Time to introduce solid food to puppies. Puppies were more than ready to try the delicous puppy-start mousse I wean the on initially. And then Deja… She helped clean the plate (and the puppies) afterwards. And while Deja is “cleaning up”, pups washed down their first meal at the “milk bar” (as Deja kept moving to clean up)! Quite the experience for the pups and mom (because puppy mousse is fantastic!)
Quite the frenzy learning how to “chew” instead of just “sucking”. But this frenzy… pups are ready for solid food!
Naming your new puppy is a BIG endeavor! There is the “registered name” and then the “call” name; what you call your puppy every day. Having a “theme” for a registered name helps folks see that these puppies, later dogs, are related. That they are part of a bigger picture. ALL the puppies whether they be the next big show dog or are the family’s companion are listed in a data base where there names show the world not only their pedigree but also that they are “family”. I am personally very proud of all of my puppies in this database whatever their future holds for them and their people!
For me, naming a puppy gets harder and harder. We’ve played the “name game” on numerous long car rides with my then young kids. The joke in our family is that my husband ALWAYS comes up with the name, “Cassiopia”! And he is always shut down when he suggests this name, LOL! For years, my son’s favorite name was “Astro”. I’m not sure if it was because of his interest in astronomy or the Jetson’s? When asked now if he thinks that is a good name for a puppy, he says no. But we laugh at how these were the names that always came up playing the “name game”!
For this litter, the theme is “Journey” as a credit to the sire of the litter; it’s his call name. I did have an idea of going into this theme but as usual, that idea evolved into something totally different. I don’t usually “announce” my name until after all the puppies have gone to their new homes and I know which puppy I am keeping but… I will here! My new puppy girl will be: Jema’s Journey Of Vim, Vigor, and Valor; her call name will be “Vee”. (Now I haven’t registered any puppies in a while, I need to double check with AKC to make sure I’m within my letter limits? But this is the name I would like to use.)
In Other News:
Pups have moved OUT of the whelping box and into their bigger space. We soon realized that the space may be a little TOO BIG right now! So, we divided that space to keep pups relatively contained mainly so they wake up when Deja is with them to feed them. It has been very hot here lately which is great knowing the pups are warm enough but the box was maybe a bit TOO WARM for Deja.
So… the following photos show the bigger space (and toys) pups will have soon probably when they are eating on their own. Several puppies have started to “lick” us which means we can start introducing solid food soon.
Treating Deja for mastitis… First time for everything!
What a day (and night)! It started off great celebrating the puppies First Week Birthday. Posted photos, answered emails, spent time with the other critters… And then I’m watching Deja who is in with her puppies but not letting them nurse? I sit with Deja and examine her belly… Is her C-section incision bothering her? Instead, I noticed a lump in one of her nipples. A definite hard nodule that concerned me. In addition, she had a hardened area on her belly?
This is when less experienced breeders run into problems. They may not recognize something is wrong? Now I’ve never had a girl have problems with mastitis nor did Deja have this problem with her first litter but… Something was wrong!
I did a quick google search; funny how that is now easier than looking up a chapter in any book. And I put myself “out there” asking a question in a “group”. LOTS of immediate responses! I knew about cabbage wraps but wasn’t sure how they were applied; question asked and answered! Texted hubby to pick up cabbage on his way home from work.
Meanwhile, I had already started the standard things one can do… warm compresses to the hardened area and massage. I put one of the puppies on the effected nipple to drain it. Of course, this made it difficult to manually express it myself to really examine what the ducts were producing! And then I get a response from a gal who commented on one of the photos that she would love to “puppy sit”. Her intentions were to “help” and to spend time with the puppies but I was thinking, she wouldn’t notice nor know what to do for this problem. That would make me more nervous than anything!
And then “worse case scenario” photos posted to “help me”? OMGosh… Now I am beginning to panic! What if this is that scenario?! Privately, I’m being messaged what helped someone else in this situation. Sound advice!
Hubby gets home with the cabbage and we do the sequence of cold compresses, warm compresses, massage, and puppies nursing. And… hubby calls the vet to get Deja in NOW!
We load up Deja and pups to go to the vet. Deja is such a good girl; she complies with what we ask her to do. The puppies are now almost too big for the warming box I use to bring home puppies; their little heads are pushing up trying to get to “mom” next to them in her crate. Their eyes and ears are not yet open but they can smell her. And they are crying for her too! Deja sees her pups and knows that they are safe next to her so is not worried.
Deja’s temp was normal until I started the massage. I am sure I caused some inflammation that pushed some of the bacteria into her blood stream that now caused the rise in temperature. Of course we’ve been taking Deja’s temp regularly since puppies arrived.
Deja is examined by the vet tech and vet upon our arrival. Antibiotics prescribed along with what I was currently doing. NOT DOING the compresses/massage would have made this situation worse. And I’m reassured this is NOT the “worse case scenario”! Although we brought with us a sample of the gunk from one of the ducts, a new sample is obtained to send in for a culture. We won’t have the results back for a few weeks and I’m thinking… Hopefully by the time we get the results back, this will be a distant bad memory?
In addition to the cold cabbage/warm compresses/massage/nursing cycle and the antibiotics, Deja is now on a probiotic that will also pass to the puppies through her milk. Although Deja’s antibiotic is safe for the puppies, it could give them diarrhea killing off the “good” flora in their guts. I had already ordered probiotics for the pups in a gel form to wipe on their tongues. At this age, they may have difficulty swallowing so care will be needed to not let them aspirate the gel probiotic. But the last thing I want to happen is for the puppies to start having diarrhea!
I also ordered Lecithin (from sunflowers) that is supposed to help with mastitis and the ducts. My vet had not heard of this but hearing this from the collective wisdom of my group, it will be started. While at the vet, I asked for a light-laser treatment. This promotes healing and is cumulative. I will likely take Deja in to the vet again soon for another laser treatment. I want that hardened mass to soften and disappear as soon as possible!
Tag-teaming with hubby, Deja’s “treatements” were done every two hours throughout the night by hubby. The hardened area is already beginning to soften. Deja is feeling better herself and ate this morning (which also included her probiotic). And being the good mommy that she is, she is back to nursing her babies. Now ALL of the puppies have a good nursing reflex but we put one of the bigger boys on the effected nipple to help drain it. We need to clear that duct(s) and get that nipple working again! And her temp is back down to “normal”.
I’ll continue the compresses/massage today and was thinking… This is why puppies are in THE MOST accessible area in our house! Puppies are not raised in a basement, garage, or barn/out building! I don’t know how people do that and are able to monitor/watch mom and pups? Had we waited or not noticed the problem until it was more severe, the outcome could have been much worse. I still can’t get the “worse case scenario” photos out of my head! Scary, scary thing to happen! Fortunately, Deja is already improved and hopefully will continue to improve. And this is now just another experience I’ve had “raising puppies”. It is definitely a labor of love!
P.S. Puppies are now getting up on all 4’s! Since their eyes are not open, they can’t really see where they are going so… they look like little drunk potatoes! LOL!