I now have something new to add to my list of dog breeding experiences. This one will go under the category of “Not as Bad as I Thought, But No Need to Repeat.”
We knew Mia was having a small litter this time around, because of her small belly and because I could only feel fetal movement on one side. I was hoping for at least two puppies, but I was suspicious Mia was having another singleton.
As we near every delivery, I begin to track my girls’ temperatures. About 24 hours before delivery, I can usually spot a sudden drop in temperature. This drop in temperature comes from the release of hormones that begin labor.
Mia’s temperature is usually 99-101 degrees. When her temperature drops, I often see readings as low as 98.2. The lowest I ever saw was 97.9. In the past, Mia has followed a very consistent pattern. I’ll see a temperature drop early in the morning. She will act fairly normal, but refuse to eat that day. As we near evening, she will begin nesting. Active labor usually starts around midnight, and her puppies are born very quickly and easily.
I saw a temperature of 98.8 on Wednesday morning, so I thought puppies were coming Wednesday night. Nothing happened.
Thursday morning her temperature was 98.2. I thought, “Ok! This time is the real deal!” I was sure puppies were coming Thursday night. Nothing happened.
Friday morning, again, her temperature was in the 98’s. So I took her to the vet to see what was going on. This was not normal for Mia. Although her temperature indicated something wasn’t right, Mia was not acting stressed or uncomfortable. She still wanted to play fetch and seemed to be her fine, happy self; but my instincts told me something was off!
A check up at our vet showed only one puppy! The puppy’s heart rate was normal, and Mia checked out perfectly. My vet didn’t want to rush into a c-section when everything seemed to be okay. But we discussed the fact that with only one puppy, there sometimes is not enough hormone to start contractions. However, from all outward appearances, there was no cause for concern… yet.
So we waited another night. Nothing happened.
By this point, I wasn’t surprised. After seeing three normal deliveries from Mia, I knew this one was not normal; and I was pretty sure that this puppy was not going to come naturally.
Saturday morning (now three days after I thought labor started), we went to the vet again to monitor the puppy. Mia was still acting normal, but the puppy’s heart rate had dropped, indicating it was in distress. It was not in proper position to be born, so, unfortunately, inducing labor wasn’t an option.
Sweet Mia had to have a c-section. All things considered, everything went as smoothly as possible. The surgery went well, and recovery has been progressing normally. Both mama and baby are doing great! Mia is definitely feeling more sore and uncomfortable than after a natural delivery, but she is still being an excellent mama.
The puppy, a female which we have named Faith, seems to be doing well. She even gained a bit of weight in the first 24 hours. She is totally red and weighed 7.7 ounces.
We also came home with an arsenal of post-surgery medications! Mia’s not super impressed with her pills, but she doesn’t notice when I hide them in a hunk of sticky peanut butter. 😉
The coming days will be filled with rest and recovery. Even though we had to do a c-section, we are counting our blessings that we have a healthy mama and puppy! Thanks for reading! 🙂