and its been a roller-coaster of a week too. After a problem-free delivery of the chocolate drops and a good sleep things took a turn for the worst. Sadly by morning chocolate drop no.9 had past away. The last pup to be born was a tiny girl. She appeared strong at first and was feeding from mum but when I went in to check on things she was curled into a ball and had died. My heart sank and the tears flowed. Coco-Bean didnt seem worried in the slightest, she was quite happily feeding her new family. So no.9 was buried peacefully in the garden within hours of being born. Mother Nature had dealt her first blow.
The second blow came later that day when I noticed no.8 (a tiny boy) was very weak. He was cold to the touch and didn't seem strong enough to feed. Again my heart sank. While I was holding him under the heat lamp to try to warm him he went very stiff and lifeless and died. I past him over to Eugene to put him into a towel so that CoCo-Bean didn't get stressed as she had been licking and nudging him in my hand obviously aware something was wrong with her pup. Eugene gave the little pup a rub in a last attempt to get him going . . . . . and he started to breathe! He gave out a squeak and a cry and started to move in Eugene's hand. We couldn't believe it. We brought him into the house and continued to warm him by the fire and with a hairdryer on a low heat, tossing and turning him as CoCo-Bean would do. After about an hour he was warm and hungry so we did a dash to the vets for milk powder and a feeding bottle. At first he was too weak to suckle so I was dropping the milk onto his tongue. A few hours of drop feeding and he seemed much better. Eugene and I continued to feed him like this all through wednesday night and thursday morning. By mid-morning on thursday he was feeding from the bottle with no problems at all and taking regular feeds. I was so relieved. Although extremely shattered we were pleased with his progress but just as we started to calm down and feel a little more positive no. 8 went down hill very fast. On friday night he stopped feeding and wouldn't take the bottle or the dropper. He became lifeless and was dehydrating and I feared the worst. Maybe he had internal injuries or a birth defect that we weren't aware of. In the early hours of saturday morning I made a desperate dash to the vets. The vet injected some glucose directly into his stomach as this was the quickest way to get him hydrated, but told me that the odds were definitely against us but while there is life there is hope. She showed me how to inject the fluids under his skin so that I could continue to do this over the weekend. Not something I was overjoyed about, I don't like needles at the best of times but if this was the only way to give him a chance I would do it. It was easier than I thought and I was quite confident after my first go.
Within hours of having the fluid injections no. 8 was squealing with hunger. We offered him the bottle and he took a small feed. A little glimmer of hope. He continued to get stronger and stronger over the weekend and now is taking regular feeds every 2 hours. Bowels and waterworks are functioning normally and the quantity of the feeds is slowly increasing. Although we are far from out of the woods each hour that passes he seems so much stronger and my hopes are raised just a little bit after each feed. One thing is certain though and that is if no. 8 makes it through he will be staying here with us to live his life with his canine mum and dad and is human mum and dad too! After what we have been through with him I couldnt possibly let him go anywhere else.
This photo of no. 8 was taken on Monday during a feed:
As for the remaining 7 chocolate drops they are feeding well and growing fast.
CoCo-Bean is doing a great job with her pups and is a very attentive mum. As they are a week old today we are going to weigh them all to see how much weight they have gain in their first week.
More updates to follow,