|Posted on July 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM|
It has taken me a while to get around to posting this update. Not because I have been busy, as I had hoped I would be, but because the news is painful. Two days after five beautiful babies - two boys and three girls - were born, they began to struggle. Over the course of approximately 40 hours, we lost them one by one.
We did everything possible to try and turn each baby's downward spiral around. With the help of four veterinarians and many of our close friends, we tried everything we could think of to help each baby overcome whatever was making them sick. In the end, the veterinarians unanimously agreed that we had lost all five babies to "Fading Puppy Syndrome." No one knows for certain what the cause is and why some puppies fall victim to it while others don't. Some people are able to save one or two puppies, some (like us), lose an entire litter. Theories include everything from bacterial infections to some unknown congenital problem. For my part, I tend to agree with our primary veterinarian that it is something infectious.
I could go into the blow by blow of each puppy's deterioration and the steps we took to try and beat the odds, but it is a long and painful story. Should any of you be wanting the details for your own education, I am happy to share if you contact me personally. Otherwise, we just ask that you say a prayer for five sweet babies that were already loved by their forever families and will be missed.
For Mollie's part, grief was hard to overcome. For several days afterward, Mollie would only leave the whelping box to go outside. When she came back in the house, she would immediately return to the box. We left her to sleep there and recover from her cesarean section in peace. Finally, after four days of exile, Mollie began to show signs of being ready to resurme her place in the family. She would return to the whelping box but would come out when called. After a few days of transition, I finally felt it was safe to put up a baby gate across the door without causing her any additional stress. For the next couple of weeks, Mollie would still occasionally stop in front of the whelping room and look wistfully through the door.
We keep discussing what the best next step will be. We are not in a hurry to decide. We don't anticipate Mollie going back into season until sometime in December and we haven't decided definitively if/when we want to breed Brady. Phil thinks it would be hard on Mollie to breed her again. I tend to think the most healing thing we could do for Mollie is to let her have a litter of healthy babies. Stay tuned for which one of us convinces the other.