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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The litter we whelped last Tuesday was a first ever for me. Thanks to lots of mentoring from Nancy (ErinsEdge) and Vicki (Lady Duck Hunter) I am getting through it! I hope one day to have enough experience under my belt to help others the way they have helped me.

I couldn't have been luckier in terms of when the pups came. 1st one at 9:40AM, last one around 2:30 PM. That's right, middle of the day during the middle of the week. Called the vet's office when the first one arrived and they called to check in every hour if they had't heard from me already. Vet even stopped by the house unexpected that evening after work to check mom and pups and gave everyone a clean bill of health.

Day 3, Thursday, I took them in to have dewclaws removed and again vet said everyone looked great.

Talked with my vet Monday morning (completely unrelated to puppies) when he told me he was taking his wife and kids on a vacation for Spring Break but I could call the vet who works for him at the clinic if I needed anything. Shortly after he left town things turned south in a hurry!

Monday 5:30PM - my girlfriend and I were weighing puppies, cleaning the whelping box, etc and she noticed one of the pups had a rhaspy sound to it's breathng. Knowing the clinic was about to close I rushed to call the backup vet. I described what I was hearing and asked if I could bring the pup in for her to examine. She said as long as the pup was eating and gaining weight (which it was) I had nothing to worry about. That didn't sound right to me but I went along with it.

Searched RTF and a few other sites that evening and didn't find anything that applied (hence this thread so others can learn from my situation)

Tuesday 6:00AM - we're again weighing pups and cleaning box and notice original pup sounds worse and now a second pup is starting to sound congested.

Tuesday 9:00AM - Call vet and describe new situation. She again says "If they are eating and gaining weight they are fine." Then proceeds to tell me it's common for all newborns, human, horse, dog, etc to get congested shortly after birth an it will go away. Called some breeders I know in my area and couldn't reach anyone so I PM'd Nancy for advice. Nancy recommended amoxi or clavamox drops.

Tuesday 10:00AM - Call vet and request prescription for drops. Vet refuses stating she is against giving antibiotics to week old puppies.

Tuesday 11:00AM Home for lunch, check on pups and now have 3 with congestion. Take the 3 sick pups to vet's office and demand that she examine them. She puts stethiscope to 1st one and says "Oh, S***!" She then agrees to prescribe the drops but doesn't know the dosage. She then admits she specializes in large animal and doesn't have experience with newborn puppies.

Tuesday 12:00PM - Having lost faith in backup vet at this point I placed a call to a vet buddy in South Texas (5 - 6 hours away) describe situation to him and tell him I'm heading his way. He tells me from what I have told him and the timeline he fears the pups won't make the trip. Lucky for me one of his vet school buddies has a clinic not to far from me. He calls his buddy, explains the situation and his buddy agrees to see the pups.

Tuesday 2:00PM - Vet determines pups have respiratory infection and are dehydrated. Gives each 25CC fluids under skin. Tries to get mucus sample for culture but is unsuccessful. Gives each pup 50mg pennicillin drops and instructs me to give each the same dose every 12 hours for 5 days.

Tuesday 4:00PM - Arrive home to find I now have 5 sick puppies. Called new vet to let him know and he says go ahead and dose entire litter for 5 days.

Tuesday 6:00PM - 7 out of 9 puppies sick

Wednesday 6:00AM - Weigh puppies, everyone gained or at least maintained weight. Still have 7 puppies that sound bad.

Wednesday 6:00PM - Weigh again, only 1 lost weight but only a fraction of an ounce. Everyone else maintained or gained. 2 of originally sick puppies sound much better. 1 sound the same, pups that got sick later sound a bit worse. New problem to tackle tomorrow... Diarrhea in puppies brought on from meds...

It's now close to midnight Wednesday and all of the puppies are still with us. Everyone sounds like they are getting better (but far from well).

The moral to all of this... If your vet tells you something that just doesn't seem right, keep pressing or get a second opinion. More important yet, make sure you have a mentor, who has learned through experience, to bounce questions off. Just because someone has a piece of paper on the wall that says they graduated vet school it doesn't mean they know a lot about your particular situation. At no point did anyone in the litter stop eating. Had I continued on the guidance "if they're eating they are OK" I may have lost some or all of the pups.
 

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Were any of them running a temp?
 

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Oh geez...please keep us posted. Hoping for everyone's full recovery.
 

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As I told you, you have had quite a time with this litter. Hope the worst is behind you now and that you and Nikki can sit back and enjoy watching these little ones grow.
 

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Hope you are keeping those pups nice and warm with heat lamps.
Good luck and hope all goes well

Yes, but not to the point of the pups dehydrating. Pups will go quickly if they get loose stools.. Mother was having some sort of problem before and after whelping. It's not a stretch that possibly the pups didn't get enough good colostrum from the Dam in the first 24 hours since she was sick.. and now their immune systems are not sufficiently developed to fight infection. I would also suspect that Diarrhea was not brought on by meds since the dam had diarrhea before and after whelping.

I hope you have all their issues under control now and the rough patch is behind you for your first litter. It's not always as easy as some assume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, but not to the point of the pups dehydrating. Pups will go quickly if they get loose stools.. Mother was having some sort of problem before and after whelping. It's not a stretch that possibly the pups didn't get enough good colostrum from the Dam in the first 24 hours since she was sick.. and now their immune systems are not sufficiently developed to fight infection. I would also suspect that Diarrhea was not brought on by meds since the dam had diarrhea before and after whelping.

I hope you have all their issues under control now and the rough patch is behind you for your first litter. It's not always as easy as some assume.
No heat lamps but puppy room stays 78 - 80 degrees (measured in the box) and I have a heating pad under one corner of the box.

I was concerned about dehydration as well so I e-mailed the new vet last night. Since the three I took in yesterday got subQ fluids we should be good with them but I'm taking the others today to get subQ fluids.

New vet suspects diarrhea in mom is actually due to worms or other parasite (didn't have her or a fecal sample with me). He gave me Strongid for the puppies and told me to go ahead and worm mom with the liquid wormer I had onhand (Can't remember but I think it was RID wormer). He also had me switch mom back to adult food that we know usually agrees with her and add a pet tab once a day and prebiotic paste (5CC) twice a day.
 

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We always use an asperator for babies to suck out all the fluid out of the mouth and nose the minute they are born. If you don't and they don't cough it all out on their own, then you take the chance of having problems like this. Hope all of them are doing better by the time you get this message.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
We always use an asperator for babies to suck out all the fluid out of the mouth and nose the minute they are born. If you don't and they don't cough it all out on their own, then you take the chance of having problems like this. Hope all of them are doing better by the time you get this message.
Steve, I didn't buy one of the mucus traps but I did use a baby bulb to clear them as they whelped. When my vet stopped by the afternoon they were whelped he had a syringe body with a thin tube attached to it. He listened to each one with a stethiscope and said they were all clear so he didn't use it on any of them.

Your thoughts make sense to me though as that is the first thing I thought when I ran through the checklist in my head thinking "What did I do, or not do, that caused this." It may or may not be the cause but you can bet I'll have a pump next time.
 

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Buy a book called "The Pill Book Guide To Medication For Your Dog And Cat". it will give you dosage info and there will probably be times when you will need it. It's a Bantam paperback with a price tag of about $15.00 and worth every cent of that :) Always check dosage that is prescribed. Some vet's math is not good when going from large to small animal treatment. Also good for worming etc. You will find the Beagles Unlimited web sight of interest also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just took mom and all the pups to the new vet for a follow up. He checked everyone thoroughly and gave a thumbs up. We're not out of the woods yet but we're headed in the right direction.

He gave the pups he saw the other day 20CC fluids subQ. The others got 35CC. Checked stool sample on mom and several of the pups, all negative. Started pups on same probiotics as mom and gave me another tube for mom. I also realized I made a typo in the OP... The dose on the probiotic paste is 5G, not 5mg...

Finally starting to calm down a bit about the other vet. Hope to have a somewhat quiet weekend at home.
 

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You were right to move as fast as you did and use your judgement. Pups that young are fragile and can change in a minute. Good luck to you and keep us updated!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Here's the latest update for those of you following along.

5 day round af antibiotics was up Sunday morning. Called vet yesterday (the new one who started treatment) and updated him on current condition (still sound congested but are starting to expell some of the mucus, no fevers). He had me come by to get more antibiotics and probiotics. He agreed everyone seems to be on the mend but didn't want to take a chance of relapse from not killing it all.

Everyone's gaining weight. Everyone's up an walking (albeit a bit wobbly) Some eyes are starting to open.

All in all I think we're headed in the right direction!
 

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Glad things are going in the right direction and your babies are doing well!
 

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Glad to hear things are going better!
 

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Many thanks for the update. Very good to hear how they are doing.
 
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