Problems that can arise with a Lactating Bitch
Eclampsia occurs when the calcium in the blood supply of the bitch is depleted, the symptoms include restlessness, extreme excitability, aggressiveness, picking up the pups, killing and eating them. an injection of liquid calcium 2-4ml will fix the problem temporally, always keep a supply on hand and watch for a re-occurrence of the problem.
Feeding the bitch Calcium with Boron tablets several times a day after she whelps should prevent the onset of Eclampsia and in our experience Mastitis.
Check the teats for hard lumps regularly, several times a day, if you find that Mastitis is developing in a teat the bitch needs anti-biotics, before the bitch whelps try and obtain a bottle of Procaine Penicillin, 2 ml intramusqularily twice daily should solve the problem, keep the pups off the teat that has Mastitis.
Keeping the puppies alive in the first 2 or 3 weeks entails sleepless nights, tube feeding, keeping the puppies warm, checking the bitch for Mastitis, watching the bitch for signs of Eclampsia.
We can rear puppies without the mother, but having the bitch feed and clean the pups makes it a lot easier but she can bring infection in to her pups from when she goes outside to urinate etc, we have a bucket in which we have 50 ml of water with a splash of disinfectant in it to wipe her teats, feet and bottom before we let her nurse the pups.
We do not let the pups stay with the bitch until she willing cleans them.
If the bitch has had Caesarian she will probably be on Anti-biotics for 5 days, Anti-biotics kills all bacteria both good and bad, we think it is important to feed the puppies Acidophilus powder, several times a day to restore the good bacteria to their gut.
It is important to realize that the coldest part of a room is at floor level, that is where the pups are so we use a low wattage infra-red light to keep the pups warm, ( pups that get chilled usually die ).