The Litter's Early Life, Week 1
Note: The following information, unless otherwise noted, is taken directly from the Web pages Cathy created for this litter. It is reprinted here with permission.
October 10, 2001
Week One (Days 1-7)
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES
Not much needs to be done with the pups. Gabby spends her time feeding and cleaning them. A newborn puppy cannot eliminate without stimulation, so Gabby licks them to stimulate them.
I check her mammary glands twice daily to make sure she is not getting mastitis or sores. To produce milk, she needs to drink a lot. Gabby drinks a mixture of chicken broth, pedialyte and milk several times a day. I have to keep an eye on her vaginal discharge, and continue to take her temperature twice a day, to make sure she isn't getting a uterine infection.
I weigh the pups daily to make sure each is gaining. (don't laugh at my old scale!) I check how the umbilical cords are healing, and check if any have umbilical hernias.
I change the fleece liner in the whelping box every day... more often if needed. The whelping box has "pig rails" so that a careless mom doesn't accidentally pin a puppy against the side. My whelping box has no bottom, or I should say the bottom is not attached. This way I can wrap the fleece liner around the bottom and set the frame on it to keep it from sliding. This keeps the mom from digging up the bedding and having a pup crawl in the folds of a blanket and getting crushed when the bitch doesn't see it.
Cathy's personal notes:
October 11, 2001
Dewclaws are removed today. The dew claw is the rudimentary first toe. They are often injured and the nail can grow into the skin causing considerable inflammation. The dog can easily catch them on different objects because they just hang on the side of their paws. When very young, puppies barely give a squeak when having dew claws removed, however it is quite a painful operation to have an adults dewclaws removed. I have known several people who have had an adult dog tear a dewclaw part way off, and after seeing that, they were definitely in favor of removal at 3-4 days old. If done at the proper age there should be very little if any pain and bleeding. The CCR standard states “dewclaws are generally removed” To the right you can see one of the pups with his dewclaw still on. The pups also have sharp hooked little nails now. I will trim these every few days so they don't scratch Gabby while nursing, and scratch each other.
I gather the things I will need to remove the dewclaws and trim the nails. Gabby of course does not like this one bit! I take her out and load her in a crate in the car, turn the radio on loud so she can't hear the pups! Not a very good picture, but you can see the discolored areas where the dewclaws have been removed. Now I apply some "Kwik Stop" styptic powder to stop any bleeding.
The pups are weighed, any collars that are too tight are replaced. The liner in the whelping box is changed. Another load of wash goes in. Gabby comes back to check and make sure all the pups are all right. We started stressing the pups with what is known as the Bio Sensor or Super Dogs method of stimulation. More about that, and pictures tomorrow. (when I have my handy photographer to help!) This will go on from day 3 through day 16.
will lend to you for awhile a puppy,
his stay be brief
should I call him back
October 12, 2001
At SoftMaple, we have adopted the Bio Sensor method to start our new pups off. The U.S. Military in their canine program developed a method that still serves as a guide to what works. In an effort to improve the performance of dogs used for military purposes, a program called "Bio Sensor" was developed. Later, it became known to the public as the "Super Dog" Program. Based on years of research, the military learned that early neurological stimulation exercises could have important and lasting effects. Their studies confirmed that there are specific time periods early in life when neurological stimulation has optimum results. The first period involves a window of time that begins at the third day of life and lasts until the sixteenth day. It is believed that because this interval of time is a period of rapid neurological growth and development, and therefore is of great importance to the individual.
The "Bio Sensor" program was also concerned with early neurological stimulation in order to give the dog a superior advantage. Its development utilized six exercises, which were designed to stimulate the neurological system. Each workout involved handling puppies once each day. The workouts required handling them one at a time while performing a series of five exercises. Listed in nor order of preference the handler starts with one put and stimulates it using each of the five exercises. The handler completes the series from beginning to end before starting with the next pup. The handling of each pup once per day involves the following exercises:
These five exercises will produce neurological stimulations, none of which naturally occur during this early period of life. Experience shows that sometimes pups will resist these exercises, others will appear unconcerned. In either case a caution is offered to those who plan to use them. Do not repeat them more than once per day and do not extend the time beyond that recommended for each exercise. Over stimulation of the neurological system can have adverse and detrimental results.
These exercises impact the neurological system by kicking it into action earlier than would be normally expected. The result being an increased capacity that later will help to make the difference in its performance. Those who play with their pups and routinely handle them should continue to do so because the neurological exercises are not substitutions for routine handling, play socialization or bonding.
Five benefits have been observed in canines that were exposed to the Bio Sensor stimulation exercises:
In tests of learning, stimulated pups were found to be more active and were more exploratory than their non- stimulated littermates over which they were dominant in competitive situations.
October 13, 2001
Not much different today. Gabby got a bath! She is more comfortable spending longer periods away from the pups. It was a beautiful warm day, so Gabby had a bath, a bit of a trim and got to relax on the deck and dry off. She was anxious to check out her family when she got back inside. Her appetite is picking up, and she has plenty of milk. The lactating bitch should be fed 1.5 times maintenance for the first week, 2 times maintenance for the second, and 2 to 3 times maintenance amounts for the third week of lactation. I always keep milk replacer, bottles and feeding tubes on hand in case the mom doesn't have enough milk, and has trouble keeping up with the growing pups. I haven't needed to intervene. If the litter was so large, or the mom didn't have enough milk, besides the pups not thriving, the bitch would be in danger of Eclampsia. Eclampsia or Milk Fever is caused by a deficiency of calcium. Some people make the mistake of giving high doses of supplemental calcium to a pregnant bitch. This can backfire, and actually make them more prone to Eclampsia. Eclampsia can result in the death of the bitch if not treated.
October 14, 2001
We continue with the routine. Weigh the pups. chart the progress. Change and wash the linen. Put the pups through the Bio Sensor exercises. And the most pleasurable part..... just watch the pups grow!
Puppies are born with eyes and ears closed. Eyes and ears open around day 10. The reason a healthy puppy twitches is to strengthen its muscles.
Well, today is the last day of the first week of these young puppies lives. we have:
I will put some traits I observe in a color chart for easy reference. note, the colors may change when the pups move from the paper tab collars to the larger web collars. If the pup didn't do anything that stands out, I will just leave the space blank. The traits and observations may change from day to day as the pups enter this period of rapid physical and neurological growth.
List and Site Owner: Melissa Alexander, mca @ clickersolutions.com