Our Callisto x Boulder puppies were born on 3 April 2008 @ 7:00 p.m. by emergency C-section.
Unfortunately, this litter has not been without it's tragedies. The first tragedy came very quickly. The first puppy was
delivered vaginally at home, but was stillborn (or died during the birth process). I tried to revive him by doing mouth to mouth,
rubbing, chest compressions, etc., but our firstborn baby boy never drew breath.
9 healthy puppies were delivered by c-section. 6 boys, and 3 girls. The boys are Orange, Red, Yellow, DarkBlue, LightBlue,
and Purple. The girls are DarkGreen, LightGreen, and Pink.
A second minor "tragedy" occurred when Callisto produced no milk even after several days of oxytocin injections, and other medical
and holistic attemps to bring on her milk. That meant these babies were going to have to be bottle fed. With enough hands, and
powdered supplements, that was not a problem that couldn't be overcome.
Alas, the real tragedies began late night on 5 April and into the wee hours of 6 April. I fed everybody around 10:00 p.m. They all ate
well and went to sleep fine.
I was beginning the pottying process at about 11:00 p.m. and noticed that Orange Boy seemed to be lethargic and gasping for breath.
I began rubbing his back, and massaging him yet his gasping continued to get worse. He had a strong heartbeat, but didn't seem to be
taking in any air with his gasping, so I began mouth to mouth on him to try to get air in him. After about 2 hours of massaging, mouth to
mouth, and CPR, he finally passed in my arms around 1:00 a.m., 6 April, as Jim stood watching helplessly over my shoulders.
We then fed and pottied the rest, who had been somewhat forgotten during the efforts to save Orange Boy. At this point, the rest
of the litter was eating, pottying, and looking perfectly okay. We caught a short catnap after that, me on the mattress next to the
whelping box, and Jim in bed with the big dogs.
At the 4:00 feeding (we were a bit off schedule by then) Red Boy didn't want to eat much at all and was a bit sluggish. No real
problems, he just didn't look "right" to us. Our friend, vet tech, and Mom #3 to this litter, Erika, arrived around 5:00 a.m. and took
over. She too noticed that Red Boy was just not "right" and suctioned blood tinged fluid from him. It was not looking good again.
Erika and Jim sent me off to bed, since I had done the whole night shift, and had had foot surgery Thursday morning just 12 hours
before the puppies made their appearance. They told me later that day, when I woke up, that Red Boy too had passed around 6:00
a.m. that morning, 6 April.
They also told me that Yellow Boy had also started turning sour about 2 hours after Red Boy passed, but his symptoms were
somewhat different as he passed blood tinged mucous in his urine. They succeeded in getting Yellow Boy to the on call vet (this was
Sunday and we have no 24 hour emergency vet here). The vet gave him a shot of Penicillan and started the rest of the litter on
Clavamox. By early afternoon Yellow Boy had shown marked improvement.
First thing Monday morning Jim took the 2 puppies to the state lab for necropsy. I wanted to know what killed my babies; and I
wanted to know what to do for the rest of the litter to prevent any more deaths. We got the initial report at 3:30 p.m. Monday
afternoon, but all they could tell us was that both boys had right lungs that were firm and not spongy as they should be, which
indicated pneumonia, or edema. They would do a bacterial culture to see if there was any specific bacteria that caused it, but those
results wouldn't be available to us until 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning.
In the meantime, in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, DarkGreen Girl presented with the same symptoms as the two boys, and died
in my arms at 4:30 a.m. There was no need to take her for necropsy as her signs and symptoms were exactly the same as Orange and
Red Boys', so she was buried in the backyard with our other furbabies who have passed.
At 10:00 a.m., the lab informed us we were dealing with a virulent and aggressive Hemolytic E-Coli bacteria. We were reassured that
even had we taken the 3 puppies to an emergency vet, there would have been nothing that could be done, because by the time we saw
the symptoms, the bacteria was too far gone. The lab told us to keep giving the rest of the litter the Clavamox and that they would
now do an antibody sensitivity culture and would contact us and our vet the next morning (Wednesday) with those results. Our vet
assured us if a change of antibiotics was indicated, he would notify us immediately.
On Wednesday, the state lab informed our vet and us that the bacteria we were dealing with was resistant to Clavamox and the litter
needed to be changed to Ampicillan. This was done Wednesday afternoon.
Since that time, we have lost no more puppies. The 6 survivors (4 boys: Yellow, DarkBlue, LightBlue, and Purple; and 2 girls:
LightGreen, and Pink) are eating well and growing. At two weeks old they are starting to walk, and demonstrate differences in their
personalities. They haven't opened their eyes yet, but soon.
I don't think we are out of the woods yet. We have one boy who seems to be having fairly bad gastrointestinal problems, we think,
due to all the antibiotics. He isn't eating as well as we'd like and we are doing everything we can to ease his tummy pain until they are
finished with the Ampicillan and he can finally get his system restored to normal.
I apologize for how long this is, but I wrote it for myself, as much as for anybody else. I needed to do this. I will eventually buy a
headstone to put on the grave where DarkGreen Girl is buried, that will bear the "names" of all who passed from this litter.
|Callisto x Boulder Litter - Born 3 April 2008
Died - 3 April (1),6 April (2), and 8 April (1). RIP Little Ones.
WeeBaby Boy, Orange Boy, Red Boy, and DarkGreen Girl
Your time with us may have been fleeting, but the
imprint you made on our hearts is forever.