Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Water (Walrus) Puppies (Anasarca puppies)

Page 4

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa laying in a little box on top of a towel with healthy puppies on the ground next to it

The headline stated: "A dog gave birth to human baby boy in Khayelitsha!" The email was being passed around the Internet. Khayelitsha is a partially informal township in South Africa, on the outskirts of Cape Town in the Cape Flats. Water puppies are not a well-known birth defect and are often misdiagnosed.

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa laying in a little box on top of a towel with healthy puppies on the ground next to it and a dog and people standing around

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa laying in a little box on top of a towel with healthy puppies with a healthy puppy putting a paw on its belly

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

the bottom end of a water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

A mother dog licking its water puppy  as healthy puppys crawl around her. They were born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Water puppy born in Khayelitsha, South Africa

I had a Pug that had an x-ray showing 8 pups. She delivered 9 healthy babies. The next day she gave birth to a water baby number 10. We would have never known because of the x-ray and she showed no more signs of labor after puppy number 9. It was probably a miracle for sure but she did have it. I have been breeding Pugs for 6 years. This was the first and only water baby I have ever had. The mother dog had laid down and was resting. She showed no signs of a problem. I went to sleep for 4 hours and when I got back up there it was. It was huge, 3 times the size of the other puppies, bloated and covered in green slime. We were shocked and could not believe she passed it. We truly were blessed. To this day I tell my other Pug friends about it. We lost 2 other pups with in the next week because they were so tiny. It is not normal for a Pug to have 10 babies. We had 7 nice healthy pups. To think that huge baby was in there and came out was just unbelievable. I think what made it happen was she delivered the rest of the litter first. I just thought I would share our experience.

One breeder of Pekingese states, "I have been a breeder of Pekingese for several years. The last two litters had water babies and each was a C-section. Each litter had one water baby and the closest baby was dehydrated. We lost both water babies. In the first litter, the water baby was huge and had been dead about one week. I'm surprised the dam was OK. Its body was starting to decay—no fur, no skin—really gross. We lost the dehydrated baby next to it in the uterine horn. The two babies in the other horn were born first, without C-section and were fine. A similar experience with the second litter, though the water baby was smaller and still alive. The adjoining pup was dehydrated. A simple sub-Q of fluids and he's fine. Again the first two from one horn were born regularly and were fine. The affected horn had the C-section. The only similarity between these litters is the newly used sire (same sire both litters). I'm afraid to use him again! In both of these litters both dams were unrelated, but both litters were from the same sire (a first-time sire). My vet and I suspect a correlation with the use of this sire. I've been checking on this condition and it appears to be more common in brachiocephalic breeds (flat-faced breeds)."

One breeder of the Westie states, "I have a West Highland White Terrier and she has just had her first litter. She had two healthy pups but had to have a C-section to deliver a water puppy, which was three times the size of one of her pups. The water puppy was dead on arrival. After the first two pups she was not having many contractions and it was not obvious that she had another pup to deliver but she was still panting and breathing quickly and her belly still felt solid."

A Breeder of Wire Fox Terriers states, "I raise and breed show-quality Wire Fox Terriers. My dam of four years just delivered her second litter. She was carrying two water babies; one also had a severe cleft palate. Her first litter was normal, no complications. I have never experienced anything like this before, it was so disheartening. She was carrying a total of five puppies and three were normal."

If a male passes something on to a pup in a litter and it is a congenital defect, I don't panic, as things happen. If he does it again to a different unrelated female, I neuter. If it is the same female, I use a different male. I neuter faster than some breeders, but I am very selective. I feel there are a lot of good dogs out there, so why take the chance.

"Around ten years ago I started to breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. My female had a first litter successfully of two boys and a little girl, all healthy. The year after I bred her again... she had three puppies. The first was a water puppy. Very swollen head and pale in color. It was born dead. The second puppy’s intestines were on the outside of the body and the third was OK...we called him 'LUCKY'. This was a scary ordeal for me and it put me off breeding for all this time. My little Cavalier lived to the ripe old age of 12 after being spayed immediately, but has sadly gone to doggy heaven now."

A big thank-you to the breeders who shared their stories on their experience with water puppies.

If you have additional information/ photos on water puppies you would like to share in order to help others with this issue, Contact Us.

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