She started to have contractions on Thursday evening. This was the 63rd day from the first breeding. First puppy was whelped at 9:20 PM. Then there was a very long break. Mielikki was having contractions, though not very hard, but no puppy emerged. Around midnight I called our vet at Cobleskill Veterinary Clinic, and Dr. Kevin Baldwin agreed to meet us there around 1 AM. So we packed Mielikki and her first puppy and made a 35-minute trip. Twenty minutes into the trip Mielikki delivered another puppy. It was a relief as we really wanted to avoid a C-section. She got hydrated at the clinic, and we drove back home.
The rest of the night was pretty stressful. She would whelp a puppy every two hours or so, but things were proceeding quite slowly. Two pups did not survive delivery as they spent too much time in the birth canal. By 9 AM we had 7 puppies (5 alive and 2 dead), and not much was happening any more. We knew that she still had some pups inside her. After I checked her temperature, which rose to 103, we started to be concerned and placed another call to the vets. We were advised to bring her in.
Mielikki was x-rayed, and as it turned out she was carrying two additional puppies. According to Dr. Montario if there were only one puppy, maybe we could have brought it out by giving her oxytocin and calcium. But with two pups still there, and one of them placed very far from the birth canal, he advised C-section. We agreed to do it. It was a good decision as the two pups were still OK. One of them was stuck very far in the uterine horn, and apparently Mielikki would not have been able to push it out.
So the final outcome is 7 puppies, 5 females and 2 males, ranging at birth from 7.6 oz (215 gr) to 10 oz (283 gr). They all are in a good shape. Mielikki bounced back really quickly, and on Friday afternoon was drinking, eating and cleaning the pups' bottoms. Friday night was completely uneventful, and today (Saturday) things continue to go well. All the puppies put on some weight. We will continue to report about the pups at our puppy journal. This is our U-litter, which means that registered names of the pups will be starting with the letter U. All the pups are spoken for.
A big thank you to everybody at Cobleskill Veterinary Clinic, who helped with Mielikki's litter!