The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

When things go wrong—umbilical cord attached to foot.

Whelping and Raising Puppies

Not all whelping situations are joyous occasions for the kids or any adult to witness. Things do go wrong. It is nature. I do a lot of midwoof services and I run into issues often.

The biggest stress is not everyone has whelped several litters as I have had the opportunity to do. I have dealt with different breeds and various people who had me assist in their whelping. A lot do not know what is normal and what is cause for alarm, and feel helpless to help a weak puppy.

Here is yet another scenario of what can go wrong when whelping. However because of my experience this may have a happy ending.

This poor puppy is only a third of the size it should be. Her umbilical cord was attached to her foot. She has a deformed foot and was being fed through her foot and belly with a couple small skinny cords. She was born very dehydrated, could not retain her heat and was very malnourished. I will keep this puppy and litter with me for a while.

This puppy’s survival depends 100% on a human to keep her warm and tube feed her every two hours. In this case, the dam of the litter is taking care of her potty needs. This means 24/7, around-the-clock feedings by a human and loss of sleep. Not everyone can do this, nor be willing to do this. This puppy could grow up to be a normal little dog. The way I see it, we did the breeding. We brought her into this world. We are committed to not give up on her. She didn't ask to be born, but she is here and deserves a chance.

Close Up - Puppy born very small is in the hands of a person

The puppy was born weighing 83 grams, which is a third the size of a normal puppy of the same breed. She is very malnourished and very small. This is a very strange case. She cannot nurse and is being tube fed.

Close Up - Umbilical Cord attached to puppy's foot

Her umbilical cord was coming out of her foot and there was blood flow to the cord.

Puppy laying in the corner next to the dam who is nursing all the other puppies

To keep this puppy alive I will be up around the clock every two hours to feed her. She has a heating pad under her and heat lamp above her. I allow her to be close to her mother while I am there watching.

Close Up - Umbilical Cord attached to puppy's foot

Side view of the umbilical cord coming out of the foot—notice the bright red blood flow going to the cord.

Close Up - Person holding a puppies paw with an Umbilical Cord attached to it Close Up - Umbilical Cord attached to a puppy's foot

Close-up of the umbilical cord coming out of the foot

Close Up - Umbilical Cord on a puppy's paw

Close-up of the umbilical cord coming out of the foot

Close Up - Umbilical Cord on a puppy's paw being held up by a person

Close-up of the umbilical cord coming out of the foot

Close Up Left Profile - Umbilical Cord attached to a puppy's paw

Close-up of the umbilical cord coming out of the foot

Two Puppies laying next to each other on a blanket, one is much smaller than the other

Puppies at four days old. She is a little Havana brown-mahogany sweetie. I think she is going to make it. She has gone from 83 grams to 108 grams. I am still tube feeding her around the clock. Here she is next to her littermate. See how much smaller she is; clearly the runt of the litter.

Close Up - Puppy in the Hand of a person

Puppy's first week. You can really see her one leg turning inward in this picture. It's unclear at this point if she will be lame. If she is, I will teach her to walk.

Close Up - Puppy being held over the whelp box by a person

Puppy's first week.

Close Up - Puppy in the hand of a person

Puppy's first week.

Close Up - Puppy curled up in the hands of a person

Puppy's first week.

Four puppies laying on a blanket

The preemie with her sisters at one week old; she is now nursing on her own 50% of the time.

Close Up - Preemie Pup beginning to nurse

At just over a week old the tiny preemie pup is learning to nurse.

Close Up - Preemie being bottle fed

We taught her to suck from a bottle. She has moved from supplemental tube feedings to supplemental bottle feedings.

Two puppies laying on a carpet next to each other, one is a lot smaller than the other

Shown here at three weeks next to her full-size littermate; she is doing very well.

Close Up - Preemie missing a toe

This is her foot at three weeks old. She only has three toes, but otherwise she seems like a normal pup.

Right Paw has the normal amount of toes and the left has one less toe

Her paws at four weeks old; her normal paw is on the right and her paw with the missing toe is on the left.

Close Up - Puppy sitting ona cloth

Puppy shown here at five weeks old; there were five puppies in the litter. Their weights at the 5 week mark: 815 grams, 790 grams, 897 grams, 980 grams and this preemie pup is 519 grams—still much smaller than her littermates.

Puppy shown here at 8 weeks old standing on the floor with a blanket behind her

Puppy shown here at eight weeks old; she is doing well. She has almost reached two lbs., (half of the normal size for the breed). She was named Umbie.

Close Up -Umbie the Puppy

Umbie at 15 weeks (almost four months) weighing only three pounds.

Close Up - Umbie the Puppy sitting outside

Umbie at 4 1/2 months old

Umbie the dog after a year sitting on a platform

Umbie at 1 year old

Story courtesy of MistyTrails (Midwoof)

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