Reba was limping and had one massive teat (or boob as I've been calling them). Walking through the door and straight to the phone I immediately called the vet. Of course at this point in time it was 5:30 meaning we were wracking up ANOTHER emergency vet call. Sigh. Sam asked us to meet her at the clinic. Where she was kind enough to confirm my fear. Mastitis had struck! Mastitis is basically an infection in a teat. While not overly severe it is extremely painful for the dog and can progress into the potentially fatal milk fever if left untreated. My poor Reba received shots of pain killers, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotics. Because she is nursing we had to take great care to ensure everything she received was safe for the puppies. Not that it mattered because she was in so much pain she wasn't expressing any milk.
Armed with antibiotics, probiotics, pain meds and milk replacer we headed home. And I turned into Not The Mommy. Mixing the milk replacer I sat with a pup on my lap and fed them. Poor little farts were hungry! I fed at 10:30, 1:30 and again at 3:30 all before I got up for work (and feeding again) at 6:00. My father stepped up to the plate while I was up at work. Carefully he measured and mixed and made sure everyone was safe and fed. When I returned home I found a much happier Reba and content pups.
It's going to be a battle but these pups will be cared for. Reba is feeding more but still not enough to keep them satisfied. At three weeks we have one week of milk before we can start working at moving them onto food. To help stretch the milk we had been mixing some Cream of Wheat porridge in which they seem to like. I also inadvertently discovered just how sharp their little teeth are when one latched onto a finger. I learned at G & E Pharmacy (vet/animal superstore) when I was picking up more milk replacer that I can feed baby rice porridge and the pups will have less chances of upset tummy because it's easy to digest.
So far all my babies are healthy. And I plan to keep it that way! ...I just may be a wee bit sleep deprived while I do it...