A breeder friend had to go to work. We knew her dam was coming into labor from taking temperatures and we knew she would have puppies that night after 7 p.m. So she brought her dam over for me to dog-sit (midwoof).
At 10 p.m. the dam went into the next stage of labor (pushing) and produced the normal dark bubble. I sat relaxed. All was good and the kids were in bed.
She pushed at 10:10 p.m., and at 10:15 p.m. Every five minutes she took a rest. I walked her around then she pushed at 10:49 p.m., 10:51 p.m., 10:54 p.m. and 10:56 p.m. and produced a light colored bubble inside the dark one.
I had never seen this before. It was strange, but I still was not worried. I was thinking it could have been two puppies from the same horn trying to get out at the same time.
At 11:08 p.m. I walked her and noticed there were green drips on the floor. Green is 50% okay, but I don't like seeing green because it means the placentas are detaching. Then I saw blackish_green and I was worried. Something was wrong. I was doing all I could think of—walking, internals, feathering, calcium—but her contractions were weakening.
11:24 p.m. I walked her and she had a good contraction, BUT it produced this third greenish color bubble. ???? OH DEAR, this was not good. A pup from each horn and they could not decide which was going first. There was no room to really move in her. She was HUGE.
The dam popped the first dark bubble.
From 11:24 p.m. to 11:44 p.m. she had no contractions. An internal showed what seemed like two puppies trying to come out at the same time. I pushed them back in and walked her and paged the vet.
Feathering was not even producing contractions. I believed she had uterine inertia caused by a very large litter and also the first puppy was not able to get into the birth canal for some reason. After failed attempts to push it in, the dam shut down.
There were no contractions from 11:24 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and feathering wouldn't even bring them on.
The vet agreed to meet us at the clinic for a 12:30 a.m. Cesarean.
The vet did an internal and agreed with my diagnosis: uterine inertia with the first puppy at the birth canal entrance lying butt first and maybe sideways.
In doing the C-section we saw the first puppy WAS sideways. With a small dam and seven puppies the other puppies were pushing on it so hard it couldn't move to get in a better position.
The problem pup was the champagne sac and champagne puppy.
With a big litter it is very, very common to lose one or more of the puppies. It is nice to get one or two pups out from a big litter so that the others have some room to move, but it was the first pup that held up this litter.
All of these puppies survived, 7 thriving puppies, although one was a little slower to revive.
This is a case where without vet intervention, the puppies would likely have been stillborn, or have died at birth without the breeder knowing there was anything wrong.
Day one after the pups were born the dam is doing awesome. This was her first litter and with a C-section; it can take a while for her to accept her puppies. She was given pain medication and a shot of oxytocin to help bring down her milk. Whatever we did is working as she is being an excellent mom. I think the bonus was that we did the C-section BEFORE she went into distress and got too anxious. A few years ago I likely would have waited this out a little longer, but experience told me different.
Courtesy of MistyTrails Havanese
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.