I wonder if you can help me here. I have one cavalier girl and she had a caesarian today. She had three girl puppies and is cleaning them well but has not really bonded. She keeps trying to get away from them, is unwilling to let them feed, but will do so if I put them on a teat and when I leave for a cup of tea cleans them and then scatters them and lies on her stomach. They are in a largish crate so she can't go far. I've never had this before. I have been with her since picking her up this morning.
Question is, how long can I leave the puppies before feeding them myself and if I leave her overnight with them is she likely to have bonded by the morning without me around. I am worried about the puppies, they are in a warm room and have fed a few times. She has eaten and been outside to pee. Any suggestions? Thank you. I would put her in a smaller crate, but am worried about her overlaying them there.
Congratulations on the litter. Well done to the vet too for a successful C section.
I am wondering why you have the bitch and puppies in a crate. The risk of the bitch overlaying the pups is a very real one. Do you know anyone who could lend you a whelping box? Whelping boxes are made for a purpose, they are hygienic, easy to clean and, most important of all, most have what is called a pig rail going around the inside edges that prevents a pup being accidently overlaid. If you cannot borrow a box, is there a drawer you could take out of an old piece of furniture that you could line with newspaper and keep your girl and her pups there.
Has the vet prescribed a suitable analgesic to give your bitch, as I expect she doesn't feel too good after the surgery. After all, if you gave birth by C section, wouldn't you expect to be in pain afterwards? If nothing has been said or prescribed, I would ring the vet or the out of hours service to ask for advice. I would guess from what you say that she is lying on her tummy because of either pain or pressure, which a vet would be much more able to deal with than any of us here.
The other thing that concerns me is heat for the pups. They have spent 9 weeks growing in a very warm and protected atmosphere inside the bitch, now they have come out they need to be kept very warm for the first few days. This is usually done these days by using a specially made electric heating pad which is kept under the bedding in the whelping box.
It sounds to me as though this is your first litter. Is it possible for you to get some advice from your girl's breeder over the 'phone or in person to help you make your girl comfortable and support the pups in their first few days of life.
If you are really stuck please PM me and I will give you my 'phone number and try to help if I can.:)
The vet did give her analgesia and antibiotics and the room is at an ambient temperature of 75/80 degrees. This is my 8th litter of cavaliers, with three different girls, but I think I have been lucky in that I have never had a rejection before, although I have had a caesar with another dog. I am used to them being fabulous mothers, and do however realise that this maiden bitch has had quite a trauma.
I have managed to get some feeds into the puppies, but am worried about the fact that every time I leave the room for a few minutes, she ups and leaves them. The reason she is in a crate is that she would be out of a whelping box straight away, this way I can keep her near to the puppies.
I let her go outside and although you could quite clearly hear the puppies calling she turning round and tried to go to her usual sleeping place. I am used to girls having to be dragged outside to pee, let alone ignoring the cries of puppies. Thank you for your help Flo. I am really wondering whether to start feeding them myself but am really reluctant to do so if it is likely that with a night to bond she might be ok. Or is this too risky?
With respect, I think you should ring your vet for advice. There has to be a reason for rejection, which may be physical. Your vet will know what to advise you.
B.T.W. the average temperature of a bitch is usually 101.5 F, which can drop as low as 98.0 F immediately before the pups are born. Now that you know this do you really think that a room temperature of 75 to 80 F is keeping them warm enough? A whelping box heater would keep them much more comfortable?
Another question has just come into my mind from what you are saying: Why do you feel the need to supplementary feed the pups so soon after birth. At this time it isn't milk they get from suckling from their mother it is a substance called cholesterum, which gives them a few weeks' immunity from the diseases their mother is immune from, i.e. it protects them from infection.
If you give them Whelpi or any other bitch's milk substitute when they are so young they will not want to suckle from their mother.
Incidentally, is your bitch fully health tested? If not, perhaps an mvd problem would have made her feel too ill after the trauma of a C section to tend to her pups.
Thank you again Flo.
I think the reason for the rejection is the caesar and that she is a maiden bitch getting used to her puppies, which just appeared out of the blue as far as she is concerned I think.
They have had colostrum from her when I make her lie down and put them on the teat, but they are crying a lot and she is not cuddling them as usual, but cleaning them and then leaving them to cry wherever she has left them. She doesn't seem to be worried by their crying, which is unusual I think, and sits up when they try to feed or cuddle up to her.
Yes, I have had her health tested and she has no mvd problems, no problems at all in fact, so it isn't that.
My main worry is stepping in too soon and taking over the feeding, as with orphans, when she might get over her rejection and bond at some point. Has anyone had this happen after a few days? How long should I carry on making her feed them and hoping for the best?
I'm sorry you are having problems with your litter - thank you Flo for offering help.
As you will see from the board guidelines, we do not normally allow discussions of breeding etc, however it is obvious you needed some immediate support in this difficult circumstance.
Also sadly this will make people aware that breeding is not straightforward, often there are difficulties - caesarian sections can be very expensive as they nearly always seem to happen at night, and most especially at the weekend...and we all know that out of hours charges for vets are enormously expensive.
This follows expensive health testing - annual cardiologist tests for hearts, ophthalmologist for eyes, MRI scanning which should be done at 2 1/2 BEFORE the dog is bred, patella testing by a vet and ideally hip scoring too. BOTH dog and bitch should be health tested.
Sadly things don't always go smoothly after a section, as you are experiencing - ideally you need a mentor to refer to, often the breeder of your bitch [whom should have been obtained from a responsible breeder, with the full knowledge that you planned to breed her, and then the breeder can offer their support]. It's not unknown for both Mum and pups to die - obviously you were fortunate that they all came through safely.
[I don't know your circumstances, so this is not directed at you...but at others reading this thread]
We do hope that Mum and puppies will settle and thrive - I do think another trip to the vets with Mum is in order, or at very least a telephone call - is she able to have any pain relief, I wonder if she is very uncomfortable and that is why she won't settle with the pups?
I presume the pups are on a heat pad, but is there room for Mum to lie off the pad so she is not getting too hot?
Keep us posted please.
Edited to say I have just read your first post to the board and realise that you are following protocols regarding health testing etc, and are breeding for health and companionship, so I do hope you won't mind me using this thread to stress the difficulties involved with breeding, and as an example to those who think it is an easy way to make money :( something we strongly wish to discourage.
I sincerely wish you the best for this litter.
As a breeder for the last 10 or so years i have experienced the odd c/section
What i tend to observe is that the puppies do cry and are very restless for the first 24hrs as they are a little affected by the anaesthetic
The fact that your bitch wont settle with them is because of this ,she is stressed to hear her babes crying and unsure what to do to help them . what i have done in this case is to stay with the bitch and hold her gently down to allow the little ones to feed
I also just top them up a little with colostrum not whelpi or another food formula
Once the pups quieten down the mother will relax and get on with her job by 3 /4 days in you will have forgotten there was ever a problem
I would not take the bitch to the vet as doing so will upset her further more if she has been given antibiotics and analgesics then she will be fine also there is such a strong risk of her picking up infections there
Keep- the pups nice and warm on a heat pad and allow them to suckle every two hours keep the bitch in a quiet enviroment and mother nature will kick in
I have also heard of people putting a little honey on the pups bellies /bottoms to encourage the dam to lick them
Dont panick it will sort out give it 72 hrs
I agree with Lance. A trip to the vets would be even more disruptive to this little family and should be avoided if possible.
Originally Posted by lance
Just give it a bit of time and try not to feel too panicky.
Keep the puppies warm on a heated pad & allow the mum to lie separate from them if that is what she wants at the moment.
Calmly and gently get her to lie down and hold the babies to her every two hours if necessary . Very time consuming but something that should be done until she settles and accepts that these little strangers belong to her.
There has been good advice from a number of experienced people so I am going to close this thread now as this is not the kind of subject which is ever allowed here (members may please review the Getting Started section of the board).
As noted the board does not allow discussions of personal breeding and only supports breeders who are fully health testing parents and following MVD and SM breeding protocols as the breed is under such severe health pressure. If anyone is considering breeding please do not further threaten this breed's survival by breeding as a casual hobby, or as a moneymaking exercise. Do not risk producing puppies that will inherit or pass on serious health issues and may cause heartbreak to their owners by having painful and life-shortening illness -- as too many in this breed do. A vet's OK is NOT enough to properly health screen these dogs for breeding. They need to be cardiologist and neurologist screened with proper tests. The only ethical way to breed is to be fully and deeply informed on genetics, current health issues, health testing and breeding protocols in this breed.