Update: Progress on Most Fronts

Okay, so, RIHASI is at 150,000 words now, and I am at last through that one difficult chapter and finally, at long last, moving into the last chapter.

Or maybe the penultimate chapter if I wind up breaking this chapter in half, which is pretty likely. Then the epilogue, then primary revision, what is the date today? Okay, I will probably be sending this book to early readers about Eclipse Day. That’s a guess.

Meanwhile! We are in the back half of the month. I will be pulling MARAG at my Patreon probably next week. If you would like to download the epub before it drops into Amazon and gets locked up there, now is a good time. Links are a pain when doing a blog update from my home via my phone, but the link to my Patreon is above top right of you are looking at a computer screen. Red banner, can’t miss it.


The four big puppies are doing great. But, sorry, I know everyone wants happy puppy updates, but the little one stalled out yesterday. I do not know why. She was doing better and better and now she is slipping backward. I have seen puppies stall before. Often you cannot tell why, except they were nursing well and now they aren’t. Generally aggressive tube-feeding turns them around. If something is really wrong, it doesn’t. What I can say right now is she doesn’t seem sick and definitely doesn’t have pneumonia. What I can’t say is whether she will be back to normal in two days or whether she won’t. (Sorry! I know! This is the biggest reason why I’m stopping breeding; it’s really stressful!)

The four big ones are fine!

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7 thoughts on “Update: Progress on Most Fronts”

  1. Oh no! Crossing all my fingers for little ruby girl. Puppies are the most stressful–and part of why I’m sticking to stud dogs!

  2. Camille, you’re not wrong. My rule of thumb is: Every litter will present you with some new problem you have never seen before, and everything will be really stressful for at least a couple of days. USUALLY, I don’t lose a puppy that stalls out. But sometimes I do. In a very tiny neonate, you will probably never know exactly what was wrong.

    The most common reason a puppy is smaller than the rest at birth is a poor uterine environment or a poor uterine attachment. Most common by a mile. Poor uterine environment is most commonly caused by a dead puppy. I realize the books say dead puppies should mummify and not interfere with the other puppies. This is true sometimes, I suppose, but what I have seen a lot of times is that whichever puppy is closest to the dead one is dramatically smaller and often looks and acts premature compared to the other puppies. Those puppies almost always do fine. By six months or so, they’ve caught up to the bigger ones. Tiny Boy Four from Leda’s first litter, who was, yes, directly next to a dead puppy, is just the same size as the others from that litter. That’s typical.

    But sometimes, not nearly as often, a small puppy is small because something is wrong with it. Then it falls farther and farther behind and the nursing reflex gets worse and worse and eventually you lose it. I’ve lost a puppy at ten days, at fourteen days, at three weeks. At three weeks, their eyes are open and everything. It’s really, really hard to lose one at that age. It’s a lot easier when something is obviously wrong from the first day and the puppy dies in a few hours or within a day or so.

    I have a couple of theories why a healthy puppy might stall out, but they’re just theories. I really don’t know. But if you coax them along, MOST of the time they will be back to normal in two or three days.

  3. Best wishes for the little one!

    I don’t know if blood type is a thing with puppies as well as kittens?
    TinyKittens rescue in Canada has been doing a lot of reseach with their vets into what causes kittens to fade away and die. They’ve found that if the mama cat is blood type B then they need to blood type the kittens as soon as they are born, before they can nurse. If the kittens are the other blood type, they must not be allowed to drink from mama for the first 24 hours, as the colostrum contains antibodies that will attack the kittens’ blood cells and cause them to grow weaker, fade away and die, mostly in the first week. After being kept in the incubator and tube-fed the first day they can go back to mama and safely drink the regular milk she makes.
    That immediate blood-typing has saved a lot of kitten lives the past few years, since they discovered the link with type-B mothercats and kittens with the other bloodtype failing to thrive.
    Congenital defects still kill some kittens, especially from inbred feral colonies, but a lot fewer die now than 5-6 years ago.

  4. Hanneke, that is super interesting, and I have no idea.

    I have never had an actual fading puppy, which dog breeders attribute to everything in creation and sounds a lot like it might fit this blood type thing.

    My babies that have stalled — suddenly stopped gaining, then lost weight — have most typically been perfectly fine for a week or more, then have this problem, then recover.

    My babies that died fast had (almost for sure) a congenital heart problem; and some unknown godawful thing that made the baby cry constantly until I euthanized him.

    My babies that looked worse and worse and were finally euthanized had (possibly) hydrocephalus or some other neurological problem; and (maybe) a serious liver shunt or something. Neither was clearly diagnosed. Those are guesses.

    My ruby baby looks promising as of tonight.

  5. Dogs don’t produce alloantibodies against other blood types like cats do–in fact, as long as a dog has never had a blood transfusion before, they can get a transfusion from any other dog with minimal risk of an immediate reaction. Of course, we still always want to cross-match and type both donor and recipient to ensure the donor red blood cells live as long as possible. So while neonatal isoerythrolysis is *technically* possible in dogs, it’s exceedingly rare and I’ve never actually read a case report of it, or seen a case in practice. Interestingly, horses DO have alloantibodies like cats and can get neonatal isoerythrolysis like cats (and like people).

    Hopefully little ruby continues to do well!

  6. Thanks Camille, for the explanation!
    I didn’t know that dogs could be so different from cats and horses and humans, that though they do have more than one blood type, they react differently to getting them mixed.

    I’m glad to hear little Ruby is holding on.

  7. Of course Hanneke! Transfusion medicine is part of my specialty in veterinary medicine so I love chatting about it. Animals can be so similar and so different at the same time! Ferrets for example only have one blood type, while it’s estimated cows have billions. It’s super cool!

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