Smudge's pups are now approaching a day old and Smudge is in her element as a mother. Smudge is a very laid back dog, which helps when rearing young. There is such a thing as being overly motherly and this can be detrimental for the pups. Mothers that stress a lot over their pups tend to be continually nudging and licking them and moving themselves around a lot, trying to help their pups and more than often this over motherly behaviour, can stop pups being able to latch on for any length of time to drink and full their bellies, so the pups squeak and the mum stresses more and her motherly behaviour increases. With a bitch like this, it pays to sit with them when she is feeding her pups, to distract her from this behaviour and to make sure the pups are getting full tummies at each feed time. Hand feeding a bitch with some tasty treats while she suckles, is often enough to distract or just talking to them and smoothing them. Often this overly motherly behaviour will dissipate after a few days, as mum relaxes more with her pups.
As I told on my last blog, Smudge has had a c-section to bring her nine pups into the world and as promised, I will now tell how we came to Smudge having to have a c-section. On Tuesday evening I blogged thinking that within the next 24 hours Smudge would give birth and believe me as I wrote that blog, I was very excited at the prospect of seeing Smudge's litter come into the world, as this is our first time crossing the Cavalier with the Brittany.
Tuesday her temperature had dropped and by the evening when I blogged it had come back up again and this is as sure an indication that you can have, that pups will arrive soon. Wednesday came and went and nothing, but Smudge was showing moments of discomfort, so another all night vigil and then Thursday came and went and I was a little concerned and questioned whether her temperature drop I recorded Tuesday was a misreading, was my thermometer not working correctly ? Smudge though was well in herself and the pups were moving a lot and although she had a slight discharge, which is to be expected at this stage, it was clear and not smelly, so another all night vigil and I thought things were going to finally kick off.
Friday came and I thought we were in business. Sometimes the first stage of labour to produce the first pup can be a slow process and finally at 6.50 pm Smudge strained and I could see a water bag appear, but then an hour passed and no more straining. Once a bitch starts to strain and you know the pup is in the birth canal, you should expect the pup to be born within an hour and if like Smudge the bitch has returned to the first stage of labour, you should call a vet, often as you talk to the vet, you hear a yelp and the pup is expelled. If more experienced in whelping, before ringing the vet, you can as I did, see if you can get the bitch to progress by breaking the water bag and giving the bitch an internal examination. This examination you can feel if the pup is presented okay and that the pup is not to big to be born naturally for the bitch, by moving your finger firmly around the head of the pup and if this is done correctly, sweeps the cervix and this can be enough stimulation for more oxytocin to be released, so increasing the strength of the contractions to expel the pup. If you have had a baby, you may be familiar with the term cervical sweep, before we had oxytocin to inject, this was the method used to try and increase contractions, before opting for a c-section and is still regularly used when examining woman when in labour, to help speed proceedings up, if they have slowed down.
I examined Smudge and often whilst doing the proceeder the bitch will get contractions and normally if this examination has helped, you would expect within 10 to 20 minutes to see the bitch having stronger contractions, but with Smudge there was no change, it was time to ring the vet at 8.30 pm. We got her to the vets and explained the chain of events and the vet, who is a young vet, new to the surgery gave us the option of injecting her with oxytocin and seeing if she got the first pup off or going straight away for a c-section. We opted for the c-section first as last. We left the vets at around 9 pm and got home to wait by the phone for news. Around 11 pm the vet rung us and Smudge was doing fine with nine very noisy active pups and we could pick her up. The vet told us that our choice to c-section first as last had been the right one, as on opening her they could see that two of the pups had already opened their bowels. This confirmed to me that I was not mad and on Tuesday I had recorded a drop in temperature correctly. These pups should of been born, I think at least 24 hours earlier and that Smudge had got stuck in stage one of labour and due to carrying such a huge litter, as she did with her first litter, the uterus had been stretched to such an extent it could not contract hard enough to expel her pups causing what is called uterine inertia. Thankfully Smudge and all pups are okay and as I said to the vet when we chose a c-section as the first course of action and I always say after a bitch having a c-section, "You never know if you have done a c-section to early, but you certainly will know when you have done a c-section to late."
This is Smudge's third litter and before she had a c-section for the second time, her last litter. Smudge's second litter of six pups, she gave birth to naturally, proving she can give birth easily. Smudge having a c-section for her first and third litter, both being nine pups in each of those litters, is unfortunately a victim of her own very good fertility.
I have been asked what I'm going to call this cross and I have referred to them as Hudges, which is a joining of the parent's names Henry and Smudge. The name Brittalier has been suggested and I suppose gives a strong suggestion of what the mix is, but I might just stick with the Poundlane Spaniel. I can be a bit of a snob when it comes to names and I jokingly sometimes say, "I don't breed Cavapoos, I breed Curly Coated Cavaliers." Maybe I should just call them that old chestnut breeders often use to sell pups, "Rare." Lol When someone is selling you something always beware, the using of the word, "Rare"
The children have been nearly as excited as their old mum with the expected arrival of this litter and it's good to have pups in the home again. All our bitches are happy from day one for the children to be near their pups and the children often get employed to hand feed mum or make sure a pup stays on a teat suckling.
After the weekend I will get up to date with my email inbox, and for those who have contacted me about this litter so far, I will be in touch and as I have said before, "We will not be offering these pups up for homes, until they are up on their feet and we have decided on the ones we are keeping." The time we pick the pups to keep, will probably be from around four weeks old.
I milked this morning and then had to get some grocery supplies in. Our oldest child, Bert came with me and thankfully reminded me he has his first cricket game of the season tomorrow pending weather, as it has rained quite heavily here this afternoon. Cricket baking season is here again !
It's a game with the seniors and as with all games players are asked to contribute to the tea during the match. As I'm milking tomorrow morning, when I got home from acquiring groceries, it was mixing bowl out and a slab of victoria sandwich and slab of coffee cake was made. I am offering up half of each slab of cake for the cricket match. My son, Bert did help as he is a keen cook, as are all our children. His little sister Tilly was helping him and he was getting a little ratty with her and I said, "You now know why I sometimes get annoyed with to many hands making more work."
Time to finish up now. Lately I have been inundated with emails telling me, "I need Search Engine Optimization (SEO)." Hilarious, how they tell me they have looked at my website, yet fail to address me by name and seem to think I want world domination. Yep, they may of looked, but they certainly have not read it. Mind you I suspect, even if they read it, they still would not get the essence of this website. The fact that they bloody send me their irritating emails makes me think, "I'm already optimized to much for my liking." So if you have been lucky to find me, what with me being all under optimized, if you like puppies and watching them grow ? You have hopefully just hit the jackpot. So, strap yourself in for the highs and hopefully very few lows of rearing a litter of pups.
“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!