Dairy for the Pokémon litter
23 November 2016
It has been som very dramatic days, but fortunately everything is OK Again.
It started on Thursday morning where I discovered some dark green and thick discharge coming from Vixen. It was day 54 in her pregnancy so it would be too soon for the pups to be born. I contacted the local vet - primarely because they are so close to me. She checked Vixen and could see that her cervix was somewhat opened. Her temperature was 37 point something that I have forgotten. She scanned Vixen and could see one pup move around. But that was all that her scanner was able to detect. When she wanted me to confirm that she should save the mum if it came to that, I was very sorry. However, she chose to send me to a vet in Hinnerup who is a reproduction specialist. As she is the vet who measured Vixen's progesterone level before the mating and who scanned Vixen to confirm pregnancy, I have driven the 1½ hour drive many times. However, this trip was longer than any of the others. Many thoughts go through you mind on such a drive. I was convinced that I would return with Vixen and no puppies. Either she woud give birth to them and they would die, or she would have to have a C-section to get a litter of dead pups out.
When I arrived, the took a blood samle to measure her progesterone level. It was 5.8. Then they scanned her. The vet could see that he pup to be born first, was dead. The others that she could see, were alive. She gave Vixen a shot of antibiotics to kill a possible infection. We agreed that I should return the next morning to check if the progesterone level had dropped and the agree on the next step. I was more positive and hopeful when I drove home.
The next morning I returned to the vet. She measured Vixen's progesterone level and it had dropped to 5.2. Damn it! A scanning showed that the pus were doing fine (except for the dead one). There were no signs of stress or of the placenta loosen (and then the vet found one more pup that were hidden behind the ribs). As the pups seemed to thrive, the vet decided to help Vixen carry the pups until they would surviv being born. Therefore, she was prescribed progesterone every day until and including Tuesday. She got another shot of antibiotics and she gave me a course of antibiotics so that I could treat her at home. This time I was even more positive on my way home. Now I dared belive that the pups had a chance.
The weekend was guiet. Vixen was her old self - happy, calm and hungry! On Monday and Tuesday, I went to work. We had installed webcams to be able to check up on the dogs. Nothing happened. Vixn went from one bed to another to have a nap.
On Monday, the vet called me to check on Vixen. She was optimistic. However, she reminded me that as the first pup was dead, it could end in a C-section.
On Tuesday evening she had her last progesterone pill and then all we could do was wait for the progesterne level to fall. According to the vet, it would normally take 1-1½ days, but it might take longer. So now I just need to be patient.
16 November 2016
Second herpes vaccination
Off to the vet to give Vixen her second herpes vaccination. The vet gave me something for her "soft" stomach and we had a talk about the upcoming birth. She was also weighed - 20.2 kg. So she has gained 3.75 kg.
11 November 2016
2 weeks left
Vixen has been weighed and measured again. This time the weight gain was a modest 0.45 kg. However, her waistline is increasing and she now measures 60 cm compared to 56,5 cm last week. In total, she has gaind 3.6 kg and increased her waistline by 10,5 cm.
During this week more puppy buyers have visited ud and more are to come during the weekend. We have also received a lot of mails from people who might be interested in a puppy. It is quite a privilege to feel this much interest in this litter.
This weeked will be used to convert my office to a delivery room. I need to tidy up and clean it. I have been finding the things I need for the birth and afterwards. The first week at least, I sleep with the puppies on an air mattress. When we had the Ben & Jerry litter I woke up every morning on an air mattress that has lost half of the air during the night. Not that comfortable. So now I have bought a de luxe edition which hopefully keep the air and gives me the opportunity to get some hours sleep every night.
Vixen and I have joined the current fad within puppy births: An inflatable paddling pool. Vixen will give birth to the puppies in this pool and they will stay there for the first 2-2½ weeks. Why so? Well, the soft sides prevents the mother from squeeze the puppies. Furthermore, it is inexpensive so when the puppies move to a bigger enclosure, I can dispose of it and prevent bacterias from this litter being spread to the next litter. I do have the ordinary whelping box in reserve it the pool doesn't work out.
Vixen has had an upset stomach the last week. I have treated it with Zoolac the last 5 days but it hasn't helped. Now, the vet has given her Pro-Kolin which she needs to take for three days. Hopefully, this will help.
Next week we will go see the vet at Frijsenborg Dyreklinik to have the last of the two herpes vaccinations. And I will be able to talk to the vet about some of the things regarding the birth.
Otherwise, the days are passes quietly. Vixen is very hungry and very focuses on food - her own food, the other dogs' food and our food. Her exercise is mostly walks. It is dark when I get home from work and it is difficult to do anything but walks. All three dogs have gotten luminous collars. They have different colours and I almost feel Christmassy when I take them for a walk. Vixen also spends a lot of time relaxing; preferably in the couch with us so that we can cuddle her big stomach.
7 November 2016
On Sunday we had three groups of puppy buyers visiting us. It was a very nice day where we learned more about the people who have contacted us to buy a puppy – and hopefully they learned more about the breed, Vixen and us.
I am so grateful of the many people who are interested in this litter. When I consider a breeding, I do worry if it is possible to find puppy buyers. But again, it seems that it won’t be a problem to find new homes for them. And you have to be grateful for that. We still have some potential buyers we need to see and we are looking forward to meeting them. I would prefer to be able to contact the new owners a few days after the birth of the puppies. They will then have the possibility to follow the puppies right from the start. The only negative thing is that there probably won’t be enough puppies for everyone and it is always hard to tell people that they are not getting a puppy from this litter.
On Fridays, I try to get to the vet before closing time to weigh Vixen. Today, she weighed 19.6 kg. So she has gained 1.2 kg since last Friday – and 3.15 kg in total. I also measured her waistline. This is also expanding and had increased y 3.5 cm since last week and 7 cm in total.
Otherwise, she doesn’t “act” pregnant. She eats well and has not suffered from loss of appetite. She is a bit more hungry, though, and thus more focused on food. And she is still very eager to be close to us and to cuddle. She has always liked to cuddle but even more so now. And that’s just nice as I love to cuddle with the dogs.
28 October 2016
Status - day 35
Vixen is a little more than half-way in her pregnancy and she is slowly growing bigger. She has gained 1.95 kg and her waist has grown by 3.5 cm.
She is very focused on food - more so than normally. And she is even more cuddly and contact seeking than normally. She even forces Kristian to cuddle her.
Her belly is growing - not much though, and the teats have become longer.
21 October 2016
Vixen has had an ultrasound - and she is pregnant :-)
I did consider whether or not to do the ultrasound. If she is pregnant, we will find out eventually. But......I am so curious and so are the puppy buyers. So we went to vet Susanne Elvstrøm who also did the ultrasound the last time.
While we were waiting a young couple came out of one of the rooms. They were clearly sad and the girl was crying. They had just said goodbye to their dog - a German Shepard. Something like this touches me so much. Maybe because we have two old dogs, Chili and Daisy. And we can't be sure to have them in our lives for a long time. In one of the other rooms they were doing a C-section - so both ends of the life circle was being represented on that day.
When we arrived, I weighed Vixen. She had gained one kilo since we had the first progesterone measuring. So if she wasn't pregnant, she would have to go on a diet :-)
Well, Vixen was put in the "cradle" and Susanne started scanning her. It took a long time before something appeared. But when we saw the first emboyo, more appeared. Also two empty "sacks" - where there were no embroyos. Something had possibly been wrong with these embroyos and nature got rid of them. As vet Susanne said, "someone" is "proof-reading" and if something is wrong, it is removed.
One of the embryos was smaller than the others. However, heart activity could be found with this as with the rest. But it is impossible to say if the small embryo will survive to be born. Time will show.
On my way back from the vet I was thinking about the embryos that had been reabsorbed. Had Vixen started to reabsorb all the embryos? I couldn't let go of this thought so I called the vet to hear her opinion. She was not worried and repeated that this was nature's way of getting rid of embryos that were not viable. It could also be caused by the progesterone level dropping. However, she didn't think this was the case here as the whole litter would then be lost. But, if I was worried we could measure the progesterone level. If it was low, something could be done about it. Right now, I am not that worried. Of course, I will monitor Vixen's pregnancy and decide if it is relevant to make another ultrasound at a later date.
28 September 2016
This time Vixen’s season went a bit faster than the last time she had a litter and she was ready to be mated sooner during her season. I am very happy that I went to have her progesterone checked at the vet. Had I thought that her season would be as last time, we would probably have mated her too late. So when vet Kathrine said “go”, we packed the car and drove the 1,100 km to Augsburg in Germany to let Vixen have a romantic date with Gunner.
We had two good matings. When we arrived to Augsburg, we checked-in at the hotel and took Vixen for a few long walk (she had been in the car the whole day). After a quick dinner, we went to Ute’s and Joachim’s place. We let the two lovebirds out into the garden. I went out into the lawn to wait for them. I expected that they would fool around or a while before they would get busy. But no – the hardly said “Hello” before Gunner was locked on to Vixen. It happened just outside the terrace door at Joachim’s feet. He was on his cell phone and had to continue his conversation inside :-) Meanwhile we were there to support the dogs during the long act. They were locked for 22 minutes.
As it didn’t take as long as we expected, the night was still young. We had arranged with Doris and Thomas (Lech-Toller Nest) that we could stop by to say hello and to see Bella’s (Vixen’s dam) and Harvey’s one-week old pups. Oh dear, they were cute.
After a good night’s sleep, we drove back to Ute the next morning for another mating and some breakfast. This time the love couple used 5 minutes to fool around before they got busy. Again they were locked for 22 minutes.
After breakfast, we went for a with the dogs. We were somewhat impressed with Gunner. Of course, he was still very interested in Vixen but he was so obedient toward Ute’s “No”. So the dogs had no problem sitting next to each other while Leif and Ute took some pictures of them.
Then we drove back to Denmark again. We arrived late and the old dogs were happy to see Vixen. And Vixen demonstrated to them, what she had experienced with Gunner :-) All three girls are in season and they mate each other all the time :-)
No we can only wait for Vixen to hopefully start showing signs that she is pregnant. If she is, the pups should be born around 26 November.
27 September 2016
As a breeder you discover that there is a lot of waiting time.
First you wait for the bitch to go into season. Then you wait for her to be ready to be mated. When the mating is done, you wait to see signs that she is pregnant. Then – when you think that you can see the signs – you wait until she is so far that the vet can verify the pregnancy. Then you wait for the delivery of the pups. When this is over, you wait for the pups to be able to see and become more active. Then you wait for them to become old enough that you can seriously imprint on them. Then they suddenly become so old that it is hard work to satisfy their zest for life and then you wait for them to be old enough to leave home. When they have left home, you wait for a message from the puppy buyers that the trip to the new home went well. Then, when some time has passed, you wait for positive results of the various health checks. And then it all starts over……..