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Transcript: Dog Breeding Chat
Tuesday, August 24, 2004: Post-Whelping Tips

PHMorgan: Tonight's Topic is "After Whelping" discussing pups' first few hours and what you need to do.... There will be a short presentation and then some discussion. We will use protocol meaning that if you have a question please type "?" and if you have a comment please type "!" We will call on you as we go..... All questions and comments are welcome. Also please remember I am NOT a vet and this discussion is based on my experience as a breeder.

PHMorgan: Momdog will deliver pups one at a time, or sometimes one and then another immediately after - and our concern tonight is with what happens AFTER pup lands in the whelping box....

PHMorgan: Often the sac around the puppy will have broken during delivery, but not always

PHMorgan: The MOST important thing is to free the puppy's mouth and nose as soon as possible

PHMorgan: Once the placenta (this is delivered AFTER each pup) has separated from momdog's uterus, the puppy is no longer receiving oxygen from momdog - he must get it from the air

PHMorgan: So it's important to get his airway clear AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

PHMorgan: If the sac isn't broken, I personally will break it and wipe clear his nose and mouth - some folks allow momdog a few moments to do this, but I find MY momdogs are often more interested in the placenta than the puppy right at first, so I will break it

PHMorgan: It will tear fairly easily, but if you find it too slippery, you can use a paper towel to grip it

PHMorgan: Once the sac is off, check to see that pup is breathing. So long as the ribs are moving or puppy is squeaking and complaining - he's breathing

PHChristy: complaining is good


PHMorgan: Often it will be a few minutes before puppy is really active - remember he's been squashed in the birth canal for a while

PHMorgan: yes, complaining is GREAT

PHMorgan: But we do want to make sure air is getting in

PHChristy: screaming, yelling in outrage... all good signs

PHChristy: poor pap!

PHMorgan: If the puppy sounds SNOTTY, that can mean that he has some fluids in his throat or mouth.... It happens a lot since puppy was surrounded by fluids, but we want to get those clear of his airway

PHMorgan: There are a few ways to do this. Keep in mind that while momdog will be busy with the placenta and/or the umbilical cord, or even cleaning HERSELF, she may NOT appreciate you handling her baby - so if necessary, take puppy and leave the room

PHMorgan: So... To clear the airway, there are a few things you can do:

PHMorgan: 1) Hold puppy head down lying on one hand and rub the back and shoulders VIGOROUSLY with the other hand (I use a towel and dry off the pup at the same time).

PHMorgan: VIGOROUSLY is pretty important - you want to stimulate the puppy as much as possible. You could equate the rubbing to the kind of motion you might use to scratch a particularly bad itch - pretty firm and brisk

PHMorgan: 2) You can "sling" the puppy. This means you hold the puppy FIRMLY between both hands, head down, with your fingers locked behind his head - the idea being to have a firm grip that supports the neck. Then SLING the puppy firmly downwards to clear the fluids from his airway

PHMorgan: You want a pretty good grip on the puppy - we won't want him to go flying

PHMorgan: I have also put MY mouth over the puppy's mouth and nose and tried to suck any fluids from his nose and mouth. Tastes kinda oogy, but not as bad as you might think.... LOL

PHChristy: LOL

PHChristy: only as a last resort

PHMorgan: Usually these things will help

PHMorgan: yeah, last resort - puppy goo isn't too nice

PHChristy: the glamour of dog breeding!

PHChristy: it never ends

PHMorgan: Yeah - it's messy and smelly and sticky and it just keeps getting worse... LOL

PHMorgan: But there IS puppy breath!

PHMorgan: Meanwhile, if puppy is breathing ok momdog wil be pretty busy licking and cleaning him. Usually she will eat the placentas. We talked about this before - whatever momdog wants I will usually permit. Too many placentas will give momdog diarrhea, but I don't consider this a big issue.

PHMorgan: Momdog will also often chew the umbilical cord right down to a very short piece. She often will worry at the end until she's happy with its length. Keep a close eye on this so she doesn't accidentally chew on the puppy itself, but usually she knows what her job is

PHMorgan: There is NO rush to cut the umbilical cord. It's not hurting anything being attached to the puppy.

PHChristy: !

PHMorgan: If momdog hasn't taken care of it after 5-10 minutes, you can usually TEAR it yourself. It will bleed less if you crush it in your fingers and break it yourself, rather than cutting it

PHMorgan: GA Christy

PHMorgan: (hi, Mow)

PHChristy: I want to mention that when I had my first litter, I was TERRIFIED at how rowdy mom got when doing this.... those puppies really got bounced around. But my mentor assured me that was normal and beneficial, it helps stimulate the puppies and helps them breathe and do well.

PHChristy: If my mentor had not been there I'd have thought mama dog was dangerous to her pups

PHMorgan: Yes, I have seen that many times as well - good point. Momdog will often bounce the pups around quite a bit while chewing on the cord

PHMorgan: I think I would only interfere if puppy is more than a few inches off the ground - a bit of jostling is GREAT for puppy

PHMorgan: Now mom will usually do a lot of licking and cleaning

PHMorgan: Once she begins to settle down (she will usually rest for a while after each pup) you should take a moment to write down the following information in your records:

PHMorgan: 1) time of birth

PHMorgan: 2) sex of puppy - girls have equipment right between the legs, boys up near the umbilical cord - don't mistake the cord for boy's equipment)

PHChristy: LOL

PHMorgan: 3) Weight of puppy - this is VERY important - the MOST important information you have the first few weeks of puppy's life is HOW much he weights and how he is gaining. DO NOT neglect this

PHMorgan: 4) Any markings or telltale information that might distinguish this puppy from his littermates

PHMowgli: ?

PHMorgan: if you have pups of all one color or similiar - it's a good idea to mark with ribbon or other identification - Anyone got suggestions for this? I have pointers so I can identify them all by using digital photos or polaroids and attaching them to my records

PHMorgan: GA< MOw

PHMowgli: ok I cannot remember how soon is a pup supposed to double its birth weight?

PHMorgan: Mine generally do in the first week to 10 days

PHMowgli: I was asked that last night and could not remember

PHMowgli: mine do by three days but I have pig dogs LOL

PHChristy: My understanding is that AKC doesn't accept photos as identification, they want collars. Is that wrong?

PHMorgan: Meanwhile, the whelping box might be rather messy and damp from the delivery - you might take a few minutes to change papers if momdog is OK with this - helps keep pups and momdog dry and warm

PHChristy: I use collars and notes

PHMorgan: I don't know - I NEVER use collars - ALL my momdogs would remove them

PHMorgan: But my dogs are MARKED

PHMorgan: clearly marked

PHChristy: it may be an "old breeder's tale" LOL

PHMorgan: And I do take notes and describe all the markings

PHMowgli: I can go by color

PHMorgan: It took me 2 weeks to be able to identify my litter of 10 without checking my notes.... LOLOL

PHMorgan: They were ALL orange & white but with different patches

PHMorgan: OK - let's open up for discussion and questions - I'm sure there are more fine points we can talk about....

PHMorgan: One thing I will add is that I keep both a heat lamp in one corner and a heating pad in my box with momdog and babies

PHChristy: I'd like to discuss temperature



PHMorgan: I like my box to be about 80 degrees

PHChristy: I think one big challenge is keeping it cool enough for mom and warm enough for the puppies

PHMorgan: Some books recommend a higher temperature

PHMowgli: morgan on the markings do your dogs have their markings change as they age like in my breed you know spots get smaller or larger?

PHMorgan: But momdog and pups seem happy with 80 degrees

dl_pap: ty

VAL911K9: not with the toys - but with bigger breeds at what age do you feel comfortable micro-chipping?

PHMorgan: By putting the heat lamp in a corner, momdog can lie on the other side of the box and escape it - pups are warm when over with her, and can keep warm on the pad and under the lamp when NOT with her or when she is not there (those 2 second potty breaks she must be DRAGGED out for..l.)

PHMorgan: I don't do it until about 3 months - but I don't do it before they go home

PHMorgan: I'm too chicken to stick babies with that huge needle - altho I do vaccinate myself

PHMowgli: on lamps I don't use them I do not feel they are safe

PHMorgan: Mow - the spots on my dogs get larger - and ticking will show up over time

PHChristy: we can also check our puppies' rectal temperature... Normal for a neonate is 97-99 degrees. If they are over 100 they are way too hot and if less than 97 they are dangerously cold

PHMowgli: val I microchip at 16 weeks

PHMorgan: I have never had a problem with heat lamps -but my box is 24" high and I clamp the lamp onto the side

PHMorgan: One thing I also want to add

PHMorgan: When momdog has one (or SOME) pups and is ready to deliver MORE, I will try to move the pups away from her rear end so as to be out of the way. Usually MY momdogs will not permit me to take them out of the box, but I will pile them near her head, usually on the heating pad, while she is delivering and cleaning the next puppy

PHMorgan: Again, it's important to let momdog have her way as much as possible

PHChristy: the thing I dislike about the lamps is how bright they are

PHMorgan: Let's also take a minute to talk about some of the distressing things we've seen momdog do and what we do about them....

PHChristy: I prefer to use heating pads as they are warm without any light

PHMowgli: my girls would pay me to take theirs and keep them if I would LOL

PHMorgan: I"ve had momdogs who felt it was necessary to carry their pups around the box - as if they aren't happy with the box and are looking for a better place

PHMowgli: that is what I ues christy a whelping pad

PHMorgan: I will FIRMLY tell her to lie down and stay

PHMowgli: morgan I have seen bitches canibalize pups before too

PHMorgan: Taking away the puppy will generally increase her anxiety. I have a bed in my whelping room and I make SURE she cannot get under there - often momdog will try to HIDE. Sometimes throwing a blanket over momdog's box will help - but you have to take away the heat lamp if you do this

PHMorgan: THAT I have never seen. If Momdog is HURTING the pups, you will need to do 2 things

PHMowgli: especially after a c-section it is important to give constant guard after a section over mom with her pups

PHMorgan: 1) get her AWAY from the pups

PHMorgan: 2) get her to the vet - often she is ill

PHMorgan: Take her temperature

PHChristy: I have never seen it either

PHMorgan: Then get thee to the vet ASAP and might as well take the pups for an exam as well

PHMorgan: I have only heard of it on two occasions

PHMowgli: it happened at vets with a lab bitch who just had a c-section when I was there with my last section I freaked

PHMorgan: The first was when OTHER household dogs were permitted access to the whelpoing room. Momdog panicked and ate her pups

PHMorgan: Keep momdog and her babies COMPLETELY sequestered from your other dogs and too many visitors

weremon13_nr: hey all

PHMorgan: and the second was a bitch who had eclampsia - she was in dire straights and after treatment was a wonderful mother

dl_pap: !

PHMorgan: Anesthesia can do weird things to momdog - it's important to watch momdog for at least 48 hours after a section

PHMorgan: GA Pap

PHMowgli: yes morgan and all 3 of the known incidences occured when the bitch was under extreme stress

PHChristy: Hi Pom and Weremom! Welcome to Dog Breeding Chat! Our Topic Tonight is: Immediate Post Whelping Care

dl_pap: well now i'm truely terrified

PHChristy: LOL pap, I know what you mean

PHMorgan: IT can be very scary

travlinpom_nr: Hey all

PHMowgli: morgan did you touch on eclampsia?

PHMorgan: That's why it's so important to have help when whelping - a mentor or someone with experience

PHMorgan: Not really - let's talk about it...

PHMorgan: Eclampsia is a dangerous lack of calcium in momdog

PHMorgan: It's most common in toy breeds but can occur in any dog

PHMowgli: cause when whitney has eclampsia she just started pacing and then her legs got stiff that was the signs of the oncoming attak

PHMorgan: Signs are panting, general stress, elevated temperature and later, muscle spasms and stiff-leggedness.

PHMorgan: You will need to get Momdog to the vet ASAP

PHChristy: Hi there Rebel! Welcome to Dog Breeding Chat! Our Topic Tonight is: Immediate Post Whelping Care

VAL911K9: Morgan - how long after whelping did this start?

PHMorgan: Sometimes she can nurse her litter afterward, but sometimes not

PHMowgli: val 2nd week

PHMorgan: It can start right away or as far as 5 weeks in

VAL911K9: thanks

PHMorgan: Usually if momdog is eating well it's not a problem, but again, toy dogs are at greater risk

dl_pap: ?

PHMorgan: GA< Pap

dl_pap: but you shouldn't supplement?

PHMorgan: My vet and much of the material I have read doesn't recommend it

PHMowgli: and dogs who may have thyroids problems that are not detected yet can be susceptible also Morgan

dl_pap: anyway to prevent it?

PHMorgan: But I DO recommend a diet high in calcium FOODs - cottage cheese, goat's milk, ice cream - whateer you can get momdog to eat. This way, she can use what she needs and excrete what she doesn't

PHMorgan: I don't know a lot about it as I've not had a problme

dl_pap: sigh

PHMorgan: I just know the signs

PHMowgli: cream cheese is great way to get dogs eating too as they all love it

PHMorgan: Good one, Mow!

travlinpom_nr: My vet strongly recommends NOT supplementing before whelp, but adding cottage cheese after whelping

PHChristy: and you can have the bitch's calcium levels checked... this won't tell you anything about dietary intake but it will help you identify some metabolic disorders that might interfere with proper calcium uptake

VAL911K9: I have used yogurt mixed with honey too

PHChristy: Hi whpptwmn! Welcome to Dog Breeding Chat! Our Topic Tonight is: Immediate Post Whelping Care

PHMorgan: ANother important thing is to take momdog's temperature 2X a day the first week. This way you will know at the first signs of any uterine or mammary infection

PHMorgan: Call the vet IMMEDIATELY if her temp is 102 or higher

PHMowgli: also the discharge

PHMorgan: Yes - it's very normal for momdog to have a discharge for as much as a few weeks after delivery - the larger the litter the greater the discharge

dl_pap: are food suppliments (i.e - creamcheese...) considered ok before?

PHMorgan: THis discharge can be reddish, greenish, or blackish

PHMorgan: It should not be BRIGHT RED and COPIOUS. IT should not be yellow, white or SMELLY - infection has a VERY foul smell

PHMowgli: pap my girls get cottage cheese last week prior to whelping and yogurt once a week htrough life

PHMorgan: I often give food supplements before, Pap

PHMorgan: Particularly the last 10-14 days

dl_pap: my girl doesn't like anything

PHMorgan: YOu will have this discharge whether the bitch delivers naturally or via section.

PHMowgli: hi fas

FasdogKira: Hi all

PHChristy: Hello FasdogKira! Welcome to Dog Breeding Chat! Our Topic Tonight is: Immediate Post Whelping Care

PHMorgan: A poor eater is not always a good candidate for breeding

PHMowgli: pap did you try cream cheese and yogurt mixed with honey ?

FasdogKira: Hi Christy

PHMorgan: She needs to be healthy to deliver pups on her own and take care of them

dl_pap: i'll try creamcheese

dl_pap: have tried yogert

PHMorgan: If momdog doesn't eat enouhg, her pups will be small and weak, and her milk will be insufficient and you will end up supplementing and possibly hand-raising the pups and risk losing the weaker ones

PHMowgli: peanut butter or cream cheese on a cracker is my trick to getting my brats to take pills LOL

VAL911K9: I have also found with picky eaters sometimes a little bit of Parmasean cheese helps - but not much as high in sodium

dl_pap: she usually eats ok

dl_pap: just getting too big now i think

PHMorgan: That said, WHATEVER you can get mom to eat is good the first week - but the closest to her natural diet the better - dogfood is generaly a complete nutrition - I just add extra protein and fat sources like dairy, eggs and meats

PHMorgan: Aha - that can happen

PHMorgan: I find iwth large litters momdog will eat a LOT of small meals

PHMorgan: OFfer her food 4-5 times a day instead of 1-2

PHMorgan: Again - try for her normal kibble but you can add proteins and diary products

PHMowgli: well with my large litter Violet ate constantly last 2 weeks

dl_pap: yeah i am... but having to guild the lily with a tsp. of cat food

PHMorgan: With her litter of 10, Z ate about 6 small meals a day. I had to have a neighbor come in and feed her at noon because she could nto wait all day.... LOL

PHMorgan: Pap - that is OK!

PHMorgan: So long as she is eating

dl_pap: but have been concerned about the calcium

PHMorgan: Remember her tummy area has been taken over by some hopefully very active little alien bodies.... LOL

dl_pap: she doesn't seem to like dairy

PHMorgan: Try adding powdered goat's milk to her food as if it was parmesan cheese

dl_pap: except cheddar.. she'll eat cheddar

PHMowgli: pap like christy said you can have a calicium level ran on her at vets to see if she is in normal range

PHMorgan: Give her taht then

PHChristy: cheddar is good

dl_pap: i'll do that

PHChristy: I'm not actually concerned about sodium intake in healthy dogs

PHChristy: so I use cheese liberally

PHMorgan: OK - also the first few hours it's important NOT to have a ton of visitors -we discussed keeping momdog's stress levels down

PHMorgan: Even if the WHOLE FAMILY and ALL your friends know pups are coming - tell them they will have to be content with photos for at least the first 2 weeks

PHMorgan: Often cheese is the only thing I can get momdog to eat th efirst day or so

dl_pap: good to know

PHMorgan: But I also will make a nice slurry of raw eggs, kayro syrup, goat's milk and water for momdog - usually she will eat that and then I will add kibble over time

PHMowgli: morgan I used to have that problem now first day my girls eat pureed liver with yogurt and goats milk it is blended to be like a shake and they love it and eat it right up

weremon13_nr: hey all

PHChristy: Hi again weremon! Welcome to Dog Breeding Chat!

PHMorgan: Sounds good Mow - I will add pureed liver to my recipe.... ALL my guys LOVE liver

weremon13_nr: did I talk to any of you in the exotic chat last night?

PHMorgan: And I do give liver to preggo moms

PHChristy: Tonight's topic is immediate post whelping care!

dl_pap: raw liver?

weremon13_nr: thank you Christ

PHMowgli: i use raw yes

weremon13_nr: Christy*

FasdogKira: Hi weremon!

PHMowgli: but i know others who boil it first

weremon13_nr: hi

PHMorgan: I will use raw or cooke d- *I prefer cooked but I'm a germ freak

weremon13_nr: how are you fasdog

PHChristy: I don't give anything to puppies, but I feed raw to moms

weremon13_nr: I remember you

FasdogKira: weremon, I'm fine!

PHMorgan: No - none for baby dogs

dl_pap: sounds yummy!

PHMowgli: I prefer cooked too morgan but the girls prefer raw and eat it better LOL

weremon13_nr: this is the same fasdog, correct?

VAL911K9: seems like with mine the more disgusting and smelly the better they like it so I use raw

PHMorgan: OK - I propose next week we talk about the first week of puppy's life - this sound OK? I konw we talked about it a few months ago, but it seems the right time to do it again..... Whadayathink?

PHChristy: LOL Val

PHMowgli: how old are yur pups before you add in goats milk or another protein source to their diets?

PHChristy: sounds good, I have some info on that to share also.... about improving neonatal survival

PHMowgli: works for me morgan

PHMorgan: Mow - if momdog doesn't have enough milk, I will use goat's milk, diluted by 50% with water even the first day

dl_pap: great

PHChristy: did you know that 30 percent of all puppies and kittens do not survive their first week?

PHMowgli: no I did not know that

PHMorgan: OFten I will add some yogurt (not much) and some kayro syrup (again, not a lot) to the goat's milk

PHMorgan: NO way

PHChristy: I like to think that we, as careful breeders, have better rates than that, but it does underscore how hazardous the early days can be

PHMorgan: I've never lost one

PHMorgan: KNock wood

PHMorgan: (bangs on Z"s head)

PHMowgli: I have lost 2 pups so far both to pda

PHChristy: well, you're a cut above the average, Morgan

PHMorgan: I've been extremely lucky, have had extremely hearty pups and great momdogs

PHChristy: I think the whole point is we all want above average results

PHChristy: that's why we are here

PHMorgan: But I particularly chose lines that whelped easily and were good mothers. Also a hearty breed

PHChristy: that's important, because Dr. Hutch says that problems during delivery are the leading cause of neonatal deaths

PHChristy: so having easy whelpers is critical

PHMowgli: yes breeds vary as do congenital defects that can be born in and those are problems too

PHMowgli: toy breeds are more susceptible to congenital defects from my reading

dl_pap: what about dew claws?

dl_pap: at birth or later?

PHMorgan: We will go over that stuff next week- there is a LOT that goes on the first week

PHMowgli: I have dwe claws removed t 3-5 days

PHChristy: Thank you everyone for being with us for Dog Breeding Chat this week, we're now entering part two of our DogHobbyist Doubleheader.... Welcome to Showdog Chat with your host, PHMowgli!

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