Tag Archives: glucose solution

Whelping Drugs

Whelping Drugs. What are they? What do they do? How to use them? When to use them? 

Thought I’d take a minute to run through a few oft mentioned drugs or aids that breeders or vets may recommend for you to have on hand for use during whelping and delivery of your litter. I’m hoping my fellow breeders will chime in with comments and suggestions to flesh this article out more so that it includes their experiences and the products they find most useful!

FOR THE BITCH

Calcium – use one of two forms for dosing

  •  Injectable form – 3cc in each syringe and up to 3 of the 3cc doses may be given for the larger dog like our Setter
  • TUMS chewable antacid with 1000 mg of Calcium

Calcium will increase muscle contractions and is used when the uterine contractions don’t have the strength needed to push the puppy out. Calcium is a safe drug when injected subcutaneous (under the skin) or as a treat in the chewable Tums form. The PH level of calcium is very low and can cause tissue damage if all injections are given in the same general area. It is important when giving more than one injection to move them to a different area over the shoulder, such as starting out on the left side of the shoulder and giving a second injection on the right side of the shoulder and a third injection in the middle of the shoulder. Calcium may be used when the bitch isn’t pushing and it has been more than 1 hour since the last puppy was born. If the bitch is pushing hard (visible contractions) but no puppy is being expelled it us time to call your vet or emergency clinic.

Photo courtesy of Silvia Timmermann
Photo courtesy of Silvia Timmermann

Oxytocin (common brand name Pitocin) – I do not recommend using oxytocin without veterinarian supervision, please see the previously published article Oxytocin During Whelping (click here for link). Oxytocin is a natural hormone that causes the uterus to contract, as compared to the calcium which strengthens those contractions. Allowing newborn puppies to nurse will cause the release of oxytocin from the dam’s body, so it is best to allow newborn pups to nurse as much as possible from the dam between births. Calcium should be administered, and is recommended before any dose of Oxytocin is given.

FOR THE PUPPPY

Dopram (Doxapram) is a controversial drug used to start or stimulate respiration in newborn puppies following a difficult birth or a C-section. There may be serious side effects from the use of this drug, therefore before choosing to keep it on hand for use please be certain to understand proper use, administration, and the side effects that may be caused by use. I have no experience with this drug, never having used it during a delivery, therefore I cannot endorse or deny it’s viability. Dopram V is a respiratory stimulant which stimulates an increase in tidal volume (the volume of air that is inhaled or exhaled in a single breath), and respiratory rate (number of breaths taken within a set amount of time). It is important to understand that you would be wasting precious minutes for the puppy, if you have not first cleared the airway before administering Dorpram. It is more important that you to learn to safely clear an airway and stimulate breathing the natural way before administering any drug to the newborn pup.

Nutritional Aids for the puppy

Puppy Glucose Solution is my “go to aid” for every puppy, especially those needing a boost of energy to get them nursing during the first 48 hours of life.Click here for complete information “First 48 Hours for Newborn Puppies”

I found these two products that were also recommended by other breeders.

Photo courtesy Silvia Timmermann
Photo courtesy Silvia Timmermann

PUPPYSTIM provides immediate energy supplies from fast absorbed triglycerides (fat), essential fatty acids and glucose.
It also contains: Colostrum (Immunoglobulins) for complementary passive immunity for the first 24-36 hours of life. Natural, safe, friendly probiotic lactic acid bacteria to colonize the gut and exclude overgrowth of potential pathogenic bacteria such as E.Coli or Salmonella etc. A complex package of vitamins and essential mineral iron (in an immediate bioavailable form), improving a puppy’s early condition and resistance to stress and infections. A blend of special plant extracts of Guarana and Kola for stimulating puppies’ early physical activity and well-being to thrive.

NUTRIDROPS are a high energy, nutrient rich supplement.
Ingredients: Propylene Glyco, Cane Molasses, Beet Molasses, Choline Chloride, Methionine, Lysine, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Di-alpha-tocopherol Acetate, Thiamine, Ammonium Polyphosphate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Potassium Sulphate, Magnesium Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Iron Sulphate, Copper Sulphate and Cobalt Sulphate.

As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, suggestions and advice in our comment section! Share your best puppy birthing ideas and recommendations please!

Photos courtesy of Silvia Timmermann

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

First 48 Hours for Newborn Puppies

As I understand it, the two most pressing hazards we face as breeders, to keeping our puppies alive in the first 48 hours would be cold (chilled) and dehydration. After those two the next hazard to life is lack of nourishment. Now, I’m always open to learning new tricks, so if there is anyone who can offer me insight into something more pressing that I am overlooking as vital in this 48 hour time-frame, we all want you to step forward to chime in here, my purpose is to provide the most comprehensive advice to breeders, and your addition to this article may save another Gordon Setter puppy. Please, please don’t be shy!

The first thing I reach for, and the best tool in my breeder toolbox, to address the hazard of dehydration (and nourishment) is advice given by Anne Serrane in her book “The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog”  and that is her recommendation to use a Puppy Glucose Solution. The ingredients of this solution and the method of delivering it via an eye dropper fit four vital needs of the newly born puppy. The first is to assure that the puppy stays well hydrated, the second is to give the puppy a boost of energy with nourishment that is less foreign to his extremely sensitive digestive system, and the third to teach the puppy to swallow and suck. The fourth need is some assistance to preventing chill, and the solution can help avoid chilling by providing a warm liquid to the pup’s internal organs. Warming this solution to body temperature by holding it close to our body or in our hands, this solution, when swallowed, will provide some warmth for the puppy internally. I store my Puppy Glucose Solution within reach during whelping by sitting it in a container of warm water so it holds that warmth between uses. Yes, you can choose to use other re-hydration techniques like the injection of Ringer’s Glucose-Saline fluid or tube feeding a milk replacement, but neither of these techniques meet the need to help that puppy learn to swallow and suck, and the replacement formula delivered by tube is often too foreign for the (less than 48 hour old) puppy to properly digest. I avoid the use of milk replacement formulas in the first 48 hours whenever possible as these can cause more stress for the puppy instead of help.

So moving on, prepare this 5% Glucose solution just prior to whelping and store in a dropper bottle:

  • 1 TSP Kayro (Corn) syrup
  • 4 TBL boiled water
  • few grains of table salt (sodium chloride)
  • few grains of salt substitute (potassium chloride)

Then follow the simple instructions ont how to use the Puppy Glucose Solution and give your puppies a faster, stronger start by Anne Serrane from her book “The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog”

This resembles a Ringer’s Glucose-Saline fluid but, of course, cannot be used for subcutaneous or intravenous injection because it is not sterile. Store the solution in a dropper bottle. As soon as a puppy is dry and breathing normally, weigh it on a gram scale and give it five or six drops of the solution for each 100 grams of body weight. It is best to administer the glucose drop by drop on its tongue and not introduce it directly into the stomach by tube. By giving it on the tongue the swallowing reflexes are being developed. Make sure the puppy has swallowed each drop before the next is given. Usually even the weakest pup will accept it gratefully. Then put the puppy with it’s dam for stimulation and warmth. Every four hours weigh the puppy, record the weight, and repeat the glucose, increasing the amount if the puppy wants it, to as much as a full dropper or more for each 100 grams of body weight, until the puppy shows signs of gaining weight. Then offer it to the puppy every eight hours until it is 48 hours old. It should not be forced to drink it. Usually even the smallest puppy will begin to take hold and nurse strongly with good suction at the end of 24 hours, and will reject the glucose, indicating it is getting sufficient energy and nutrition from its dam. You can tell when its suction is getting stronger for, suddenly, the puppy will close its mouth around the dropper and suck all the solution from the tube.”

It takes a good deal of patience and practice with newborn puppies to get them to accept this liquid from the eye dropper, you’ll need to learn how to get the puppy to open his mouth to accept the eye dropper, but once you both get the knack of it the pup will stick out his tongue for the dropper and eventually suck the liquid right down!

It’s so simple and such a great boost. It’s like a puppy power shake!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

Photo by Sarah Armstrong