Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Puppy Safety Patrol Reporting Live
It is 3 a.m. and here I sit on Puppy Safety Patrol. The need for this was illustrated yesterday. I was about 15 feet away from the whelping box at the kitchen table having breakfast. I had settled Cadi with puppies and all was well just a minute before. I heard some squeaking and looked over to see Halo with a very concerned expression. I jumped up and ran to the box, quickly counted seven puppies and dragged Cadi up to find that she had rolled onto a puppy! The puppy was okay but another few minutes and she would not have been. Very scary :(
The puppies can scoot around and so they spread out a bit. As Cadi rolls to lick one puppy who has scooted off, she easily can land on another. They are so small and she is a new mom so this is just a reality of raising a litter. I know of so many litters that have lost puppies in that way -- it just takes a few minutes. As the puppies get bigger and louder, and Cadi becomes more experienced this risk will be reduced and we can have a more relaxed Puppy Safety Patrol -- but for now we are vigilant and exhausted.
Speaking of exhausted, Cadi is finally starting to sleep. At this moment she is snoring and her tongue is hanging out -- she is completely zonked out. Cadi has not really been sleeping for days and so I think it is all catching up with her and now she sleeps more while puppies nurse rather than trying to lick the fur right off of them. She is still going for that Clean Puppy award, but she actually takes breaks now, which is good for all involved!
The puppies are thriving. Last night I calculated weight gain at 48 hours and it ranged from 22% over birth weight to 34%! This is impressive. I suspect that all the licking Cadi does keeps those puppies stimulated and so they nurse, and since Cadi can't really be the Beauty Queen she is right now, she has decided to be the Dairy Queen instead. Puppies are definitely benefiting from the great abundance of milk, and they are plump and sleek (and clean!).
The puppies are entering the Smudge Puppy phase. This is when the pigment on their noses starts to darken, and it looks like their noses are just dirty. Yesterday I thought one had something on his nose so wiped it but it was just a spot of pigment so it stayed on :)
I took a picture just to show you what I mean about the smudge on the nose. I was marveling at the little feet and so I took a close-up of a rear foot to share with you. The foot still has the rear dewclaw, as you can see; those will come off tomorrow afternoon. We remove only rear dewclaws (not the front ones) and it is done with local anesthesia but still not a fun time. When I am cleaning the whelping box I put the puppies in a basket on a heating pad; the one picture is of that from last night. The rest of the pictures are self-explanatory -- just pretty little puppies with a proud, obsessive mother! I did want to mention one more thing -- in the interest of helping you learn to recognize the puppies please note the first picture. Do you see that big white front foot? That is Sydney and the white markings on that foot are distinctive and just like her mom.
I hope you are obsessive about having a wonderful day -- one you can be proud of! Thanks for visiting.
Posted by Mary-Ann Bowman at 2:56 AM