Maddie was heavily pregnant and severely underweight when she came to us from Ashton pound in September 2016. She was taken straight to the vets to be scanned and the advice was given that she was at an advanced stage of pregnancy but most likely had a week or so to settle before giving birth.
Unfortunately, due to what we believe was the stress of the day, she gave birth to her first puppy just minutes after arriving at the rescue, approximately 6.30pm. The second puppy soon followed but neither would suckle and Maddie would not settle. An hour passed and there was no sign of the third puppy. The initial two were beginning to become cold and still would not feed. The vets were called and Linda and Tina, as dedicated as ever, soon arrived at the rescue.
Tina began hand feeding the pups and Linda managed to get Maddie’s labour restarted and two more pups were delivered. By this time, Maddie was exhausted and it was decided that the remaining puppy had to be delivered by C-section. At this point it was 11pm. Kristyn was called and she returned to the surgery to prepare the theatre and Linda and Tina brought Maddie to the clinic. At 11.40pm the same evening, the last pup, a little girl, was delivered.
Sadly, 3 of the 5 pups were suffering from myxoedema, a rare condition where fluid gathers in the body causing extreme bloating. It is a fatal condition and the 3 affected did not survive the night. At the time, the general consensus was that it was quite possible that an infection contracted during Maddie’s pregnancy, which then spread to the pups in utero, could have been the reason behind 3 of the 5 puppies developing this deadly condition.
As Maddie was so young, so underweight and had been through such a stressful experience, it was decided that she would remain in GVC so both she and her surviving two puppies could be carefully monitored. With help from Tina, who arrived at 6am every morning and left at 8pm every night, Maddie and her puppies continued to do well, both puppies gaining approximately 100g a day.
Twenty seven days after their birth, both of Maddie’s beautiful puppies died. There had been ongoing concerns about the female as she was very slow to begin walking and seemed to be very developmentally behind. The little boy died suddenly on the morning of the 10th of October and a postmortem showed a severely damaged heart. Examination of the female showed that she was also in heart failure and she died within hours of her brother.
While the pups were small and inactive, their damaged hearts were able to cope but as both their body size and activity increased, their hearts came under too much strain and started to fail. As posted by Glenn Veterinary Clinic on their facebook, it was suspected that the infection contracted in utero, which had such a devastating effect on their litter mates, was also responsible for these heart problems.
Maddie left the vets and went into foster so she could have time to recover from her experience. She continued to put on weight and her cheeky, mischievous character soon started to flourish. She returned to the rescue in November, much happier (and much fatter!) and very quickly got right into the middle of it with our other dogs.
In February 2017, she and other one of our dogs, Bosco, were both adopted by Nicky and Andrew.
These days, Maddie loves her home comforts (especially the fire!) and can usually be found staring out of the floor length windows in her new home. She adores Nicky and Andrews nieces and nephews and Nicky says that she and Andrew are continually getting comments about how well behaved Maddie and Bosco are.
Maddie had one of the worst experiences a female dog can have. Thanks to vigilance of transporter Lynda, who would regularly frequent Ashton Pound, her pregnancy was discovered just in time. Due to the complications in her pregnancy, if she had gone into labour in the pound it was highly probable that she would have lost her life.
We will never know how or why Maddie ended up pregnant in a council pound and the irresponsibility of her previous owner is staggering and almost impossible to understand. What happened to Maddie and her babies is still very much an open sore for everyone who was involved but thanks to the dedication and the continued communication from Nicky and Andrew, we know that she has been given the best second chance she can get and that her story is far from finished.