I had every intention of merrily blogging along about my Bull Terrier litter adventure with Amy and her puppies. Breeding Bull Terriers is never easy, and sometimes, like this time, it is very hard. Amy went into labor 2 days early, and one of the puppies was stillborn, which probably triggered the early labor. One boy was very small, and died two days later, if only he’d had those two more days to develop, perhaps he would have survived. A girl, who looked very healthy at birth, lost weight dramatically and died just after the little boy. I had a necropsy done and she had severe lung damage, probably caused by inhaling amniotic fluid. She was first born, out of her protective sac, and just a tiny bit stuck, so this all seemed consistent with her fate.
Just as things calmed down and Amy had finally learned to distinguish a normal puppy cry from one that meant a puppy was hurting (all of the cries really alarmed her at first). Amy got violently ill, vomiting all night, and was diagnosed with extremely high liver values and a badly inflamed gall bladder. I need to wean puppies overnight. I called multiple dog breeder friends for support. I had to mix up puppy formula and quickly get puppies up to speed on using a bottle, then lapping from a dish, and then eating solid food. This caused gastrointestinal upsets, and after confirming there were no parasites, they went on a diet of very bland food and eventually prescription Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy food, which got their stools back to normal. Amy kept them very clean, so going from neat and clean to messy and stinky so quickly was pretty stressful. After a couple weeks on the prescription food, I was able to make a slow transition to Nutrisource’s All Life Stages Chicken and Rice and as of right now, they are doing fine on regular kibble.