I was away at a judge's seminar for Kilt's first litter. My husband was busy working around the homestead. He noticed she was nesting when he went to take the workers back to the city. When he arrived home Kilt had already had several pups. So he was NO help in telling me how she did with her first whelping. Men!
Actually, it was a HELL of a lot easier the first time :0) Not watching is a good way to go.
During the first stage of labor when Kilt was dilating she nested quite frantically at times. I missed the short videos of her grabbing the blanket in her whelping box growling while she was tugging on it. I laughed! Plus, Kilt was giving me hell (I'm sure) as she barked at me to let me know how she felt about the predicament she was in. Only Kilt :0)
Her water broke at about 5:45 pm. She was having mild contractions. Turning, raising her tail, and looking at her vulva. After close to 2 hours later I called my Vet. He double checked her x-ray. He said she "could" go up to 4 hrs. after the water broke without a pup. After 4 hrs. he suggested bringing her in. He gave me an Emergency vet number if I needed it for after hours.
Two hours later she started with BIG contractions. Kilt was in some pain. When she laid down to rest in between she would lick her toe and stick it in her ear. She does this without being pregnant, but it was funny to see her do it now. I thought she was going to make her ear bloody she kept sticking her paw so frantically in her ear. Finally, we saw two little feet and a tip of a tail hanging out of her. She was walking in circles, because it was easier to stand and push rather than lie down and push.
This went on longer than I could stand. She kept pushing and I couldn't see anymore than feet and a tail. You aren't sure if the pup is still attached to the placenta. There is no movement from the feet or tail. You are thinking the worst. But, you know she needs some assist and surely if the pup is a goner, you want it out of there so the others can come. Not a good feeling! I finally lubed up her vulva and got a microfiber towel (for waxing cars) for "grip," grabbed as much of the pup as I could and pulled downward with each contraction. I can't believe Wayne's AICD (defibrilator) didn't go off! He was so upset. The look on his face. He was so worried for Kilt. He held Kilt's collar while I pulled while she was contracting. It took many a contraction to pull the beast out. Finally he arrived. He was a toughie and a biggie. He immediately grabbed a nipple and started nursing as soon as he could. This is my favorite pup thus far. He has a wide offset blaze, deep copper on his face, legs, and under his tail. He has white back tippy toes like Buzz. Where the heck did that copper come from?
Monster butt (male) number one pup
Pup number two was another male. He was average size and has a wide Kilt blaze. He arrived making a racket. Wayne said he wanted to run down to the sheep corral and start working NOW. Raven black and white. Wow...are these pups ever glossy black. Easy delivery.
Knee sock, diamond head (male) number two pup. Possible tri, also.
Pup number 3, a smaller female arrived without a fuss. Kilt had the first 3 pups in 30 min. This female has a small collar and a hairline blaze. She arrived breech, too. I read that almost 50% of most litters are breech. I didn't know that. I do now. I had my ipad in the whelping room and let me tell you I was reading as much as I could and as fast as I could!
Hairline blaze (female) number three pup
Pup number 4, another female. She is a little bigger than the first girl with a wide Kilt blaze. She is very striking. She beat a path to get over to nurse on her mom. Wayne said he is always amazed how instinctively they know where to go. ;0)
V blaze, half right collar (female) number four pup
Pup number 5, the monster male. "Walk-Up Tripod." Just joking. He was hell to deliver. He came a full hour later after the other 4. Kilt had to give about 15 huge contractions walking in circles with this beast's head showing and then he would suck back in. Next contraction, his partial head would come out and then when the contraction was over he would slither back in. Wayne and I BOTH almost had heart failure. His mouth and nose were purple and each time he would come out a bit, I would suction his mouth and he would slide away back into darkness. We really thought he was a goner. Kilt was almost throwing herself in a standing position against the whelping box trying to push him out. I thought the pup would get a concussion. I blame it all on Buzz. The pup has a monster head! I lubed up Kilt and finally I saw ONE purple foot and grabbed hold when I could catch the shoulder and both Wayne and I pleaded with Kilt to push. You would have thought she understood everything we were telling her. I'm saying, "Please PUSH Kilt and Wayne is coaching her in almost tears, "Kilt, Come on, you can do it." It was DRAMATIC. Also, it might have been a good time for a little oxytocin, but we didn't have any. Wayne said we needed a "shoehorn" to get him out. I, finally with Kilt's help, got the pup delivered. As soon as I grabbed hold of him pulling downward, I cried, "He only has THREE legs." I heard Wayne say, "What?" I said, "He is missing a leg." OMG.....With the next contraction we saw that his left leg was folded back up against his tummy. As soon as he got out and dried off he started crawling. DRAMA. He pinked up very quickly and joined the others to nurse. Thank God they are pliable, eh? Mr. Tripod. He's a beautiful pup with a wide Kilt blaze and may be a tri color, also.
(Tri-pod) Monster head, half left collar (male) number five pup
All placentas accounted for....pwee Thank-you Lord. We are so glad that is over. I do very well as a critical care nurse for HUMANS, but when it is your own dog, that is a different story. I was tougher than I thought, though. Anything for my Kilt. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that bitch.
Happy Mom and a good Mom