6th April 2023.
A memorable day, not only for Pollecke.
From that date, the birth of at least 13 Leonberger puppies could begin.
For the time being, there was no sign of this at Pollecke.
Despite her very voluminous size, she consumed her breakfast with great taste.
The light lunch was consumed less eagerly, so we concluded that she would probably start in the evening and that it would be night work for everybody.
At half past five Pollecke announced that something was going on.
A little restless wandering. A few contractions and a quarter of an hour later number 1 arrived.
At first, he was viewed a bit suspiciously and she made no move to open the amniotic bladder, so that was done by me.
Cut the umbilical cord, clear the mouth, rub it dry and the first cries were there.
In the meantime, after much chewing, the placenta had also been eaten and the puppy, which had just been rubbed dry with the greatest care, had to be licked and massaged again from head to toe and was wet again.
Half an hour later number 2 arrived, and the same scenario unfolded again.
Half an hour later number 3 announced itself.
Optimistic I thought: that’s going well, we’ll still be done before midnight.
But that was a mistake.
The amniotic sac that protruded a bit from the vulva retracted again and despite the homeopathic contraction activators nothing came.
With so many puppies to go I decided not to lose too much time and went to the vet.
After an injection of oxytocin without result, a caesarean section was decided.
That was an evening to remember.
It seemed like assembly line work.
One puppy after another was conjured up.
A team of 4 (3 assistants and myself) was ready to rub each puppy dry, massage, check breathing, clear the nose of mucus, tie off and cut the umbilical cord.
The first four went well, but then we were soon multitasking.
Rub here, make mouth and nose mucus-free there.
Only when the puppies were dry and breathing in a basket could we start making an inventory.
The result was 4 males and 10 females. Together with the 2 males at home, the total came to 6 males and 10 females.
At home, a sleepy Pollecke was placed in the whelping box. Fortunately, there was already some milk so that all pups still got a few drops of mother’s milk.
A little more from a bottle and the dog family could go to sleep.
In the morning, Pollecke looked a bit surprised when we held a puppy under her nose every time. She was still a little dizzy, of course.
Since the milk was slow to start, it meant bottle feeding.
That also seemed a bit like assembly line work, but after a few days Pollecke produced so much milk that the bottle only became supplementary food.
Pollecke is an excellent mother. The puppies are carefully washed and massaged.
For her own protection, the puppies are divided into 2 groups so that Pollecke can regularly withdraw to recover.
To be continued.