Monday, June 29, 2009

What you should know about Breeding and Welping your Bitch

THE IN HEAT PERIOD OF THE BITCH
A Chow Chow bitch comes into season, one in every six months. Her first sign will be a bloody discharge from the vagina, this discharge lasts for approximately nine days before turning to a light pink or creamy color, it is in these next seven days that the bitch will be ready to accept a male.
Many Chow Bitches are difficult to mate, and you will need a helping hand, one person should steady the bitch’s head and it is wise to apply a muzzle to her jaws as she could give a nasty bite if frightened. Another person will be needed to steady her body and to raise her vulva so that the male can penetrate her vagina. A third person will be needed to assist the male to mount the bitch in the correct position, and to be held in that position whiles the mating occurs.
The best time to mate your bitch is from the 9th day of her discharge to the 16th day, l has found that the best Day for my bitches is the 13th day. This is when the eggs are being released from the ovaries; the sperm will find their way to the ovaries and will impregnate them. Sperm can live for a period of seven days inside the uterus before dying, -if no eggs are available to impregnate.
The last seven days (or five days) some dogs season is a little longer than other going up to 25 days, is when the bitch is going out of heat, the resting period. If you have mated your bitch at the right time, you can count forward 61 days to have the approximate time of when to expect her puppies.
If you find your bitch very unco-operative with the chosen male, it is no use wasting time, and hoping that they will mate another day, it may be to late, go directly to Artificial Insemination and be sure that your bitch gets the right amount of sperm which in 99% of the case. Artificial Insemination does work. And produces very good litters, I have personally inseminated three of my Bitches, and all have produced good healthy litters, It is advisable to breed your female only once a year, so that she is in a good condition when she has her litter -A chronic female is not a valuable breeding hitch any you do not wish to raise a litter of puppies, you should consider having her spayed, provided she is not a show dog.
PRENATAL CARE:
The average length of pregnancy from mating to whelping is 63 days. For the first few weeks of pregnancy if a bitch is on a balanced diet and she receives sufficient but not too much exercise, then no change is necessary.
2) Weight gain, not much weight is gained in the first 4 weeks. But again it is advisable to weigh your bitch from mating and each week thereafter. A gain of 2kg could mean 1-2 puppy, but 4-5 kg might be many more, depending on their size. This is not a definite way of calculation the size of a litter but could give you a slight estimate of how many to expect, and average newborn puppy weighs about 250grams at birth.
The best way to settle you curiosity is to have your bitch X Rayed, at about the 55-58th day when the bones are sufficiently formed to be able to show the formation of the Puppies, If only one or Two puppies you may be able to see one or both clearly, but on the other hand if she has not had a bowel action during the day, one or both puppies may be super-imposed by stool in the large bowel. In a recent x-ray of my pregnant Bitch Champion Monique, one good size puppy showed up clearly, on the x-ray plate, perfectly formed, but above it was what looked like parts of another puppy but as I have said super-imposed by stool. The opinion of both vets who looked at the x-ray was that there might be another puppy or it might be just an unusual stool formation, and we would have to wait until she Gave birth.
3) A change in breasts and nipples is noticed about the 35th day, she may also show a darkening of her nipples very early in pregnancy. At about the 5th week the nipples begin to swell and stand out, they may appear very pink. As her pregnancy advances the breasts soften and enlarge until about the 50th day. Several days before whelping a watery fluid may be expressed from the nipples. In a maiden bitch, real milk will not appear until the birth of the litter.
4) Bitches usually become more serene and settled and affectionate as the pregnancy advances, but on occasions the highly-strung bitch may be more aggressive and tense. In her last few days she may be inclined to follow you all over the house, looking for attention all the time.
5) In the last week of her pregnancy the unborn puppies can often be seen or touched as they move inside the mother while she is lying down on her side in a relaxed position. Movement may not be felt in a bitch with only one puppy. Do not palpate your bitch’s abdomen for this could cause damage to the fetuses, A Vet will all ways be available to examine her.
At 28 days the Vet will be able to tell whether she is pregnant or not, by feeling for the puppies in her uterus, the puppies may be very high under her rib cage, then they will be almost impossible to detect.
If you feel carefully the abdomen up the uterine horn you may feel what feels like little marbles, these are the puppies developing, but do not press hard or be rough as you could damage or even kill them. You will find that during her forth week she may loose her appetite for a few days, but this will come back with a vengeance, and it is during this forth week that she should start having two meals a day. She will also require increased levels of vitamins and minerals, amino acids and energy. If these are not received from an adequate diet, she will get them by depleting her body reserve. As her appetite increases start offering her two meals a day, morning and evening, but make sure she has plenty of water and dried dog food available at all times. Nutritious additions to her diet should be added and these should include a high level of protein, such as cottage cheese, eggs, meat, and liver. Butter milk and goat’s milk is also very good for her. In addition to any vitamins and minerals supplement calcium for the formation of bones. Kelp or seaweed for the dark coloring on the Chow Chow tongue, and cod liver oil for their fur.
Towards the end of her pregnancy be careful that she does not become constipated, - and also watch that she does not contract gastroenteritis. Your bitch will appreciate extra attention and love during her pregnancy, but do not over indulge her and do not become neurotic about her condition, for you will find you may need the doctor yourself, allow her to continue naturally as you would yourself if you were pregnant.
Preparation for whelping should be made during the last weeks of pregnancy. Select an area away from the bustle of the household, in a spare room or somewhere where it will be quite for your bitch. If in a flat or apartment place a box for her in your own bedroom where she will be near to you when her labor begins. A large wooden box is the most advisable, lined with newspapers; the sides must be high enough to keep the puppies in and draughts out. One side can be partly cut down so as to allow the mother easy access to her baby’s -A tray with necessary supplies should be placed on a table near the whelping box or on top of it.
THIS TRAY SHOULD INCLUDE.
1. Rectal Thermometer, Towels, Hot water bottle or heating pad, covered to keep puppies warm, Paper towels and cleaning tissues. Extra newspapers for the box. Cotton tips. Vaseline, Blunt scissors for cutting cords, dental floss for tying cords iodine Small forceps to remove- membranes around puppy, Baby scale or kitchen scale. Premature or special puppy baby bottle, Bitches milk substitute or Ideal milk, available from your supermarket or Vet.
DIFFERENT STAGE’S OF PREGANCY.
Not all dogs go through these stages.
1st week. 1-7 days. She may he off her food and quite at this stage, she is still in season and it will be impossible to tell it she is pregnant.
2nd Week 8-14 days She should be eating her normal ration of food and may still have a discharge from the vulva which could be brown in color-
3rd Week Her discharge should now he turning white and you maybe able to feel small lumps in her uterus, if you know how to palpate her properly. If not a vet will be able to tell you for sure during her forth week, She should he eating her normal food as well as extra milk every day.
4th Week 22-27 Days She may still have a slight white discharge, and you sill find that she will now become fussy over what she eats; she will also have morning sickness.
5th Week 28.35 days. Her abdomen may look slightly enlarged and her nipples may look bigger and harder. She may still be suffering from the various bout of morning sickness, and may still not he interested in plain dog food, treat her to more tasty food from this week onwards•


6th week
36-42 days She should now start eating more than her normal ration, and you should be able to see an increase in her girth. She will also be very protective of herself and may attack other dogs; it is best that she is kept separated from them.
7th Week 43-49 days. Eating well and looking pregnant, her coat should be in perfect Condition and she herself should be in excellent health.
8th Week 49*55 days She is now looking very large and heavy, her breasts should be well formed and fluid may be expressed towards the end of this week. Exercise is important throughout her pregnancy. She should be eating very well.
9th Week
56-63 days She may not be very interested in her food during this last week, and it is best to feed her a light diet, she will also start looking for a nesting place in which to give birth. Best to provide her with a strong whelping box and lots of newspapers. She will be very heavy, and tire very easily. Her breasts will have milk and she will go into labor and give birth to her puppies.
RASPBERRY LEAF THE WONDER PLANT FOR IN WHELP BITHCES.
When it was established that my bitch was pregnant, I decided to try the ancient birth remedy of feeding her Raspberry leaf with all her meals. The reason for this is that the Raspberry leaf which is available from any health shop softens the tissues of the vagina and cervix, therefore allowing an almost pain and problem free birth. It also helps to provide more oxygen to the placentas and thence to the unborn puppies. This in turn makes them stronger and more able to cope with the elements outside the uterus, once my bitch started her early labor she took it very easy. "I was the anxious one who paced the floor all night and got no sleep at all" She started to make her nest at about 4pm on the 3rd July, during the night she was at times restless, but most off the time she relaxed and tried to sleep, during her wake full periods I fed her on Honey, Milk, and Raspberry leaf. "Lady" produced her first healthy bitch puppy at 6.25am on the 4th July, She did not scream in pain and the puppy was Born with no difficulty at all, the next four followed in very quick succession with about 20 minutes to each birth, her fifth puppy arrived at about 8.55am. She then rested for two hours, knowing that she still could give birth to another puppy I gave her another drink of Honey and Raspberry and Milk, and the last most beautiful puppy born in the litter arrived at 10am. This was the largest puppy born in the litter. Now that all the births were over another dose of the above with extra calcium this time, to help her to rid her self of any retained placentas.
Today my puppies are a day old, they are healthy and sucking well, their color is good and their temperatures are normal. Mum has plenty of milk to feed them. I can only recommend Raspberry leaves to all those who have had problems in their breeding pattern. Hopefully your bitch may not have to have a Caesarean the next time and that all your puppies will be born alive and healthy. So please give Raspberry leaves a place in your home, next time you are expecting a litter and may all your problems he healthy little ones. "This also works on the pregnant human as well making birth very much easier and far less painful.

WHELPING
A few days before whelping you will possibly he able to extract a few drops of liquid from the* bitches breasts, but sometimes the breasts do not fill until she is in labor or even after the puppies are born, It is essential that once she has completed whelping that she attends the Vet who can give her a hormone injection to reduce the uterus and any fever, this will also bring on the milk.
From about the 60th day you may notice a slight drop in her temperature from the normal 38.5 it will drop to about 37.9 this could fluctuate during the next few days, and could be a little higher in the evening, e.g. 38.1 this drop and rise can continue for a few days and please remember not all bitches whelp when they should, some have puppies on the 61st day while others can go to 70 days, this is most probably caused by the egg's not been united with the sperm at the time of mating and the sperm having to lie in the uterus waiting for a few days until the eggs are ready, sperm can live for 7 days in the uterus, before they die, do not worry if your bitch appears to be a little over her date, or even a little early. First time pregnancies usually arrive a little earlier then second pregnancies. Fat bitches appear to go into labor later then their thinner companions.
Once she goes into labor, you will notice a sudden drop in her temperature from 37,7 it may drop right down the thermometer to 36.5 but again this varies with different bitches and she may have only a slight change before she whelps. You may or may not feel movement in her abdomen in the last week and you can easily mistake her breathing for movements of the puppies. By 9 weeks the puppies are getting very large and if her uterus is crowded, there will not be much space for the puppies to move Large whelps are often quieter then smaller whelps, and this also depends on whether you mated the bitch with a dog very much larger then her, and also on what you have fed her during her pregnancy, a bitch only carrying one or two whelps, may not even look pregnant right until the end and you may not feel or even notice movement of the puppies in the uterus. In the last few days of pregnancy feed her several times a day and give her at least a half a liter of milk each day, her dry food should always be available and it might be an idea to feed her puppy biscuits at this stage. Many bitches have a change of appetite while-t pregnant, and you may find her wanting more raw meat, then the conventional dog food. My Chow "Monique" loved a plate of strawberries and cream* Fruit is very good for your dog if she will eat it. She will also love sour milk or "maas" and Buttermilk is also very good for her and helps to make her milk rich and strong-
Once she has started making her nest she will become very destructive and may ruin your carpets or furniture, you should have a whelping box for her or she should be placed in her outdoor kennel, which is draught free and rain proof.
The bitch will continue to do the same until all the puppies are born. Do not stop her from eating all the placentas. As they help her to produce milk and will do her no harm.
Dead puppies.
Sometimes a puppy could die in the uterus this could be caused by any number of problems. An unconditioned bitch, a puppy to large to pass through the birth canal, Pelvis to small in the bitch, the cord around the puppies neck or even the placenta dying during the growth period, or becoming detached from the puppy, the puppy could be deformed. Sometimes puppies fade away soon after birth and this could be caused by insufficient heating, lack of milk in the bitch, or birth trauma, the puppy could die from over heating as well, Lack of proper care in the pregnant bitch could lead to the death of the whole litter.
Analectic:
This is when the bitch has no milk supply at all, and is unable to feed her puppies, A hormone injection within 12 hours of whelping will help to bring on her milk supply, also a tablet from the homeopath called LAC CAN given to her once a day a week before she is due to whelp, and then three times a day until she has sufficient milk supply. If not you will have to feed the puppies yourself to avoid loosing them. A formula made from puppy milk available from your Vet or you can use Carnation Ideal Milk one can of milk to one can of water, and feed about 5ml every two hours during the day and at least three feeds during the night. You may have to stimulate the puppies by gently wiping their anus and genitalia and vagina with a piece of damp cotton wool, or if the mother is well enough she will hopefully do this and clean the puppies at the same time. The best way to feed a new born puppy is by stomach tube for the first two weeks as this is very quick and you know just how much food the puppy is getting, after two weeks the puppy can be fed by a puppy bottle, or be taught to drink out of a saucer. By three weeks they can be weaned and put onto more solid foods. Such as a baby cereal.
To tube feed, a puppy measure a fairly thick catheter from the puppies’ mouth to the last rib, and then mark the end by the mouth. Attach the catheter to a syringe and fill the syringe with milk, then allow a little to run through the tube, now clamp the tube above the mark, and insert the tube into the mouth and then into the stomach, If you get a blockage then you have gone into the lung do not depress the plunger until you know that the tube is safely in the puppies stomach.
The tube is in the stomach, now remove the clamp and allow the milk. To run slowly into the puppies stomach, the milk must be just warm, and not to hot, '"after feeding burp the puppy by holding it in your hand and patting it on the back, It would he help full if you were able to get a surrogate mother for the puppy, if the mother can’t- manage it or if she has died giving birth. A whelping box is essential for your bitch to give birth to her puppies. Below is a list of whelping boxes you can make for her. As a chow is a large dog she will need a lot of space in which to move, a cardboard box is not advised as the bitch will possibly tear it to pieces and it will be wet and stained after the birth. I personally feel the best place for a bitch to have her puppies is on an old piece of carpeting laid on a lot of lot of newspapers in your bedroom. Please cover the whole of your carpet with newspaper. She will be most comfortable with you at her side, to attend to her and the newly arrived puppies. I have a large whelping box, which when not in use is left in the sunshine and disinfected before each new litter arrives, and replaced, in my bedroom. Once the puppies have been born, it is then that I place them with their mother into the whelping box. I find that my bitch requires my services when their time is near and that any comfort that I can give them is most essential. Once labor starts, I keep an eye on the bitch the whole time. I will take her temperature rectally every hour until she start's to bear down. Once the puppies have born and the floor had been cleaned of wet and dirty paper, this is the time to start using the whelping box.
The one I have is about 3 feet high by 2 feet wide and 3 ft long; it has a 1id that can be opened from the top so the bitch and puppies can be observed with out interference. There are pig rails around the inside of the box to protect the puppies from suffocating if their' mother should accidentally sit on one of them. All the instruments you need for whelping may be laid out on the top of this box within easy reach.. Try to keep her in her box which should be lined with newspapers as she can scratch up these and they can be easily replaced. Once labour starts you may notice a slight swelling of her vulva and a slight discharge.This second stage is when she starts to have contractions, she will now be very restless and start walking up and down the room pausing at each contraction and breathing deeply. If you notice a green discharage, call your Vet as something could be wrong, You sill find that she may stare and lick at her hind quaters and panting and trembling will increase. She will then begin to strain. When giving birth the bitch may cry aout in pain, be with her at all times and reasure her. chows are very intellegent and she will understand what you are doing and saying to her.The first puppy should be born after two - three hours after contractions begin , If not again call your Vet, as the contractions increase in strength you may see part of the water bag of the first fetus appear at the mouth of the vulva. Usually it will burst by subsequent contractions or her continual licking, within a few minuets after th water bag has burst the first puppy should make his appearance into theworld. if is is not born after 30 minutes again call your Vet,but only call him if you think she is in difficulties. My Chrystal had a problem when she was in labour and being a very small bitch for a chow, I decided to take her to my Vet for assistance, Well athe first puppy was born dead, He then scanned her and said that there were 3 more puppies, and that she would have to stay in hospital, Chrystal Lost all her puppies because my Vet allowed her to stay in labour instead of doing an emergency ceaser. Regardless to say I found myself another Vet. The puppy usually appears head first, but sometimes you will have a breech delivery. The puppies head and shoulders are the largest part and require a great amount of exertion. Once the head is free the rest of the puppy should take between one and four minutes for it to be born. The puppy is enclosed in a slippery membrane with the umbical cord attached to the placenta. If she does not sever the cord or the membrane covering the puppy you must then take the matter into your own hands, If not removed immediately the puppy will sufforcate and die. Remove the membrane by tearing it with your fingers away from the puppies face enabling it to breath as quickly as possible to avoid suffercation. Once he is free you may then tie the cord and then cut it with sterile siccors. Be carefull not to pull on the stomach wall as this will cause an umbical hernia. HOW TO DEAL WITH THE CORD. Tie the cord firmly with dental floss about 1-2inches from the puppies body, clamp the center of the cord nearest the placenta with forceps or tie it again with dental floss. Now cut the cord in the centre of the two ties with blunt siccors. After the puppy has been seperated from the placenter swab the cord on the puppy end with iodine. Dry the puppy quickly and place him next to his mother. she will now begin to lick him and you may hear it gasp or cry. The bitch will then direct the puppy to her nipples and it should begin to suck.
CESARIAN SECTION
This is a Life saving operation and not done just for the asking. If your Chow Bitch has not gone into labor three days after her due date, please seek urgent advice from your Vet. He may then advise an injection which would encourage her to start labor or do a Caesarean Section, this is an operation, in which the Surgeon cuts into the uteri of the Bitch to remove the whelps-if done in time all the puppies have a chance of surviving, but if left to long as in the case of my Bitch "Monique" who never went into labor, a Caesar was performed 5 days after her due date, and she was delivered of one large dead male whelp. There was no reason for the puppy to have died, and on inspection it was a perfectly formed puppy. But due to the bitch not going into labor it was lost. She herself suffered a slight set back, as her uterus would not reduce in size, and was only slightly infected, once on antibiotics as well as Oxytocin injection given she slowly started to feel more her normal self. She only really started to eat about 5 days after the operation and had to be coaxed with chicken and fish as well as a large slice of Christmas pudding and thick cream.
After a Cesar the Bitch will be very sore and will bleed a lot from the Vulva, don’t be to perturbed about the loss of Blood, and if you are, telephone or take her to see your Vet. Keep a check of her temperature at least 3 times a day and chart it. Make sure she is able to urinate as well as pass a stool. The third day after the operation is a good day to take her for a short walk around the garden or a dog park to get her bladder and bowels working properly.
Her wound and Stitches must be kept dry at all times and it is advisable to dust the stitches three times a day with a wound powder available from your Vet or chemist. If she is feeding puppies, and her breasts are pendulous, please dry between them after each feed, and dust with powder, this will keep infection away. Keep Breasts and Nipples free from fur while the young are sucking, as loose hair or fur can cause an obstruction in the digestive system of the young puppy. The Caesar wound should be healed by the 13th day and the stitches can be removed. POINTS TO REMEMBER –
1. Any bitch over 3 days
2 Protracted Labor.
3 The birth followed by a puppy blocking the birth passage.
4. No sign of labor and 3 days over due.
5 X-ray first to see where the problem lies and then treat.
6. A green discharge can be a sure sign that there is a problem, if this happens before the birth of any puppies. It means that the first placenta has parted from the puppy, and if the puppy is not delivered it will suffocate. Sometimes a Caesar should be done if this is suspected.

All four of the above need emergency treatment to save the life of the Bitch and her Whelps.
After "Monique’s" operation she fostered Two Chow Puppies from my other Bitch who had given birth a few days before, to four large puppies, all four did very well with their two mothers

A cat called Nelson


A CAT CALLED NELSIN
She was born in the garage of our company some time over the Christmas break, I only saw he when I got back from leave and she must have been about 5 weeks old, she had 3 siblings a black a black and white and a lovely Tabby. I started to feed them, and then I decided to take these totally wild kittens home. It took a few days to plan their capture and then one at a time I managed to get three of the kittens. I took them home and placed then in a holding cage, I had the black we now call Nelsin, the black and white and the tabby, after 2 weeks I let them out hoping they would settle down, but not to be the black and white made a run for it, the Tabby vanished but Nelsin settled down slowly. A week later I found the Tabby behind the fish tank and she was jus learning that humans would not hurt he when she got out of my bedroom window and was sadly killed by my Dobermans. But this story is about Nelsin, whom was at first called Nelson because she is so black with yellow eyes and we thought she was a male. But after being with us for 11 weeks we knew she was a female. The first six weeks with us were pure hell for her as well as us. She screamed for her food, peed on the bed, and then one day she was gone, I could not find her anywhere. This was the day that the tabby died. Well I thought I only had them for 6 weeks, I should never have taken them away from their original home. One of my Chows had recently passed away suddenly after been bitten by a snake, and I went to her grave and spoke to her. "Nickie" I said, "Please help me to find Nelsin, send your sprit back and find the kitten for me" I stood at her grave for a while and then left. It was while I was getting supper that evening when I heard the meow of a kitten; it was dark so I took the torch to look for her. I eventually saw her walking up the drive with mo other cat speckles, a Maine coon, my prayer to Nickie ha been answered. Nelsin was very hungry and was only too happy to be home. Nelsin is now home bound and has grown into a lovely pitch-black cat and has been a mother herself a couple of times. She still screams at me when she thinks its supper time, she loves to watch the fish in the fish tank, and often sits and watches T.V. she is a gentle cat with a lovely nature. And She loved speckles and would sleep curled up with him between his paws. I trust that Nelsin will have a long and happy life with us, and her other cat friends.

Tidbits

TIDBITS
These are two little stories told to me by my Vet.
THE GREAT DANE AND THE SOCKS.
Sadie the Great Dane loved playing with the washing and in particular socks. One morning her mistress phoned the Vet, "Charles" she said, "Sadie has just vomited up 3 socks", bring her in to the surgery and I look her over " he said. At the surgery she promptly vomited up another sock, "Well " Said Charles "everything in pairs' He sent her home on antibiotics to ward off any infection the socks might have caused. But alas all was not well, the following morning, Sadie was even worse, not eating and not passing any stools, back to the Vet. Charles decided to X-ray the Great Dane, and got trapped, the only cure was to open her up and remove the offending object there it was another sock stuck in her mall intestine, it had passed through the stomach. This was done, and Sadie was once again a happy Great Dane no worse for wear. All the socks in the house are now kept well out of the way. Let this little story be a lesson to all, don't let the dog play with your smalls, it might just turn out to be more costly then buying a pair of socks.
PIP AND THE CHAMELEON
Pip was a Toy Pom puppy, therefore she was still very small, as you can imagine. Her owner also had a pet chameleon, but the day the Pom and the Chameleon met is to be remembered by many especially the Vet for a long time.
The vet "Charles" received a frantic call one morning " My toy Pom puppy has swallowed my pet chameleon, what can I do. I can see the Chameleon wriggling in his tummy". Well holding back his laughter Charles said to wait and see, as the chameleon would surly die and the puppy would pass in a stool in a day or two. Well an hour later another frantic phone call. The Toy Pom puppy had vomited up the Chameleon, What could she do for it, as it was still alive. Charles of course suggested bringing both the puppy and the Chameleon to the surgery. Pip the Pom passed a clean bill of health and the Chameleon was given a wash and survived to continue his creepy crawly life, well out of the way of the Toy Pom puppy.

Eclampsia


ECLAMPSIA
Candy, my little Maltese, was 60 days into her pregnancy, it had been a good pregnancy, and I could feel her puppies moving quite vigorously. On the Saturday 2nd November, she seemed to suddenly quieten down, she would not eat, or drink and her temperature was 38.5. Rather strange behaviour, but I thought it best to leave her to se what progressed. By the time I went to bed she was still lying next to me, breathing gently, and although she appeared to be in a deep sleep, she was not agitated.
At 2.20am I was woken up by a terrible scream, she was swaying her head from side to side, the fit only lasted a few seconds, and she then settled down to sleep again, an hour later she had the second fit. Oh my god I thought this is Eclampsia, I knew that it was imperative that I get calcium into her blood stream, and not having calcium injections, I missed a spoon of Cal sup into half a cup of water and syringed this into her mouth, she swallowed it all and again fell asleep, at 4 am she had another fit, but not as bad as the first two. I again gave her the cal sup mixture and again she settled down to sleep. But she was still not right, as she slept her head was in a thrown back position and her back legs were stiff, there were no contractions at this time. At 6am she started to have slight pushing contractions and these carried on for almost 2 hours. She still appeared to be in a comatose state. At 8.15am she gave birth to her first puppy, I revived the puppy and offered it to her but she was not interested in it at all.
As our Vet only opened at 9am, we took her over and waited for him. When he arrived I explained to him her condition, and he agreed with as to the trouble. While examining her before and X-ray was taken, she screamed again and then gave birth to her 2nd puppy. Once the Vet had taken the X-rays in which we could see another 5 puppies still to come, He put her on a drip, of glucose, into which he injected Calcium gluconate, and Oxytocin. During the day she recovered enough to take interest in her puppies and delivered another 4 healthy puppies, but by 4pm she still had not give birth to the 7th one, it was then decided to do a caesarean Section, and to spay her at the same time, due to a malfunction which showed up on her heart in the X-ray.
The 7th puppy was very weak but alive, and was put into the incubator with the others. Candy was then allowed home with her puppies.
These were fed by tube every 2 hours while their mother slept. This morning they all appeared well and candy was much better, although still very weak, she had started to take note of her babies, and was cleaning them. They were put to her teats and allowed to suck. I gave them a tube feed before I left for work. Knowing that my son would watch over them during the day and if anything went wrong, he would take them to the vet.
Eclampsia is a lack of Calcium in the Blood, which can lead to fits, coma and death, this usually occurs in small and medium bitches, but can affect any bitch, either before or even after whelping. It is not very common but is very dangerous, when it does occur. Emergency treatment must be sort after as soon as possible.
Post script: 4.7.2004
A week ago my little maltese bitch Roxy gave birth to 5 lovely puppies, but tonight things started to go horribly wrong, she became very restless and would not attend to her puppies refusing to go near them or feed them, she would not eat of drink and her gums and tongue went a bright color red, immediately this started to happen instead of panicking I started to give her Cal Phos tablets 2 every 10minutes I gave her a rescue tablet as well, When she started to pant and breathe rather to quickly for my liking, I made strong black coffee and put a lot of sugar into it, this I feed her with a syringe into her mouth and she was able to swollow it with no problems, I wraped her in a cold damp towel to bring her temperature down which helped dramatically, there was almost an immediate response for the better in her condition. Her Eclampsia started at about 10pm and with out a car I was unable to get her to an emergency hospital, I kept up the treatment until 4am in the morning, when she started to breathe easier and settled down with her puppies, as her heart beat slowed to a normal rate, and she looked more comfortable, she eventually went to sleep, exhausted but breathing normally and temperature normal. During the day I continued to give her 2 Cal Phos tablets every 2 hours, and that evening she ate all her food as well as a bowl of milk and then a plate of scrambled egg. To day I gave her a Niacin tablet which contains 234 mg of Calcium phosphate,100 mg Niacin,8mg Vegetable Steanic Acid, 4mg Vegetable Cellulose, she has recovered and is eating well and feeding her puppies. Yes I took her life into my hands, and with the help of her protector she is much better and is her loving self again.

The horrors of the infared lamp

Melushka looking for the cats


THE HORRORS OF THE INFRARED LAMP
In May a few years ago, my Bitch Meltari Chrystal Gazer was expecting a litter from Meltari blue Denim. The weather was turning cooler and my heating pad I had used for years had finally packed up. All the books I have on puppy rearing suggest the use of the infrared lamp, saying this was the best way of keeping young puppies warm, so instead of buying another heating pad, I bought an infrared lamp from the chemist.

My bitch's litter of nine puppies were born but two died soon after birth. The rest survived and were kept warm under the infrared lamp. No, unknown to me, I sued a medicated infrared lamp, not knowing at the time you could buy a special lamp for keeping puppies or chickens warm. I left the lamp on all night and turned it on periodically during the day when the weather turned chilly - never knowing the damage I was causing my lovely puppies and their mother.
My puppies thrived and grew and soon their eyes were open. All of them had bright blue eyes and as they grew the blue did not fade away very much. Only two puppies' eyes eventually turned brown at six weeks of age. I took my bitch puppy Meltari Melushka to the vet and on careful examination he pronounced her blind in both eyes. The corneas were badly damaged and he suggested I put her down and it was possibly a genetic disability.
Well I went through my puppy's pedigrees to try to trace this blindness but all dogs on both sides were of sound bloodlines and there was no blindness. I did not destroy my puppy and today although she cannot see, she can find her way around like any Chow with sight. I telephoned S.A. Phillips to get a replacement globe for my infrared lamp. The gentleman I spoke to was horrified when I told him what I wanted " You cannot use a medicated lamp on small puppies, you need an incubator lam" was what he said. Suddenly it struck me; Melushka's blindness was not a genetic fault by my fault for using an incorrect infrared lamp. I phoned my Vet and spoke to him about my discovery and he agreed immediately with me. It was the rays of the infrared lamp that had burned the corneas of the whole litter of puppies abut somehow my puppy received more than the others. There were three puppies that developed white spots on their corneas, my blind puppy, only one had clear eyes and two were blind in one eye. This was terrible and all puppies were given away to people who wanted them. Their mother Chrystal, because of receiving such a large dose of infrared has lost all the hair on her chest and tummy. I am horrified at the dangers of a medicated infrared lamp. Don't trust your chemist for providing the correct lamp. They may also not know the difference. Rather get professional advise on where to buy the correct item from S.A. Phillips or use a heating pad which is far safer for you precious litter.

You all read about the devastating effect of the infrared lamp on my puppies. Now I am going to tell you about my blind chow, "Melushka".
She was the pick of the litter, a lovely sturdy puppy with good bone and a lovely head; only we did not know that she would never be able to see.
As a tiny puppy she won every one's heart. When we realised there was something very wrong with her sight, I took her to my vet who confirmed my fears and suggested that we put her down. She was then 8 Weeks old. Instead I asked him to inoculate her as I would be keeping her, blind or not she was a Chow and one of mine.
As the months went past, we watched her grow from a tiny puppy, which at first would stumble around the garden finding her feet, but soon learnt where every obstacle was that she might bump into. In her rush around the yard, she soon learned that her best friends were my three cats. She would gleefully sniff them out and the chase was on. She flew around the garden after them. Looking at her you would never think this lovely chow was totally blind. She has never seen the sun or the trees and really has no idea what the cats look like. Many a time, when the cats were well and truly cornered, they would jump over my garden fence. She was not perturbed by their actions and would stand with her two front paws balanced on the fence. She was not perturbed by their actions and would stand with her two front paws balance on the fence "looking" over to see if they were anywhere within reach. While she was still very young, I also got Charlie, a black Maltese Cross Toy Poodle to be her companion. She loved Charlie and when they are together, follows him around the garden. It's like having a guide dog for a blind dog. They have always got on very well together.
Two weeks ago Melushka had to have one of her eyes removed as she had developed glaucoma in it. It was unsightly to look at. I thought it would be better if it were not there at all. She sailed through the operation and although my Vet said it was a difficult operation as the eyeball itself was a big as a golf ball and full of fluid, he thought that infection might set in and that he would have to put her down. But again she proved him wrong and she healed very quickly and was soon getting around even better than before. Without the pain and the weight of a very bad eye, the cats are now even more aware of her. You would never think that she was blind unless you look at her eyes. She is a truly lovely young 18-month-old chow and so far she has coped extremely well with her disability. And I am sure she will cope very well with anything put in her way. On a sad ending note of Melushkas life I had to put her down at the age of 8 years because she developed cancer in her throat.



THE MATING OF LADY AND LEO
I wish to thank the following members who helped me in the very frustrating job of mating two very Novice Chow Chow's.
Many thanks to Andries and Lia Du Toit, Mr & Mrs Myburg and Mr and Mrs Zwang, for their offer to help as well. I think you are all very wonderful people and I don't know what I would have done without all of you.
I also wish to thank Mr Skidmore for allowing me to mate Lady Loretta with Leo, even though it took almost four hours, half a dozen beers and a few cigarettes. Oh what a night, I will never forget it.
Lady produced her first two gorgeous puppies, Midnight and Leo's son a lovely red and a lovely black.
MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS
Many of you "oldies" may remember the story of how Rick and I were so frustrated when we tried to mate our very first two sill Chow's, "Lady" and "Leo" and had to eventually call in the help of the Chow Club to get these two dogs together. It was only after the kind assistance of Coen Myburg and Andries du Toit that we made thing happen. Out of this union were born two male puppies "Leo's son" and "Midnight". We showed them at shows as puppies and Midnight was sold at the age of 5 months. "Sonny" as we called him was sold to a Mrs Annamarie Balmer. These puppies were born on the 17th April 1984. At the time of writing this story 10 years ago and to day "2nd May 1994" I received a very unexpected phone call. Annamarie Balmer phoned me at work, after getting my number from the Chow Club. What a wonderful surprise she had for me! "Sonny" now called "Leo" had just become a father for the first time to a young bitch they call "Kama". He sired a magnificent litter of 5 bitches and 3 dogs. All doing very well. This was his very first mating and I really feel that this could be a record. i.e. his age and the number of puppies born for his age!
I know that he is truly loved and cared for by the Balmers and I am so very proud to be a grandmother to his puppies! He was our very first.

Reaching out


REACHING OUT
For the last few days, my mind has been playing tricks with me, I found my self constantly thinking about my "Skye's" sister, "Bortei Sidgen", whom I sold to two young men when she was 8 weeks old. I have not seen her as she has grown up, but something nagged me so I tried to phone her owners. The phone was disconnected.
To day at lunchtime, 19 January 1995, tow of my friends from work and I decided to spend our lunch hour at the Kloof S. P.C.A. We often do this at lunchtime, as we all love the animals. Well today was no exception. We first went and said hello to the cats and the kittens then slowly made our way to the dogs available for adoption. There were all sorts, a lot of nice staffies etc. then Jo, who was looking at another cage called me,"Carol there is a Chow here" Well I ran to the cage and my heart almost stopped when I saw her. She looked so much like my "Sharin", she could be her daughter, and I ran to the office to Enquirer if she had a pedigree. "Yes" the lady, said a very good one. "May I see it I asked" To my surprise I found my name as the breeder. She was the bitch I had been worrying about for the last week "Her owner died suddenly " I was told." I am Mrs. Mc Intyre Dewrance" I explained to them, that I was the breeder and that I have copies of her papers. "I want her back, but not spayed, I told them" I was told that they would have to speak to Dr Pringle the Chairman of the S.P.C.A. and also whether I could prove that I am her breeder. I explained that I will show them my Kennel Union Registration number and I will bring it to them.
I then went to her kennel and went inside, at first she was a little nervous, but soon settled down with me when I spoke to her,"Sidgen" I said "I'm coming to get you tomorrow". I rubbed my face against her soft cheek and because her kennel was very hot, no shade at all, I put a choke chain onto her and took her out for a walk. I then put her back into her kennel.
I went back to work and immediately phoned Dr Pringle and explained to him what I had told the S.P.C.A. he said he would consider my request not to spay her and that I must phone back sometime later. When I phoned back later I was told the wonderful news, "She is yours, you can come and get her" I was so thrilled I burst into tears. I was getting my baby back even though she is now 20 months old. I know she will produce lovely puppies one day with Baxter and I will have her in the show ring as soon as possible.
"De JA Vu" or what ever it's called. "Sidgen " reached out to me in her time f trouble and I felt it. I know she will be happy and soon settle down in her birth home.
Sidgen has settled down very well. You would think she had never spent 20 months of her young life away from home. She is lovely, and has a marvelous nature and loves me as much as I love her. She will be my Chow forever.
PostScript 5th Dec 200l.
Sidgen will be 10years old next year and like her sister Skye she is still getting around not as much as she used to because of arthritis in her hind legs but she is still with us and still loved very much.