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SoftMaple Fall 2002 Litter

Ripple and Tarras

A day to day puppy diary

SoftMaple's Fairway Explorer CGC CR-CA74/16F/S-PI CR-EL98F28-PI CR-642G28F-PI, CERF bred via Artificial Insemination to SUCH Ringlets Constant Wind from Sweden

Week One
(Days 1-7)

+ 90% of time spent sleeping
+ 10% eating
+ Susceptible to heat/cold
+ Instinctive reflexes: crawl, seek warmth, nurse
+ They can right themselves if placed upside down
+ Needs stimulation for urination/defecation
+ Rapid development of central nervous system
+ Need constant care from bitch
+ Rectal temperatures 94-97 degrees Farenheit
+ Pups may lose 10% of weight after birth, but should start gaining again
+ Weight should double by end of week

12/11/2002 5:00 am. While Ripple is out on a potty break, I take the opportunity to change the whelping box liner. I use the dark red/green flannel one for the day of the birth...since its pretty messy and the plaid hides the blood and stuff. Now one of the fleece liners are put in. It gives the pups better traction.

I have to monitor Ripples discharge and take her temperature twice a day to make sure she isn't getting an infection. There is plenty of milk for the 5 pups, but always a chance of a dam getting mastitis, so I have to check her mammary glands a couple of times a day, to make sure there isn't one getting over full, hard or hot.

When she is having the pups, One thing that you must check for is to count the number of placentas, and make sure it matches the number of pups. You don't want the dam to retain one of the placentas. This is hard with some bitches, as its the natural tendency to *clean up* when giving birth.

If she had not expelled them all, I would be taking Rip in to my vets for an injection of Oxytocin to help her expel the placenta.

Normal healthy puppies kick and twitch during sleep. You can tell if the temperature in the whelping area is too hot by the way the pups are positioned. If the pups stretch out not touching each other, its too warm. If they huddle in a pile, constantly trying to get to the bottom, its too cool. If they sleep next to each other, or drape over each other, the temperature is good. If its too hot, the pups will pant, loosing moisture. You can check to see if they are getting dehydrated by pinching up the skin. It should be elastic and settle back. If the pup is dehydrated, the skin will stay up, or *tent*.

9:20am Here Ripple is stimulating them to urinate and defecate...something a newborn puppy cannot do on their own.

Newborn puppies eat, sleep, eat, sleep.....

10:00am Ok, just a couple more pictures, then I have to do laundry!

6:00pm pictures

They look like little old men

You can just see the umbilical cord drying up as he snoozes on mom's leg

11:20 pm. Last pictures of the night!

Here you can see the boy with the back dewclaws.

Today I had to make some very hard emails and calls. With any litter you take a chance. You gamble with the mom's life. You gamble with every pups life, and you guess on the number of puppies you expect.

Not every puppy that is born makes it. I have made the mistake in the past of informing my puppy people that *their* pup was born right after the litter hit the ground. Well, in my 2001 litter, we lost orange collar liver girl for no apparent reason. How do you tell someone their puppy just died, before they even got to meet her?

Loss of Orange girl

I average some very big litters. I tell everyone its because I live under power lines. ;-) (actually, I don't) But I have had litters of 12, 13, 17 pups. Because of that, I do talk to interested curly people, and consider them as prospective homes for my babies. I usually take applications for 10. This litter while it thrills me, is half the number that I created bonds with. There were people I had to tell that they would not be getting a pup. It is SO hard. Every one of those people I took the time to talk to or email had great questions about the breed. They had done their homework. They had spent the time. They would all make wonderful curly homes.

I just want to take the time to say I am so sorry to those people who got the message tonight. It is as hard on me in many cases as it is on you.

12/12/2002 On to Day two!

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