WARNING: This blog may upset some, as it is about one of Primrose's pups dying.
They say you should never count your chickens before they hatch, but breeding dogs, you don't count your chickens until they have hatched and got a week or two under their belt.
Yesterday Primrose gave birth to seemingly four healthy pups, but this morning by late morning I started to notice one seemed not right and I could smell it on the pups breath, infection. With it being one of our daughters birthdays today my husband was home from lunchtime and I talked with him about the pup and I offered the pup a bottle fed which he would or could not take and the pup was starting to show signs of dehydration and had a distended stomach, classic signs of inhalant pneumonia, but the pup did not have the death classic rattle of this condition in very young pups.
Yesterday when this pup was born I did not mention that he had defecated before being born and his birthing waters as he arrived had his poo in them. I hoped that this had not happened to long before being born, as this happening can compromise the health of the pup, if this poop before being born entered the pups lungs and stomach. One of the complications with this happening is inhalant pneumonia.
After the pup would not suckle the bottle, I decided to ring the vet and we thought with the pups lungs seemingly sounding clear, if we got him hydrated, this might help him turn a corner. Once a pup is dehydrated or has hypothermia the stomach shuts down and the suck reflex also starts to close down and if you try to feed them like this, you often can give them inhalant pneumonia, because the milk goes down on to the lungs.
I got the pup in to the vets and they gave him fluids by tube and under the skin and I thought we might be in with a fighting chance, but as I drove home with the pup warm in my bra (as this is the best place to keep a pup at an ambient temperature), the pup brought up all the fluid given by tube and I really had little hope, but you try and so I tried to feed him two more times and then the distension in his stomach was such that he was bringing up very smelly yellow fluid and then the rattle started, because this fluid was partly being inhaled on to the lungs. I knew this pup was not going to make it. Now do I wait for the pup to be taken, watch as it slowly suffocates, gasps for air and its mother pushes it away from her (because that is what they do) or do we quietly remove it and shorten its suffering. Some may think me awful, but I removed the pup and shortened its suffering. There is a time to let go and it is knowing that time. What came out of this pup when it passed confirmed my decision, was just drawing to the conclusion quicker, as he discharged from his nose at least half a cup of the most foul brown smelling fluid.
Have not lost a pup after birth for a few years now and it don't make it any easier, but I have three vigorous pups left and it don't serve none of them for me to wallow in any sort of self pity, so time to dust myself off and stand up tall and get on with life, because one thing the passing of a life should make you realise is how precious it bloody well is.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!