Puppies are gaining weight!

Monitoring puppies and mama IS a full time job!

Deja’s milk IS coming in by evidence of puppies beginning to gain weight. I am again “sold” on the prenatal vitamins Deja received before delivery and now flipped to “new momma” vitamins. This makes me so incredibly happy although our smallest puppy IS getting “special attention”. We “help” this smallest puppy get the best nipple (the ones closest to the rear of Deja do have the biggest milk supply). The goal for all puppies is a steady, consistent gain of weight. We strive to avoid “runts” in every litter due to human intervention and assistance.

Stats: (Birth Weight–4/26/21)

  • Blue boy: 11.4 oz– 13.4 oz
  • Green Boy: 12.6 oz–14.4 oz
  • Orange Boy: 10.0 oz–10.4 oz
  • Pink Girl: 14.2 oz–15.6 oz
  • Red Girl: 11.8 oz–13.2 oz
  • Yellow Girl: 14.6 oz–1 lb!!
  • Purple Girl: 12.6 oz–14.2 oz
All are good litte eaters!

As you can see, Orange Boy is our “special project”. While not a huge disparity in weights, our goal is to “catch him up” to his littermates long before eight weeks of age. Of interest, he WAS the smallest puppy at birth by a little over an ounce.

Deja “checking in” on her babies. Yellow girl has her head on the heating pad; the others are apparently warm enough.

I’m again very grateful that hubby is sleeping with the puppies every night. There was less crying out/squeaks last night with pups being a bit more aware where mom was (so they didn’t wander too far away from her.) Deja is an experienced mom who keeps close tabs on puppies and is probably less worried about puppy’s squeaks then we are?

Deja is a really good mommy!

Meanwhile, you always “think” you are ready and then things seem to occur to me later. Today we adjusted whelping boxes slighly in preparation for Vee’s puppies later this week. This adjustment will allow us to keep close(r) tabs on BOTH litters at the same time. My “dog room” is what enable me/us to have two litters at nearly the same time. That and the help of my family which I whole-heartedly admit are a huge help!

Puppies hanging out in a small dog bed with Deja attentively watching! Time to clean/change the bedding.

Tonight, we will remove dew claws. IF a breeder is going to remove them, it has to be done between 3-5 days of age. Most breeders end up having their vets do this. Again, I am fortunate for family aka “hubby’s” help. There is some debate regarding whether to remove dew claws or not? Having one of my dogs rip their dew claw (not my breeding) during our recent blizzard (and having everything closed the day afterwards so no vet care available)… I gotta say, “I hate dew claws!” Fortunately, we were able to patch up the dog and she left that vet wrap alone so she didn’t cause further injury to her ankle/leg! She’s fine now but this could have been avoided had her breeder had those dew claws removed when they were 3-5 days of age, sigh!

Everyone back “home” again. Deja watching me remove the old bedding listening for any “squeaks”. No, Deja, I didn’t take any of your babies!

My “dog room” is like an “over-size” utility room off my kitchen. I also have an oversized sink in this room. It IS where I thaw my Thanksgiving turkey every year, LOL! It has it’s own heating and cooling system (I will turn on the AC for the dogs during our hot days of summer long before I turn on the AC for the rest of the house.) We have severa “runs” in this room; the runs each have doggy doors that lead out to 40′ covered runs. Most of the time, the dogs have free access to the rest of the house but during special times, like now, I can separate dogs. The dogs on the far left run have their own fenced “doggy yard”. The “inside dogs” have yet another doggy door to access our fenced backyard. I remember “way back when” as my carpenter was making specialty adjustments to our home soon after we bought it, he predicted I would have raccoons come THROUGH those doggy doors? Has never happened (I’ve never seen a raccoon in our yard!) but my barn kitty uses it all the time. While kitty DOES prefer to be “out and about”, he also comes inside for food, water, cat trees to nap on, and for easier for me, vet care! It is my “kennel system” that allows me to have an intact boy separated from my girls when need be. Or puppies outside safely (the outdoor runs are covered so NOTHING can jump in or out! Or fly over/in! This room IS the reason I bought our house previously built by, yep, another dog person! (I KNEW this when we first looked at the house! I know what “I” was looking for in a home and later, I found out who built the house. I know the family… they show and occasionnally breed Irish Setters and Daschunds.)

Not a flattering photo of Vee but you can see how the momma’s will be carefully watched and cared for along with their puppies. Vee is, no doubt, eyeing “treats” I store nearby but definitely OUT of doggy reach!

I feel like we have a pretty good handle so far (knock on wood!) Vee has a few more days to go before her pups are born. Today (because I like to be prepared), I ordered the puppies deworming meds as well as puppy food we will eventually wean puppies on later. Deworming puppies is done prophylactically; we will do at 2, 4, 6 weeks of age (and new owners will get copies of what we’ve done to give to their vets so vets know pups were treated.) It’s all part of making sure pups are as healthy as possible and get the best start in life starting with our care first.

I hate to end on a “bad note” but Deja does have some hardened areas along her mammary chain. She does have a history of mastitis; these hardened areas could be “scar tissue” from past infection? Or they could be the start of mastitis now with her milk coming in? We’ve started alternating warm and cold compresses to hopefully alleviate “full blown mastitis” that would require antibiotics to treat. Again, through human interaction, we are making sure pups nurse above and below that hardened area to “keep things flowing” correctly. So far, the hardened area is not worsening and it actually appears to be resolving somewhat. Whew! I don’t know how anyone could have puppies in an “outbuilding” or “not monitored closely”? I know that sometimes happens and sometimes pups and momma are “fine”. Fortunately, that is not how breeders I know “raise puppies”!

Pretty, pretty puppies