Yorkshire Terrier Bea—Stay with your dam
"This was my first time whelping, I read and reread all of the information daily on dogbreedinfo.com and had the optimistic outlook that no matter what happened, I was prepared for anything. Our dam, Bea, is a 20-month-old, holistically-raised maiden Yorkshire Terrier in the prime of her life. We had our vet's approval to breed and found a handsome stud that complimented her like to like. He was significantly smaller so we weren't too worried...she was 5.5 lbs. and he was 3 lbs."
"Perhaps if I had worried a little more, disaster wouldn't have struck."
"It was 64 days past her last mating and her temperature dipped to 98.2°F. After this she stayed in first-stage labor for 16 hours, eating, drinking, snuggling and doing everything like her normal self only spending more time in her whelping box. I went to class and my husband stayed home with Bea, checking in on her every half hour to see if she progressed into second stage. My husband called to let me know she was panting and digging. I hit the road and figured it would be at least an hour before she had her first pup. I was wrong. His mistake—he left her alone during labor. Then he called back to say he had a lifeless puppy and didn't know what to do with it. I knew it was a lost cause the moment I started belting out directions on how to resuscitate over the phone...he had no clue what I was talking about and was so scared he ended up hardly doing anything. I was 20 minutes away yelling 'RUB HER!!! RUB HER HARD WITH THE TOWEL AND GET HER BREATHING!' over my cellphone going 80 mph down the freeway just WILLING the police to try and pull me over now! I hung up the phone to call the midwoof who was in bed and wouldn't come. When I arrived I literally flew up the stairs and grasped the lifeless, colorless, hopeless pup and worked on her for another half hour, long past when I should have given up."
I was so torn...I knew there were only two pups due for this litter and I had just lost 50%! I had waited and waited for weeks, praying and pampering and spending hours feeling the little puppies moving around inside of her. Now I was holding my lifeless end result, a beautiful little female who was in every way perfect while her mother-driven dam begged for her back. It was my worst nightmare."
"I weighed the little gem before offering her back to the dam so she could see she was dead. The pup weighed in at 7 oz....rather a BIG pup for a 5.5-lb. dam! I can only hypothesize that she strained on her for too long and the stuck pup drowned. After I sent my wide-eyed husband to bed I buckled down for the next pup. I could only assume the worst. Checking for fetal heartbeats with my stethoscope in the remaining uterine horn I did not hear anything. Depressed, I sunk down beside the whelping box to wait. It was an hour and a half between pups before she started straining. I chewed up some calcium and gave it to her after the first contraction. Five minutes into strong pushing and I got a foot. Great, a foot! And that's it. Just a foot. I decided to work with what I had, wrapping the foot in a towel and gently pulling toward the dam's belly on every contraction. Soon I got another foot and a tail—so the baby was breech but stuck solid around the middle. I took a deep breath, mentally rehearsing 'you can't kill a dead puppy' and pulled with the last strong contraction. The pup came out screaming, struggling like a banshee and let out the most raucous cry; even the mother jumped back in fright. Well it was a no-brainer; I suctioned out her mouth and nostrils, rubbed her dry and pinched the cord halfway from the base while the mother chewed it down."
"Another little female, 6 oz., strong and vocal. After getting some colostrum she took a tour of the whelping box before settling in for the night."
"DON'T leave your dam alone! Bea had completely silent second and third stages of labor, she never made a peep! My husband had no clue she was even having contractions when he checked in on her. Also DON'T expect someone else to care as much as you do about your puppies. You are the only one that can do this; you have to be there!"
Surviving puppy—Calamity Jane
"Bea and Calamity Jane are doing well."
Calamity the Yorkie puppy, at three weeks old
Calamity the Yorkie puppy, at four weeks old
If you have pictures of your dam giving birth that you would like to share,send them in!
Although this section is based on a whelping of an English Mastiff, it also contains good general whelping information on large-breed dogs. You can find more whelping information in the links above. The links below tell the story of Sassy, an English Mastiff. Sassy has a wonderful temperament. She loves humans and adores children. An all-around mild mannered, wonderful Mastiff, Sassy, however, is not the best mother toward her puppies. She is not rejecting them; she will nurse them when a human places them on her to feed, however she will not clean the pups or pay any attention to them. It is as if they are not her puppies. This litter is getting mom’s milk with major human interaction, manually giving each and every pup what they need. In return, the pups will be super socialized and will make remarkable pets, however the work involved is astounding. It takes one dedicated breeder to keep this situation healthy. Thankfully this litter has just that. Read the links below to get the full story. The pages within include a wealth of information that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.