Sunday, October 3, 2010

Your morning smile - and a smelly situation

Here's a couple of photos I forgot to post with the first batch but really like.The first was taken of a pup still emerging but after mama has removed the sac which surrounds the face. The second was taken after the first five pups were out.

New babe emerging

Mama loving babies

Lucy and pups are doing well, though I will begin supplemental feedings for some of the smaller ones today as she doesn't seem to have a lot of milk and a couple of pups are looking like they are not plumping up. Lucy has also had massive diarrhea -the good news in that regard is that yesterday evening she voluntarily seperated herself from the pups to ask to go outside. (Diarrhea the first few days after birth is not unusal - I've added a bit of pumpkin to her food and hopefully it will clear up soon).

However, she also used the papers beside her box during the night - lots of really putrid diarrhea. If anyone has some good ideas for natural room freshners (that won't affect my allergies or harm the puppies), or lives nearby and has one of the air purifier machine things (what the heck are those called???), I would be grateful! I've been using Pure Ayre, which usually works really well on pet-related smells, but it can't touch what's going on in there. And since pups can't regulate their body temperature for the first couple of weeks, I need to keep the room warm and I can't open windows and doors sufficiently to air it out. Ideas, anyone????


Anonymous said...

Air purifier is on it's way. We had one left over from the garage sale. If you like it I will pick up a new hepa filter for you. Bob will deliver it this morning. It may be very useful for the whole time the puppies are with you.


Judy said...

Can you safely light a candle in that room where it won't be knocked over or present a hazard? It can be an unscented one. It's the fire that burns off the bacteria in the air.

Jean said...

Woo-hoo - one air purifier being delivered today!
Judy, my concern with candles is my cat - she can slip in the room and knock it over. She's a very klutzy cat!! LOL

EvenSong said...

Well, I posted a "gift" post on my site for you all, but I'm afraid the photos alone won't solve your problem!
I like the candle idea--could you use one at least during the times you're in the mud room to supervise Allie? (Or lock her out for an hour or so?)

hornblower said...

I'm an IBCLC - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

While dog lactation is not my specialty, lactation as a whole is.

Dogs produce colostrum for the first several days - I've not read tons of research on this wrt dogs, but it looks like around 3 days after whelping is generally when we see 'true' milk coming in abundance. So not seeing lots of milk is not something that would concern me at this point. Colostrum is incredibly concentrated & is all the infant needs for the first bit. (Expressed colostrum for infants in NICU is measured in drops - often it has to be diluted with some water because it's so thick it sticks to tubing & the container.... more like a very thick oil than milk consistency.)

I suspect more what's happening is that some of the pups are not as aggressive in competing for teat space.

That said, this can become a vicious cycle as an infant who is not getting vital colostrum, may become increasingly tired and lethargic, & will not have energy to compete.....

In humans, colostrum shifting to mature milk is something that takes days. Usually initial signs are at 3-5 days, though 7 is not unheard of, & the entire process takes a couple weeks. In humans, supplementation is IMO something to be undertaken very cautiously as there are risks.....

Oh - one other thing, isn't it sometimes the case that with that many pups, moms are not able to neurologically stimulate them all effectively? IIRC pups need to be licked etc & that action actually develops neural pathways which help the pup physically strengthen.

I hope the babies plump up quickly!

Jennie said...

What an interesting post from hornblower. You and Lucy have a varied and informative audience!

EvenSong said...

I'm no expert, but Hornblower's information seems relevant. I wonder if, instead of giving supplemental milk to the smaller ones, you could simply occasionally separate the bigger gluttons, er, puppies, and give the little ones better access now and then?

Janice Gillett said...

Oh - one other thing, isn't it sometimes the case that with that many pups, moms are not able to neurologically stimulate them all effectively? IIRC pups need to be licked etc & that action actually develops neural pathways which help the pup physically strengthen.

Yes i read that using a damp cloth to simulate licking .... ;o)

Jean said...

Thanks everyone. Hornblower, that's really helpful information to know. I had read something about the milk taking 24-36 hours to come in for dogs, and your explanation helped add to my understanding of the situation.

Lucy is a great mom, and does thoroughly lick/stimulate the pups. And I have been rotating them since the get-go, given that we have a couple of little piggies who would drain mom dry if given the chance. LOL

Nonetheless, a couple of the smallest ones are not very strong suckers even when put directly on a teat, and one in particular is looking lethargic so I will start supplementing those two. The vet and I talked about this possibility with such a large litter.

Now that Lucy has had her babies, we can see that she is really quite skinny, despite having been fed extra quantities of high quality dog and puppy food during the past three weeks. She is now on puppy food four times a day to try to build her up without overloading her system all at once, and continues to get digestive enzymes to help her body absorb the nutrients to the fullest. And I added a bit of pumpkin this morning to help with the diarrhea - obviously fasting her for 24 hours and then putting her on white rice, as I do for other dogs with diarrhea, is NOT an option at this time!!

Soooo much to learn!

Evensong, thanks for gift of flowers on your website. They are lovely!

Anonymous said...

For the smell how about some open boxes of baking soda to help absorb odor?