I don't know if this is where I can get help or not. We live on a dirt road and it seems we get quite a few abandoned pets. 3 weeks ago a female lab mix was dumped. I thought that she must have recently had puppies because her milk glands were big. We of course put up FOUND posters..had the nurses at the vet check for microchip.....but to no avail.
She is a sweet girl and is adapting well here with our other 2 dogs.
My problem is that I don't think she's already had puppies now...I think she is pregnant!
Her milk glands are getting really big now and when she lays on her side and I put my hand on her I can feel puppies moving!..well I think I do..unless it some HUGE worms.
Not sure what to do. We have (now have 3 dogs...I think soon to be more with puppies coming?!) and 6 children...which I homeschool. Needless to say, I don't think we can afford this.
So my questions are:
Her diet? She was very very hungry when we first found her. Since I've suspected pregnancy we've been buying her puppy chow. She also gets a scrambled egg daily like my other dogs. Canned salmon 3 times a week..my other dogs only get it once a week. What else should she be getting?
How do I tell how far along pregnant she is?
I live in Washington State..does any one know of a vet that could help us out? We are barely making it on one income at the time. The vet we use for our dogs does do sliding scale for us, but for something this extreme..we can even pay the sliding scale. This is the same vet office that scanned her for a microchip.
How in the world can we afford to have the puppies get shots/worming if we can't find a vet that will help?
She is such a sweet girl, there is no way I want to drop her off at the pound. There has to be a better way! (we rescued our first two dogs from the pound..I just can't see bringing one to them..especially one this sweet)
Oh, and I almost forgot! When we were cleaning her up, we noticed fleas. I had an extra dose of Frontline which I gave her. I gave it to her when I thought she had already had puppies. Since she is most likely pregnant...could I have damaged the puppies?!
I agree...she really does look like she's had a litter. However, if you can feel pups, which you should definitely be able to, plus see them move,(if she's pregnant) then the sure fire way to find out is to take her to the vet and get a puppy count x-ray.
You are feeding her adequately, I would say, puppy food would also be a good choice...twice a day would be good if she is indeed pregnant. It's nice to see you are giving her extra calcium in the form of salmon.
Don't worry too much about the vet costs involved if this dog is due to have a litter. Basically, the bitch bites off the umbilical cord, and you don't have to do that. You can help if the pup seems to be solidly encased in the membranes, but normally most bitches will do that. If the pup is not moving and seems pretty silent, rub him dry with a warm towel (I keep some going in the dryer) and stimulate him to breathe that way. You can also swing the puppy with his head held downwards and see if that helps.
As each pup is born, let the dam lick him and clean him up, and put him to the teat. When she starts to push again, take the previous pup and just put him to one side, and so on.
You need a whelping box, big enough for the bitch and pups, with sides on them to keep any draft out. You can fold up an old blanket to keep them all comfortable. Don't panic if you don't see any puppy poop, or pee...the dam cleans that up herself.
If by some chance she won't have anything to do with the pups then there is a plan B, which I'll give you if it's necessary, not likely though. The room should be fairly warm also. As each placenta follows each pup, the dam will probably eat them...this is ok. (the placenta) Just make sure you count the placentas/pups. You do NOT want a retained placenta. It can cause a nasty infection and more expense for you, and suffering for the dog.
There is also a chance that this dog may have more pups than she has teats. If this is the case, tie a piece of coloured wool around each pup, and give one half their turn, document which colour pup ate,remove them, and then let the rest eat.
Do not let any other dogs, children, cats etc in the room whilst the dog is whelping. She needs peace and quiet. You can be there to encourage her, and pet her, talking to her in a soft comforting voice.
Do not worry if the dog doesn't appear to want to leave the pups to potty...she will go, eventually. It can take quite a few hours to whelp all these pups; so when you think she is done, palpate her belly for any lumps to make sure there are no pups hiding in there.
Keep water and food within her reach. A far as vet expenses go, you need to worm the pups starting at 2 weeks of age, and 2 weeks thereafter until 12 weeks of age. The worming pills are very inexpensive. I'm sure your vet will give you a break with the immunizations as well, once he understands the circumstances you are in.
Keep feeding your dam with the same high calorie diet as you are feeding her now. Good luck, if I've left anything out feel free to ask.
Sorry, I forgot to mention the Frontline. I will be very interested to hear what the vet says. If you could take a couple of pictures of the dog standing, it would be much easier for me to tell if she's pregnant or not. Have you watched her belly to see if there is any movement? Usually you can see them rolling around in there, in the latter stage of the pregnancy. Does she have any type of vaginal discharge at all? If you squeeze one of her teats lightly, can you express any milk?
Well, we could not afford the x-ray, but we were seen by a student vet who came to our home! Molly is for sure pregnant. She thinks Molly will deliver within the next two weeks. She "thinks" Molly has at least 7 pups. But Molly is a good sized dog and was very happy and wiggly during her check. The kids got to hear a few of the heartbeats.
Well...I'll keep you posted! Thank you so much for replying to my thread.