And just like that, it seems, pups are growing up! Puppies now go outside several times per day (and are doing a great job pottying outside!) They all have found the “hole” Deja has dug where she only THOUGHT she would have her puppies! Puppies like to dig in this hole unearthing the cool dirt. Fortunately, the area is dry so the dirt just brushes off puppies. This is a really good thing for folks to know… No matter how dirty puppy/dog seems to be, let them dry off and much of the “dirt” will fall off or be easily brushed off. Crate puppy/dog until they are dry and voila… clean(er) dog again!
Puppies have more toys now including a small child/toddler’s slide… They love climbing up the little steps and sliding down the slide! “King of the Slide” IS a thing here! And they now have yet another newcomer to play with… A rather large stuffed tiger that tolerates their tugging, climbing all over, and snuggling with.
Having them outside in our covered dog run is still iffy, in my mind. It really depends on the weather and heat. They are 100% safe in the run with LOTS of room to run and play except for the heat (and humidity). I’m really following the big dogs lead… If they don’t want to go outside, I figure they know best! Regardless, hubby has now put up additional shade clothes over the run to give puppies more shade but really… It depends on the heat! Pups still prefer to sleep on the concrete (cooler) and enjoy the AC in our dog room!
Deja continues to nurse puppies a handful times per day but puppies are getting the majority of their nutrition from solid food. And all are drinking from the water bowl although we still have a few who try to “swim” in the bowl! Regarding feeding, puppies go to new homes eating three meals/day. About one cup of food per puppy per feeding. They will probably NOT eat all of that food so don’t be alarmed if they don’t eat it all. I just figure it best for them to get their fill than leave feeding time “hungry”. You can always re-feed any leftovers at the next meal time.
At around three months of age, they will start showing little interest in the mid-day feeding. They may eat some then prefer to play instead of eating. That is when you will know you can quit that mid-day feeding. Puppy is just not that hungry anymore. That is the time you will go to twice/day feedings; still one cup per feeding morning and night.
When your puppy is getting their series of vaccinations from your vet, puppy will be weighed. So often, folks get caught up with the number. A better guide for weight is “how does the dog look?” I’m attaching two guides that I use frequently to gauge weight in my dogs. These guides have nothing to do with a number but more on how your dog “looks/feels”.
P.S. Sorry for being a day late! Computer glitch and internet down yesterday afternoon! Ahh… the love-hate relationship with technology!!
Puppies have been moved to a bigger area! Their world just got even bigger!
I’m raising this litter “differently” than I’ve ever raised any other litter. In the past, I’ve set up my big whelping box on a linoleum remnant to protect my flooring and have had puppies in various rooms throughout my house. For this litter, Deja had her puppies in my “dog room” (the most amazing “utility room” and highlight, for me, of my house!) We’ve lived in our current house over ten years; I don’t know why I’ve never thought of doing this before?
I vowed to NEVER have puppies in the summer after last year’s litter! The linoleum remnant covered my ducts thus blocked the AC flow of cool air. Puppies were HOT! Everyone was HOT! My dog room is on its own separate heat/AC system! It has to get pretty darn hot for me to turn on our house AC but the dog room AC… it gets turned on for the dogs!
This room has been finished with indoor/outdoor dog runs. I can separate visiting dogs, girls in season, or in this case… Puppies! Yesterday’s brilliant idea was wondering if I could open up two runs to create a bigger area for Deja and the puppies? HUGE thanks to hubby who reminded we DO have an extra 5′ panel gate not being used. He switched out the plain 5′ gate for the 5′ door panel and voila… two runs opened up! One for puppies and one for Deja to be able to get away from puppies! While the door is open, there is a panel that Deja easily can walk over to get to the puppers but they can’t get to her. Every mother knows it is nice to be able to take a break from the kids!
Puppies now have a bigger area (and toys) to explore indoors as they may still be a bit small to take outside. Eventually, I will open up the doggy door for pups to learn to go through and have protected time outside too (the dog runs are covered specifically for puppies. Nothing can get to them outside. Remember I live “in the country”. We have owls, hawks and eagles that like to “fly over” looking for easy targets/meals!)
We will start weaning puppies onto solid food this week. We will also be getting puppies outside this week also. All puppies have now master walking on concrete (flooring in the dog room) which was no easy task… the concrete is slippery! They will do much better on grass. Puppies are developing their personalities more and more each day… All are curious, outgoing puppies and all LOVE to be petted/touched. They are almost as excited having me in with them as they are having Deja in with them… almost!
They were ready for the move to a bigger space. And Deja is ready for them to be started on solid food. Standing to feed puppies is our sign of that! Plus, Deja gets to “clean up”and eat any puppy food leftovers… I think she will enjoy that part the most!
Puppies growing and hitting appropriate milestones… YES!
All up and walking well. All learning their voice (a few howl because… they can!) They are starting to play with toys (and explore with their mouths). All are being individually handled/rolled in our hands. They LOVE being scratched/tickled under their chins, bellies, necks!
All are really good eaters! We will start weaning, for real, this upcoming weeks. They are learning to “chew”/”lick” and not just “suck” although nothing beats “mom”! Regarding weaning… we always let the mom’s determine when to quit feeding puppies. Deja has, in the past, nursed or tried to nurse her puppies up until the day they leave. She is an incredibly patient “mommy” even when they start biting her! Yes, teeth are coming in!
Day three and watching/spending a LOT of time with mom and puppies. We are specifically watching/waiting for Deja’s milk to come in (it can take a few days). All puppies have received colostrum from Deja; this “pre-milk” transfers Deja’s antibodies against disease and illness to each of the puppies. All puppies have gained weight from their initial birth weight; some have lost a few ounces from that inital weight to their weight on day 2 (last night). Again, this is normal and a sign that Deja’s “real milk” has not come in yet. We are making sure all puppies are nursing; all have a good “suck reflex” and have no problems “finding mom”.
Deja does have a few hardened areas along her mammary chain. We are alternating warm and cold compresses to these areas to ease any discomfort Deja may have as her body adjusts to the puppies nursing. We are very relieved that Deja’s appetite remains normal as well as her other “bodily functions”. And of course, we continue to montior Deja’s temperature which also is normal.
Today is “dew claw” day. Puppies will have their dew claws removed. This will be one less nail for new owners to trim later and… removes the likelihood of that side nail from getting snagged/ripped later in life. “Day 3” is when this is done.
In the meantime, new photos of puppies. I love them all!
The big day… Deja had her puppies on 4th of July! What is worse than having puppies on a weekend? Having puppies on a HOLIDAY/weekend! As opposed to how things might have been in years past, now adays, vet care on “off hours” for repro is extremely limited! When Deja had her temp drop the morning of 7/3, it was suggested I bring her in for a progesterone test to SEE if she was close enough to delivery to do a C-section on 7/3? The problem with this option is… that temp drop can last up to 36 hours. That is the time puppies need for their lungs to develop to survive outside of mom. Taking puppies “early”… NOT a good option! We opted to wait it out knowing we would be “on our own” for Deja’s whelping.
We’ve delivered LOTS of litters over the years so weren’t overly worried. Mother Nature knows what to do! The waiting though… It is ALWAYS the hardest part! Deja’s first stage of labor lasted 34 hours! At 6:00 p.m. on 7/4, Deja’s water broke! Time for puppies… the first puppy came 18 minutes later! Deja consistently delivered a puppy approximately every 15 minutes after that… Hardly time to catch one’s breathe before the next puppy arrived!
Sadly, not all puppies survive no matter what heroics are done. This is always very sad and why “having puppies” (or any baby animal) in order for children to experience birth… it’s NEVER a good idea! Still, we feel very blessed with 7 healthy puppies; 4 girls and 3 boys!
I’m in the process of contacting folks that are on my “wait list” (and giving them a chance to reply back). And am taking care of Deja and her puppies! If I haven’t contacted you yet, please be patient! In the meantime, photos of the puppies approximately 12 hours old!
Well, the big day will be next week! We have opted to do a scheduled C-Section on 7/5/19 for several reasons. First off, Deja has at LEAST nine puppies seen on her pregnancy x-ray! It is possible there may be a 10th puppy hiding… It’s possible! That is a LOT of puppies to whelp!
The second big reason… we are heading into not just a weekend but a HOLIDAY weekend! This means that “vet help” is greatly reduced/non-existent! IF Deja were to have any whelping problems, my only option for “help” would be the vet E.R.
I’ve been down that road before and what happens is… IF Deja were to have any problems delivering her puppies and we were to go to the vet E.R. for help, Deja’s health would not be a concern per se. That is how the emergency triage works. They don’t recognize a “puppy-to-be” in distress as “living” as long as Deja is not in mortal danger. I can’t bear the thought of “losing” a puppy because, to me, every one of those puppies IS living (all you have to do is hold her hand against Deja’s tummy to feel movement!)
So… Just waiting to hear back from my repro vet as to what time we need to have Deja there?
Meanwhile, we’ve started taking Deja’s temperature (frequently) throughout the day. For those not aware, progesterone levels (which is what maintains preganncy in all mammals) will drop indicating impending labor. That drop in progesterone can actually be monitored via temperature… Deja’s temperature will drop a few degrees below normal which corresponds to her progesterone level dropping signifying impending labor.
Now this drop in temperature isn’t an “exact” science. What that drop in temperature/progesterone really means is… labor is impending in the next 24 hours! If whelping naturally, you want to catch the time of that drop and if you do NOT start having puppies within 24 hours… another cause for concern! Even with a scheduled C-section, we will continue to take Deja’s temp monitoring for that drop because it is possible for her to have puppies on her own a day early, 7/4/19 especially because she is having a large litter.
It is definitely going to be an exciting week coming up!