Thursday, March 14, 2013

One Helluva Week!

For those of you following the Max litter I extend an apology for not blogging this past week.   Once you read this, I know you will understand.

Miss Red sleeping
Their second week started out much like the other litters.  They spent most of their time sleeping and nursing.  Each morning they would be transferred to the laundry basket to allow me to clean the whelping box.   (Here’s a Gaylan’s factoid for those who may not know this - we do not use any detergent when cleaning the pups’ whelping box, just vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.)   As needed, Peach would diligently clean each pup.  How she knows when it is time is still a mystery to me - their noses are incredible!!!    Each night we did biosensor, along with a new scent.  Everything was going well until Monday.

On Monday morning we noticed that Miss Red was a little quieter than the other pups, but it often happens that one pup will have a day when they are “sleepier” than normal.   We marked it in the diary, but did not give it any more thought, that is until late Monday afternoon.   She clearly was in distress, so I scooped her up and off the vet we went.    After being examined I was told that her heart was good, lungs were clear, that she likely was a puppy with colic.   Meanwhile, Gayle was doing research to see if we could figure out what was going on.

Later that night Miss Red was struggling to breath so we went to one of the 24-hour emergency clinics where they whisked her into the back room.   A short time later the doctor came out and said she was clearly having trouble breathing, but her lungs were clear.  They could shoot an x-ray, but it likely would be too difficult to read on a pup this young.   We pointed out some swelling in her throat.  She had no idea what it was and said that the best place for her was with her mother, so the emergency vet gave us some antibiotics and we went home.  

Raz trying to find a nipple
On the advice of the ER doc Miss Red spent the night separated from her littermates and Peach alternated between boxes.  Each time Peach went back to the rest of the litter we scrubbed her down with Nolvasan® solution, dried her off and let her nurse Miss Red’s littermates.  Peach was clearly stressed with the situation, as were we.

Gayle was already planning on visiting the pups on Tuesday.   When she arrived she agreed that we should call Dr. Cummins and see if he could fit us in.   We were all very worried about Miss Red, who by that time was really struggling to breath.  He called right back and had us bring the entire litter in.

Mr. Black climbing Mt. Mama

After careful examination of all the pups, doing a bit of research and a needle aspirate on Miss Red, Dr. Cummins said although he had never seen nor heard of it happening in a puppy this young, he thought she had juvenile pyoderma, also known as puppy strangles.  The only treatment was cortisone and antibiotics.  Giving cortisone to a pup this young is risky, but without it we were pretty certain she would not make it.  He prescribed just antibiotics for the rest of the litter.    The good news is by the time we got home Miss Red was feeling better and continues to improve!

Mr. Blue and Miss Red catching some ZZZZs

So we are flying under the radar, so to speak, staying away from the outside world while Miss Red is on prednisone.   Uncharacteristically, we are not allowing any visitors, so I have uploaded the pictures that we took this week into the Week 2 folder.  I will be uploading more video tonight.   I have set up the link for Week Three and will be posting photos there as of tomorrow.

Other than the challenges of the week there is much good to report.   The pups are growing like weeds!   Their eyes have opened, even though they have that Mr. McGoo look.   They are quite active, having found their legs.  Even though they walk like drunken sailors, they still climb up onto the puppy rail, over each other and over their mother.  Today they started  playing with each other, too.  I just love watching them develop!!

Enjoy the photos/vidoes and send good vibes and prayers out for the litter - we are thrilled with their progress, but are not taking anything for granted!

1 comment:

Renee Machen said...

"They could shoot an x-ray, but it likely would be too difficult to read on a pup this young."

Not true. When I had my 2 week old puppy with what sounds like very similar symptoms, they listened to his lungs and kept saying they were clear. After three emergency visits, they finally did an x-ray. His lungs were filled with fluid and one lung was collapsed. They were able to draw off the fluid and culture it and today he is 7 months old and doing well (much longer story than this, but I have alluded to it previously). The benefit to this: I then knew it was not something that would affect the rest of the litter. He still required a ton of special care and they did recommend euthanasia. It was a very, very hard two weeks. But, he was only on amoxi-drops and did not have to be on anything harsher such as steroids. If they have not x-ray'd and/or ultrasounded this puppy, I would recommend finding a specialist who is willing to do so if she does not improve, as they CAN read the results if they know what to look for. Just my two cents :). Glad to hear the rest are doing well!