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SoftMaple 2004 litter

Week Two (Days 8-14)
DEVELOPMENT OF THE PUPPIES

+ Eyes should open around days 8-10
+ Ears should open around days 13-17
+ Temperatures should be around 97-99F

Neonatal Period Birth to 2 weeks
Puppies are born with eyes and ears closed, Their experiences are thru touch and smell. They are able to sense heat, cold, and texture. They are totally dependent upon their mother for everything, even the stimulation of bowl and bladder function.

Transitional 14 to 21 days
The puppy’s nervous system undergoes rapid development. The eyes and ears open, and baby teeth appear. He begins to stand up and by three weeks will try to explore his environment. He begins to interact with littermates and learns play behavior. By 21 days the puppies are able to lap food from a bowl, though they continue to nurse.



Day 8
September 16th


Morning pictures


Day 9
September 17


Morning pictures

Still not a lot to do with the pups at this age. I put them thrugh the Bio Sensor exersizes, Check the collars to see that they arn't too tight, clean the whelping box, and just watch them. :-) Oh, and of course, do laundry!

I have had people ask if it would be easier and less laundry if the pups were just kept on newspaper. The pups need a good surface that they can get traction on. You should be able to see those little feet and toes digging in and pushing them along while they are trying to get to mom. Newspaper is to slippery and hard. At this age you want to watch out for "Swimmer Puppies" (Pectus Excavatum) Here is a little bit about what a swimmer puppy is:

The term swimmer is used to describe a puppy that paddles its legs much like a turtle but is unable to stand. A puppy should be standing and walking by three weeks of age. As a result of weak muscles in the rear limbs, swimmers are generally unable to stand at the normal age.

What are the symptoms?
The only symptom of a swimmer puppy is its inability to stand or walk by the normal age of three weeks. The puppy will instead lay on its chest and paddle its feet as if attempting to swim in a turtle-like fashion.

What is the management?
Slippery floors may worsen or in some cases may even cause swimmer puppies. This is not always the case because swimmer puppies are also seen when a rough surface is used for raising puppies. In any event, an affected puppy should be placed on a rough rather than slippery surface.

Puppies should not become overweight as this may further the weakness in the rear limbs. Most swimmer puppies will develop to normal functioning by eight weeks of age if treated early and placed on flooring with good traction.

They used to hobble the pups legs, but now it is recommended if you see this to Place sections of orthopedic "egg carton" foam under the blanket in the box, raise one end of the box 2 to 3 inches, or put lots of small soft toys in it so that the puppies can find a place were they can get the weight of the stomach off their lungs, and can orient with their head and chest higher than their abdomen.
Since there may be a hereditary component to this condition, dogs who were swimmer puppies would not be optimal breeding animals.

Factors which contribute to this are

  • 1. Excessive milk consumption - due to a mother with great deal of milk willing to stay in the whelping box for long stretches. This is what accounts for repeated litters of swimmers from one bitch.
  • 2. Flat whelping box - no way for a puppy to alter pressure on the rib cage by crawling up onto a toy or something similar.
  • 3. Temperature in room too warm - puppies are content to lie in one position and not move around looking for a warm spot.


11:00 pictures

We clipped nails today. Those sharp little nails can scratch each other, and KC.
I have a feeling Red boy will be the first out of the box. He is already walking on his unsteady feet. (well, he takes a few steps, then falls and rolls over) He is the smallest of the boys, and has a little white mark on his chest. That will most likely fade by 7 or 8 weeks down to just a few white hairs. In the litter KC was from, she had 2 siblings with white that faded. I have been calling Red Boy lightning. ;-) The combination of the white streak and being the fastest right now.


Day 10
September 18


6:00 am pictures


Row of puppies


Up and walking!


3:00 picture, feeding time


Day 11
September 19


Morning pictures



4:00 pm
The pups in the rubbermaid tub. I put them there before I do the BioSensor exercises, that way I know who I have done. Two of the pups are just starting to open their eyes. :-)


Day 12
September 20


Morning pictures


Day 13
September 21


Morning pictures.


Day 14
September 22


Pile of puppies


Making a break for it!


Under the pig rail.... ... .. On the prowl


Nap time




On to Week Three


SoftMaple 2004 Litter

SoftMaple Curly Coated Retrievers
Mark and Cathy Lewandowski
8282 Soft Maple Road
Croghan New York 13327

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softmaple@curlycoat.org