Candy, my little Maltese, was 60 days into her pregnancy, it had been a good pregnancy, and I could feel her puppies moving quite vigorously. On the Saturday 2nd November, she seemed to suddenly quieten down, she would not eat, or drink and her temperature was 38.5. Rather strange behaviour, but I thought it best to leave her to se what progressed. By the time I went to bed she was still lying next to me, breathing gently, and although she appeared to be in a deep sleep, she was not agitated.
At 2.20am I was woken up by a terrible scream, she was swaying her head from side to side, the fit only lasted a few seconds, and she then settled down to sleep again, an hour later she had the second fit. Oh my god I thought this is Eclampsia, I knew that it was imperative that I get calcium into her blood stream, and not having calcium injections, I missed a spoon of Cal sup into half a cup of water and syringed this into her mouth, she swallowed it all and again fell asleep, at 4 am she had another fit, but not as bad as the first two. I again gave her the cal sup mixture and again she settled down to sleep. But she was still not right, as she slept her head was in a thrown back position and her back legs were stiff, there were no contractions at this time. At 6am she started to have slight pushing contractions and these carried on for almost 2 hours. She still appeared to be in a comatose state. At 8.15am she gave birth to her first puppy, I revived the puppy and offered it to her but she was not interested in it at all.
As our Vet only opened at 9am, we took her over and waited for him. When he arrived I explained to him her condition, and he agreed with as to the trouble. While examining her before and X-ray was taken, she screamed again and then gave birth to her 2nd puppy. Once the Vet had taken the X-rays in which we could see another 5 puppies still to come, He put her on a drip, of glucose, into which he injected Calcium gluconate, and Oxytocin. During the day she recovered enough to take interest in her puppies and delivered another 4 healthy puppies, but by 4pm she still had not give birth to the 7th one, it was then decided to do a caesarean Section, and to spay her at the same time, due to a malfunction which showed up on her heart in the X-ray.
The 7th puppy was very weak but alive, and was put into the incubator with the others. Candy was then allowed home with her puppies.
These were fed by tube every 2 hours while their mother slept. This morning they all appeared well and candy was much better, although still very weak, she had started to take note of her babies, and was cleaning them. They were put to her teats and allowed to suck. I gave them a tube feed before I left for work. Knowing that my son would watch over them during the day and if anything went wrong, he would take them to the vet.
Eclampsia is a lack of Calcium in the Blood, which can lead to fits, coma and death, this usually occurs in small and medium bitches, but can affect any bitch, either before or even after whelping. It is not very common but is very dangerous, when it does occur. Emergency treatment must be sort after as soon as possible.
Post script: 4.7.2004
A week ago my little maltese bitch Roxy gave birth to 5 lovely puppies, but tonight things started to go horribly wrong, she became very restless and would not attend to her puppies refusing to go near them or feed them, she would not eat of drink and her gums and tongue went a bright color red, immediately this started to happen instead of panicking I started to give her Cal Phos tablets 2 every 10minutes I gave her a rescue tablet as well, When she started to pant and breathe rather to quickly for my liking, I made strong black coffee and put a lot of sugar into it, this I feed her with a syringe into her mouth and she was able to swollow it with no problems, I wraped her in a cold damp towel to bring her temperature down which helped dramatically, there was almost an immediate response for the better in her condition. Her Eclampsia started at about 10pm and with out a car I was unable to get her to an emergency hospital, I kept up the treatment until 4am in the morning, when she started to breathe easier and settled down with her puppies, as her heart beat slowed to a normal rate, and she looked more comfortable, she eventually went to sleep, exhausted but breathing normally and temperature normal. During the day I continued to give her 2 Cal Phos tablets every 2 hours, and that evening she ate all her food as well as a bowl of milk and then a plate of scrambled egg. To day I gave her a Niacin tablet which contains 234 mg of Calcium phosphate,100 mg Niacin,8mg Vegetable Steanic Acid, 4mg Vegetable Cellulose, she has recovered and is eating well and feeding her puppies. Yes I took her life into my hands, and with the help of her protector she is much better and is her loving self again