I wanted to share my experience this morning with the birth of Rally's litter. For those who have ever considered a litter because they think it might be "fun" or because the thought selling the pups would give them extra income, please read.
Last night Rally went into labor with her second litter. This was a planned litter, we had an ultrasound done at day 30 and a pregnancy x-ray last Friday. Everything looked normal and there were no complications expected. At 3:30am it was clear something was not right. We took Rally to the emergency vet, $170 to walk in the door, they did more x-rays and found one of the puppies had become mispositioned and was stuck. A c-section was recommended since ultrasound showed that one of the puppies was in distress, heart rate was dropping. We went ahead with the c-section, $2500, which took about 2 hours. They were able to deliver all four of her puppies but the one in distress had its heart stop shortly after birth and they were unable to revive her. Rally made it through the surgery alright and was recovered from anethesia in about an hour and could be with her puppies and discharged. The 3 surviving puppies are doing well. We have been a nervous wreck since this all started and are only just starting to relax enough to rest.
When every thing goes well, whelping is a stressful event but when something goes wrong, it is difficult to explain how incredibly scary and nerve wracking waiting for someone else to care for you babies is. I have had many breeders through the course of the day share their experiences with me and what I have found is that most of them whether early in their breeding histories like myself or after 20+ years of breeding have had a similar experience. It is not a matter of "if" this will happen to you if you chose to be a breeder but "when". Rally was in excellent health and what occured was strictly bad luck in the puppy becoming mispositioned. There is nothing we could have done to prevent the situation. Since Rally was in good physical shape she had a quick recovery from the anesthesia and seems to be in good spirits and doing well, I can not imagine what it would be like if the girl were not in top physical condition.