"We loved every second of fostering Mama Paige and her puppies. The day we brought her to our home, she was SO thin but had a big belly full of babies. Mama actually went into labor that very first day but she labored all night and just couldn’t find the strength to push out the first puppy so we rushed her to Harmony Animal hospital for an emergency caesarean that next morning. Within a few hours, we delivered seven healthy puppies who all took to nursing right away. We thought this was the beginning of an amazing life for them and couldn’t wait to bring everyone back to our home for the next six weeks.
Mama Paige never bounced back after her C-Section. We brought her back to the vet to run some tests and administer IV fluids and meds…which meant bottle feeding her babies every few hours. I remember I was feeding one of the puppies when I received the call from Debbie with the awful news of Paige’s diagnosis. We already knew that Paige suffered from Heartworm and Lyme Disease but now we were told she had Parvo, a deadly virus for puppies.
Then we lost our sweet Artie. We believe he suffered from Fading Puppy Syndrome. We knew he was leaving us and my kids held him until his very last breath.
A week later, the remaining six puppies were doing great. Their eyes were opening and their fur was getting softer by the day. Mama was getting stronger every day, too. She was able to go on short walks and had gained over 10 pounds while nursing six puppies! We were sure we had made it past the window for Parvo. We called our little tribe "The Miracle Six" because we thought they had beaten the odds.
At four weeks of age, the puppies were getting teeth and starting to play with each other. We never dreamed what would happen next. On Wednesday May 23rd at 5 p.m., our sweet Prince started making the most awful noises. His body went limp. We had no idea what was wrong so we began CPR on him and rushed him to the closest vet. My 14-year-old daughter continued CPR in the car while I drove.
It was too late. We lost our sweet Prince. Two hours later, the exact same thing happened to Harvey. We were devastated. The next morning we lost two more puppies. They passed in our arms and surrounded by love. I told my kids how lucky the puppies were to only know a world of love…but my heart was broken. Mama Paige did not handle their deaths well either and cried at my feet as I gently wrapped their little bodies in towels.
Autopsy results showed that our puppies died of Myocarditis caused by Parvo. We learned that because Paige had Parvo when she was pregnant, the virus attacked the puppies’ hearts before they were even born. So while it appeared that the puppies were growing so big and strong, their little hearts were being swallowed by Parvo.
The remaining two puppies were evaluated at the vet and another foster volunteered to take over their care. On Tuesday night, my kids and I went to visit Mama and the two babies in their new foster home. It was so great to see them but something told me Nellie wasn’t doing well. All we could do was wait.
The next morning, I found out we lost Nellie during the night. Six of Paige’s seven babies have been taken from us - All because Mama Paige was never vaccinated. Ivy is the sole remaining puppy and appears to be healthy but only time will tell. At eight weeks of age she will need an Electrocardiogram to assess the damage to her heart. Please keep her, and Mama Paige, in your prayers.
Paige would not have lived this long if it weren’t for the amazing support of Debbie, our Director, and all the staff at Harmony Animal Hospital. Her life was saved once when we took her out of the shelter, again when we rushed her in for a C-Section, and a third time when we treated her for Parvo. She is going to live a long, healthy life with a very lucky family. She is a strong, loyal, and affectionate dog who knows she was given a second (actually THIRD) chance at life.
Paige and her babies will always be in our hearts and hopefully this experience can help us save the lives of more puppies in the future.
Please give generously to help pay for the care of PAIGE and her family. Thank you for your support!