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Old 02-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question for all breeders - how do you feel about pups when they die

Just curious on how other breeders feel about losing pups.

One of my mentors once told me the longer you breed for, you tend to harden your heart towards it, its just a matter of statistics.

We lost one on Jazzys second litter. She was born ok, but started fading. I tube fed, and stayed up with her for a week, and it broke my heart after that she died, especially when you put so much work into keeping them alive.

This litter we had a stillborn that had died probably about a week before birth (sex organs not quite developed), and we had one that was in the birth canal too long. Remi came out with a pulse but not breathing but we were able to resuscitate him. It still hurt to lose the ones we did, but not as much as the fading puppy.

How do you feel if you lose a pup, does it hurt you emotionally, do you do everything you can to bring them back around, do you give them a burial, or do you just shrug and say - "natures way"???

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Old 02-17-2012, 07:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It always sucks to lose puppies. I take the stance of mostly hands off though. I help in the birth and help get one going if it is slow to start and I help smaller ones by holding them to the nipple. I try not to help the faders though. I really subscribe to the idea that if I have to do heroics to keep one alive, it was probably never meant to be in the first place.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Knock on wood, I have not lost one yet. I know that if I keep breeding long enough, I will. In my first litter I did have a fading puppy at age one week that I tube fed for several days around the clock - she was then fine and is now 4 years of age. I will do everything in my power to raise each and every puppy.

I don't accept that fact that some just won't make it. I barely leave the whelping box for the first week and sleep next to it for the first 2 weeks. If a puppy does not make it, it sure won't be because I let it die. JMHO
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We do everything we can to save all of them unless there is a physical deformity that may cause the puppy problems later in life. At birth you just don't know which will be the top world class competitors and which will be the pets. However, you just have to accept that some will not make it. That is the reason that nature made dogs to have such large litters. It is inevitable that not all of them will make it 100% of the time.

Even with physical deformities it is not always a death sentence. Once we had a puppy that was born with both front legs severely curled probably due to crowding in the uterus. I put tiny splints on both front legs and the bones were soft enough that they straightened out. One looked pretty normal and the other ended up kind of like a club foot. However, he grew up to be a wonderful family pet and the leg never seemed to bother him.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workingk9s View Post
It always sucks to lose puppies. I take the stance of mostly hands off though. I help in the birth and help get one going if it is slow to start and I help smaller ones by holding them to the nipple. I try not to help the faders though. I really subscribe to the idea that if I have to do heroics to keep one alive, it was probably never meant to be in the first place.
That sounds harsh...
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One of the puppies from Hara's litter almost did not make it. It took a lot of work to save him. The person that was the first on the list had been in the breed for a long time and had achieved several Sch titles. He was her pick.

A few from the litter did not make it and it is disappointing and sad.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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That sounds harsh...
Maybe, but if tube feeding is the only way to get a very weak puppy to survive, then I probably won't do it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I guess on the plus side (and I know that sounds crappy), when it happens I'm usually so physically and mentally exhausted already from waiting for the delivery, through the delivery, 'round the clock care of puppies in the beginning, that in a way it doesn't register as it would if I was completely sound at the time.

We have lost 2 fairly quickly after their birth so I kind of felt I didn't know them yet. We lost one the day she turned 2 weeks old and I found that one much more difficult as she was a singleton and had been the complete focus of my attention for 2 weeks. But again, the night we lost her, I knew something was up. I had been at the vet's twice that night with her, and the vet had been over to our place, I had been up all night and I knew we were going to lose her. I was still sitting up with her when my husband left for work the following morning and he said "why don't you get some sleep, you know she's not going to make it." He was right and I knew he would be right, but that one was really hard to give up on. Again, the exhaustion kind of muted the outcome in a way.

We lost one in our last litter when he was 4 days old, I think. It was the day after their tails were done and he was a big, robust puppy and that one came as a complete shock. I was doing early neurological stimulation exercises with them, he was lying under the pig rail and when it was his turn and I picked him up, he was dead. I just couldn't believe it. What keeps me going in that situation is that there is the rest of the litter that needs my attention and I just try to focus on that.

I did give them a burial and planted a tree for each.
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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That sounds harsh...

not really... Especially with working breeders, it is not uncommon for people not to interfere with the birth and whelping at all and to let nature take care of the weak puppies.

This is an interesting read...I posted it a long time ago in a different thread:

Saving weak/ill puppies - Working Dog Forum
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:34 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitz.kara View Post
not really... Especially with working breeders, it is not uncommon for people not to interfere with the birth and whelping at all and to let nature take care of the weak puppies.

This is an interesting read...I posted it a long time ago in a different thread:

Saving weak/ill puppies - Working Dog Forum
I'm not registered in that forum so was unable to read (maybe later, when I have tme, i will sign up and do so). In the one post I am able to see, there is a reference to "Don"... is that possibly Don Turnipseed?
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