you have the thermostat set at 70 degrees, they are actually about 65 degrees on the floor. Hang a thermometer on the box they are in and if you need additional warmth beyond the warming pad, put a light bulb above the pups but you must be careful that they don't get too hot. When bottle feeding pups, you have to be very careful that the milk formula flows at a proper rate and that is hard to do with those little bottles. You have to poke a hole in the end of the rubber nipple but if it is too big, the milk will come out too fast for them to suck and swallow and they will aspirate it into their lungs and die slowly. You should make sure that the milk is warm before feeding it to them, as room temperature milk will chill them. The powdered milk will have little tiny clumps that will clog the nibble hole so it is better to use regular canned goat's milk for an orphan. If a pup is cold and hungry both, you must make sure that their temperature is brought to normal first before feeding them. A chilled pup's digestive system will shut down and they cannot digest the milk. It is best to try to find a mama dog who will let them nurse off of her but that is not often an option, unless you are lucky. And even then, a mama dog will sometimes kill pups that are not hers. You have to put vanilla on her nose so that she can't smell the pups to identify them. Or Vicks Vapor Rub will work too. You would want to rub a little tiny bit of it on the puppies too, as well as her nose.
I agree with froofroo that temperature is very important. Making them go to the bathroom is also very important, and that can be the hardest part. I also recommend having a vet teach you how to tube feed. I have had much greater success with small, pre-mature and rejected puppies after learning to tube feed. You know exactly how much is getting in their tummies-- but it is not for the untrained, you can also drowned them if your not careful!!
You did nothing wrong, you did the best thing you gave them a chance didnít you. I once had a puppy i had to hand feed for 1 day old, it was actually 2 pups but 1 died within 6 hours. I had to have a heat pad on low as well as i gave them a fluffy so she thought it was mom. I carried her round with me all the time near my chest to keep her warm. I was up every 2 to 3 hours to feed her. IT WAS HARD!! You had 3 to take care off, that in it's self was a hard thing. She lived and i found her a great home but as for her sister there was nothing i could do. I know i did my best i feed her as well as kept her warm there was nothing more that could be done as in your situation. You gave it a great try you gave the, love you could not have asked for any more.