Metro Has Aspirated Milk at the Hospital…
They tube fed him and gave him the bottle which he sucked on some. They put him back in his cage and the next time they checked him, at about 4 pm, they saw milk coming from his nose and mouth. They x-rayed and confirmed that there is fluid in his lungs … they are giving him oxygen, and he’s fighting still. The doctor said that there’s nothing they can do beyond the oxygen, giving him a prophylactic antibiotic, and hoping. It doesn’t look good, but there’s still a chance, apparently.
We know most breeders keep puppies like this at home and do the tube feeding, etc. We just didn’t feel experienced enough, especially since we hadn’t been shown how/practiced. We didn’t know if we could really feed him every hour as the hospital said he needed. And we also worried about keeping him warm. And, the local vets said us trying to tube feed him was dangerous and they recommended against it. Basically, this is our third litter in 25 years and we just didn’t prepare ourselves well enough for something that is common, but not in our experience.
Geoffrey and I have talked. We felt that having him in the hospital stretched our budget but it was giving him the best care. That has been worth it.
From a psychological perspective, for our future litters and for us, having Metro in the hospital was a good thing. If the outcome is not good, we know that he failed even though he had the best medical care. If the outcome was not good after we kept him at home, we would blame ourselves. We also know that even with the professional medical care, some puppies can aspirate… aspiration is not necessarily caused by us making a mistake.
We know breeders understand that some puppies don’t make it and there is nothing you can do. We intellectually knew that ourselves. But, our experience with Metro makes it real. And, we didn’t slip up and keep him from succeeding.
The next litter, we will be prepared for tube feeding. We will ask for instructions from our reproduction vet. We will have enough supplies lined up, and we will also do a better job of clearing our calendars so that the lack of sleep doesn’t impact our work life.
Geoffrey is on his way home from having visited Metro at the hospital. Geoffrey brought him a t-shirt with the smells of his sister and mother on it. Geoff held Metro and left him on top of the t-shirt. Geoffrey says Metro is weak, but the doctors believe that he is breathing better than he was a bit ago. The doctors plan to back off the amount of food they were giving him per meal; they suspect he overate and regurgitated some which got into his lungs.
There’s still a chance.