Whelping Problem! - Page 1

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by Sunsilver on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

I don't know what one person has done to piss off the universe so badly, but where my friend K. is concerned, it's what can go wrong, WILL go wrong!

Gwen's waters broke earlier today (I am unsure of what time, I think it was maybe 2 hours ago) and the colour was NOT good: dark blackish/brown. K. called the veterinary E.R. a short while ago, as no pups had arrived after a reasonable length of time, and was told she's looking at $3 to $4,000 for a C-section. Confused SmileThey also said the vet was on call, and due to bad weather, would need 3 to 4 hours to get to the clinic. We're having wind gusts of 30 to 40 km/hr, with whiteouts, and the temperature is going to plummet to -6 F by tonight. (It's currently 15 F/-10 C.)

Meanwhile, K. is walking Gwen to try to stimulate the contractions.(Thank goodness the kennel has hallways that we can use to walk the dog along!) We also have sterile gloves available so we COULD check to see if there's a pup stuck in the canal.

Any other suggestions from experienced breeders would be much appreciated!!

And if you have no suggestions, please pray/send good thoughts!!

She's on day 60 of her pregnancy, so the pups should be viable if we can get them safely delivered.


by susie on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

Oh shit!
I´ll keep my fingers crossed !!!!!


by Jenni78 on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

You'll find the money somehow if it's what needs to be done. No one who breeds a bitch has the right to deny her medical care if she needs it to save her life (I'm not suggesting you would do this).

I would be checking for a stuck pup, and I would consider incremental, NOTE I said INCREMENTAL Oxytocin due to color of water if she is in distress, because while it's a risk to give Oxy prior to pups being born, if there are dead pups, she may need the help with contractions and your only chance of delivering ANY live pups is if you get the dead ones out of the way. A safer alternative is calcium. Do you have calcium you can administer via syringe? Oral is better than nothing but a shot is better than oral. 

I would be checking for stuck pups, giving calcium, and feathering. Is she having any contractions at all? 

Can you feel pups moving? Can you hear heartbeats? Do you know anyone near you with an ultrasound machine so you really know what you're dealing with? 


by Jenni78 on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

What is Gwen's temperature? What was it last night/all day yesterday? 


by joanro on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

Ss, has the bitch been pushing, and I mean really bearing down? If not, let her stay in the nest and nature will take its place. I have seen dark fluids before pups arrive, doesn't always bode disaster. But she needs to stay in the nest and stop interrupting her labor. You can actually cause her to stop labor by interfering.

by joanro on 14 February 2015 - 18:02

Oxytocin IMO is a bad idea. Get some injectable calcium for cows and dilute it with sterile water. It's unfortunate, but injectable calcium for dogs is not sold anymore. Even my vet has to dilute bovine injectable calcium.


by Jenni78 on 14 February 2015 - 19:02

I guess I need to be more clear. I did NOT say to use Oxytocin. I said CONSIDER INCREMENTAL Oxy IF SHE IS IN DISTRESS, as there is no quick access to medical help and if it were me, I'd save the bitch before the pups. I also stated calcium is safer. Calsorb is awesome if you don't have injectable. My concern is the blackish water and if she were mine, I'd be on my way to the clinic to meet the vet. I'd worry about money later, as I always do, which is why my CareCredit balance is ridiculous. Tongue Smile

FYI- I don't know if people are aware of the "new" guidelines for dosing incremental Oxy...nothing like old school Oxy usage. Sad fact is most vets don't know this, either. 

Here is Dr. Robert Van Hutchinson's protocol: Dr Robert Van Hutchinson is considered by many the foremost authority on reproduction and this was from a discussion available online.

Question: Oxytocin (Pit shots). 
Can you discuss the proper use of oxytocin injections during whelping? It seems that many breeders use oxytocin early on in the whelping process, when they feel it isn't progressing fast enough. 
DrHutch: A puppy in the uterus has only two elements maintaining its oxygenation and life, one being the heartrate of the puppy, two being the blood pressure from mom to the uterus. 
The whole goal in whelping is to maintain vital elements. Oxytocin I use in a very specific manner. If you've gone three hours without a puppy, I use one dose of oxytocin. My dose of oxytocin is two units per ten pounds of body weight (or 0.1cc per 10 lb). Oxytocin is normally 20 units per ml; I never use more than half an ml, no matter how big the bitch is. 

I give one injection; if nothing happens, I give a second injection 20 minutes later. If nothing happens, I go to a C-section. 
If you get too much oxytocin at a time, you will cause the puppies not to be expelled from the uterus but shrunk wrapped IN the uterus. The two injections of oxytocin actually increase the blood pressure to uterus which is beneficial to the puppies. If we keep giving them, we LOWER the blood pressure to the uterus, which robs the puppies of oxygen. 

Using calcium with the oxytocin... now that we can monitor calcium levels in our practice I do not normally give calcium if the bitch is normal, because it causes the heart to slow down. If I need to give calcium I now use Calsorb, an oral gel that is absorbed almost as quickly as injectable. I can give it in small amounts more often, and don't have to worry about the side effects of injected calcium. 

To clarify, my standard protocol (with oxytocin) is two injections; if two don't do it, two, four, ten, twenty, is not going to do it. In most cases I keep score by how many live puppies I deliver, not how many C-sections I avoid. I wait three hours from the last puppy. 

My signs of dystocia are: 
Temp just before labor readjusts back up to normal; 
If I have no puppy born in four hours. 
That is my definition of primary uterine inertia. 
Straining hard for an hour... that is when you would NOT give oxytocin. Longer than three hours between puppies, that's when you DO give oxytocin. Any black, red, or green discharge before any puppies are delivered indicates placental detachment and needs attention. "

Do not use if the bitch is in hard labor or you risk uterine rupture. I always feel in the vaginal canal before giving it.


by Sunsilver on 14 February 2015 - 19:02

I just spent the last half hour or so with Gwen. Only twice in that time did she stand up and really strain. I could clearly see fetal movement through her flank, just in front of the rear haunch.

The discharge was blackish/green at first, but what I'm seeing now looks more green in colour

Her temp went back up to 98.1 last night, and it was 98.7 this morning.

We are giving calcium orally in the form of milk (kitten milk replacer) and Tums.

We may be able to get some bovine injectable calcium. Oxy isn't an option: we don't have any. Will have to go to the vet ER for that. Still hoping for a natural delivery!!


by Jenni78 on 14 February 2015 - 20:02

GREEN IS A VERY VERY BAD COLOR to see BEFORE pups are born!!! I would strongly suggest you get help sooner than later for the pups' and Gwen's sake. The dream of a "natural delivery" went out the window with the black water breaking and now green discharge.  Dead pups don't stimulate contractions like live pups, so the lack of straining (I still think actively straining TWICE in 1/2 an hour is significant) is not an idication that all is well.  Have you tried feathering? Sounds like you have a dead pup in the way. All are in grave danger. You can't kill a dead puppy, no matter how hard you try. Get the gloves and the lubricant and see what the hell is going on before I have a coronary. 


by Sunsilver on 14 February 2015 - 20:02

Jenni, I've more or less been kicked out of the whelping room for now. I have forwarded your post to my friend. You've got to remember, she just had major surgery herself exactly one week ago, so the stress level is very high.

When I was last down there, Gwen stood up and strained really hard, and K. could see her perineum bulging. The discharge is now clear rather than green.

So, a couple of good signs there!


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