Well, we’re in the home stretch! Time to get all the little details finished and organize for the delivery. My first step is to get all my supplies and bag them into ziplocks. I have the scissors, forceps, gauze, floss and betadyne together; the feeding tube, 60cc syringe , water based gel and sterile gloves together; scale, tupperware bowl, clipboard and pen together and Calsorb and oxytocin together. Also on the table is a clear plastic box with a heating pad covered with fresh white towels. It has a lid and the cord for the heating pad comes out the bottom. There’s a heat sensor at the bottom and I can read the temp of the room and of the box from a remote digital readout. It sounds fancy but I just got it from Target…LOL. It’s one of those thermometers you can use to read outdoors and indoors from.  I also have wraps for Nickel’s tail, piles of fresh pads for the whelping box, extra white towels, flashlight and oxygen tank.

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So what are all these packet for?

  • The scissors, forceps, gauze, floss and betadyne are for cutting, tying and disinfecting the umbilical cord.
  • The feeding tube, 60cc syringe, water based gel and sterile gloves are used if a puppy is stuck in the birth canal and the placenta is broken.  The feeding tube is wiggled in past the puppy’s head and toward it’s shoulders.  The syringe is filled with the lube and this is squeezed in to lubricate the now dry puppy.  I had to do this to deliver Mica in fact!
  • The scale, Tupperware bowl, clipboard and pen are used to weigh each puppy as they are born and record time of birth, collar color, weight and special markings.  I like to note the amount of white hairs between the pads because this can show if the puppy will be silver or blue.  Melissa, Rudy’s owner, sent me a gift of 12 colored puppy collars!  They are made of velcro and can expand as the puppies grow.  Not that we expect 12 puppies….YIKES.
  • The Calsorb and oxytocin are both used for contractions. The Calcium is used to strengthen contractions. It is given orally and helps support the dramatic loss of calcium by the body during labor. THe Oxytocin stimulates contractions and can be used if there is uterine inertia. Oxytocin is only used under emergency situations since, if used incorrectly, can be quite dangerous to the mom.
  • The clear plastic box is for the puppies.  As each puppy is born I will take each puppy and clear the mucus from its mouth and nostrils with a bulb syringe.  I’ll then dry it off and give it to mom.  Mom will clean it and let it nurse.  The nursing stimulates more contractions and when mom goes into 3rd stage labor, for the next puppy, I’ll take the new pups and place them in the warm box.  This way when mom is pacing or digging she won’t injure anyone.  After each puppy’ birth the other puppies are all removed from the box and returned to mom for nursing.
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    This is the whelping room. The whelping box is out of sight on Nickel’s right. The room is complete with a couch, compter and working table. There are french doors that open out onto the back deck so later when the puppies are walking they can go out easily.

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    There’s Mz Nickel on the couch in the background.

  • The rest of the equipment is obvious except maybe the flashlight.  It’s common for mom to think that she has to pee during labor and beg to go outside.  It’s also not uncommon for a puppy to arrive because that need to pee was really a big contraction!  Mom is kept on a leash and her escort always carries a flashlight and a white clean towel with which to catch the puppy.  Ico, Mica’s mom was born outside… In the dark!

Last but not least, I have lots and lots of calcium and sugar rich food: Ice cream and home-made Vanilla Goat Milk and Yogurt Pudding.