I never got this finished and posted yesterday, just not enough time in my life right now, so this is a two-day posting.
Today is off to a good start, a MUCH better start than yesterday! Yesterday at this time I was waiting to take Pauli in for a 9:00 AM vet appointment. She had totally stopped eating on Sunday afternoon, and could not be bribed to try a single morsel of food. Because she had not been eating very well since the birth of her pups, something was obviously wrong. I called Dr. Jim on his cell phone and he told me that as long as she was still drinking and caring for her pups, and her temperature was normal, it was OK to wait until morning.
She was still not eating the following morning. Was I scared? You bet! A Vet appointment resulted in lots of bloodwork and a urinalysis, with the results indicating that Pauli had some kind of infection, as well as elevated liver enzymes. We came home with antibiotics and a bitch who would still not eat. The antibiotic can irritate the stomach, so should be given with food, but she was not taking any food, which made it seemingly impossible to manage. I finally made meatballs of ground turkey and force fed her, then gave the antibiotic. She later vomited some of the turkey, but I had to hope the antibiotic was already in her system. Things did not improve over the afternoon, so I pulled out my tube feeding apparatus and went down to pick up a can of Esbilac. Best to be prepared to handraise the puppies if Pauli did not start eating or her condition deteriorated. I tried bribing her with everything, but of course she had an upset stomach and would take no food on her own, although she let me spoon vanilla ice cream into her mouth and swallowed some of it.
I needed to get out of the house, so we went to Bakers Square for dinner, where I had a salad with grilled chicken. No appetite for me either., so I packed up the chicken for Pauli. When I offered her some she was not interested, so I put a piece in her mouth and she eventually chewed it. I gave her another one and she did not resist, then she looked expectantly at me. She polished off the chicken, hooray! Things were looking up a bit. I went down to Trader Joe's and picked up some grilled chicken which she ate (eagerly) later that evening.
The previous was written on Tuesday morning. Today is Wednesday and Pauli is eating quite well (although there are some things she will not eat yet), gaining weight and the pups are thriving. We always say that breeding is NOT for the faint of heart, and that is oh so true! You also need to be prepared for a variety of unexpected expenses, which is why hobby breeders are lucky if they break even on a litter. Pauli goes in for more bloodwork this morning, just to be sure things are improving. I'm fortunate to have a job where I can take my vacation in smaller amounts, as needed.
Pups are thriving, gaining weight, nursing vigorously, and Pauli is an excellent mother. I still need to go over my puppy list and check back with some of you, to tell you to hang on there or that there just won't be enough pups to go around. I've taken names off the list of people who have not stayed in touch with me, those who have found puppies, and those who have decided to wait. Also, one who I found too annoying to sell a pup to.
I'm still not sure if the liver Lucy son Christopher will be available, as Patti would really like to be able to place him in her area. If you are interested in Chris, please let me know as the pups will be coming down for BAER testing in 10 days. It will be awhile before we know which of the Pauli kids will be available to pet homes. The patched pup for sure, but we may not know on some of the others until they are 6-7 weeks. Thanks for your patience!
Yes, Letty is doing great in her new home. I'll post a funny Letty story tomorrow!