Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Puppies are four weeks old

Pups are four weeks old now, and no, we have not named them yet. The storm Irene interrupted our routine for a while and created extra work. Pups' individual personalities are starting to emerge now, but for today's update just five pics will have to do.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Getting ready for Irene

Saturday started well. Today the town of Berne had a big garage sale at multiple sites, where I was able to pick up some stuff for puppies for a very low price. Bella got three "new" toys, and puppies got a silver fox fur collar wrap just for $5.00. They will really enjoy playing with it.Then our preparations for the arrival of Irene started. My den is prone to flooding so I moved puppies and their whelping box upstairs to our living room. Our beagle club had our annual Italian Dinner tonight, and I had to prepare a salad. It went well, and it was a good evening to relax over a bottle of wine in the company of friends. The food was superb. This weekend the club is hosting a three day trial, but I think the tomorrow trial is being rescheduled. When we got back home we continued with preparations. It is not simple to take care of ten adult dogs, five three-week-old pups and one eleven-week-old pup when the heavy rain and gusty winds are expected to last at least 12 hours. We decided to bring all the dogs to the house and they are now very comfortable in their crates in our mud room downstairs. We'll see what happens in the morning and how they are going to do their business tomorrow morning in the pouring rain. We hope that Irene is kind to us!

Puppies and their new toy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Puppies have turned three weeks old

Puppies are getting incredibly cute. They just turned three weeks old!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A good lesson for puppies about toys' ownership

Monday did not start well. Paika got sick overnight, and when I came down to my den in the morning, the floor was covered with diarrhea and vomit. I found it strange that she never let us know that she needed to go out. Other dogs would scream or jump on the door, but she always tries not to complain and tough it out. Whatever caused the trouble got eliminated from her system becausein the morning she was feeling good and had a good appetite. I called our vet just to reassure myself that things are not too serious and he recommended to give her a light diet today and several doses of Pepto-Bismol.
Puppies have been doing very well, and they have not been affected by her overnight issues. Today they are 18 days old, and I took them outside for the second time. They stayed in the outside pen, together with Paika, for several hours. Nobody complained too much.

The below video shows how they played with a furry raccoon, which they liked very much. Then two pups tried to approach the rubber toy Paika had claimed. They learned a quick and valuable lesson from their mom on what she considered inappropriate behavior. Paika is a sweetheart and I was a little surprised at her reaction, but she knows her kids the best. It is her show and unless she is ready to harm her pups (which she is not), I am not going to interfere. Some females are very permissive and they let pups do just about anything. Elli or Gela would never do what Paika did, but I actually think that Paika is a better teacher. You have to watch the video to the end to see her reaction

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pups are getting more active

Yesterday we had huge thunderstorms going through the area so pups spent all their day inside. Today on the other hand is very warm and we'll wait for the cool evening to put them on the grass for 15-20 minutes. I cut their nails today and the pups were not too happy about that. It is at least the second nail trimming, and it had to be done. Pups start to interact with us and with each other more and more. They certainly can hear now and they are getting more mobile with every day. Soon we will give them toys to play with, but I am afraid that now Paika would confiscate all the toys and keep them for herself. She still spends quite a bit time with the pups.

It looks like all puppies will have wirehaired coat, as we expected. Some will have more coat than others though. I can see more hair on the girl and Blue boy.

We really have to get our act together and name the pups. It is harder than you might think. We will be keeping one puppy from this litter but have no idea which one, so all the names have to be acceptable to us because we will end up with one of them. Last year we named pups early for the ease of record keeping (there were 14 pups in two litters after all). Then when we decided to keep Queenie, we had to change her name to Quenotte as John did not like the name Queenie at all. So this year we'll be more careful. And since English is my second language, some names are just plain hard for me to pronounce. As a rule we like to use a registered name as a calling name too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Puppies turn two weeks old

Two weeks ago Paika's puppies were born. Today I took them out for the first time, and they spent half an hour in a pen outside together with Paika. Their eyes are open, but they sleep 90% of the time. Puppies crawl around their whelping box pretty well but they will be fully mobile only in a week. They certainly respond to touch and smell. Some of them were actually trying to interact with me while I was stroking them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Towards the end of week #2

Puppies and Paika continue to do well. Pink girl opened her eyes - you can see it in the bottom picture. I think that boys will be opening their eyes tomorrow. The pups' hair is getting a little longer now.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

No-nonsense approach to mothering puppies

We have not posted any updates for a couple of days as we were quite busy. Puppies are doing really well, and Paika is doing great too. I like her approach to raising puppies, and in the last 20 years I have seen many different styles of mothering.

She likes to be with her puppies, and she keeps the whelping box spotless, but now she takes long breaks away from the pups. If I am in my den, where the whelping box is,  I find her quite often in her own bed resting. If we are upstairs in the kitchen and dining area, she comes there too and spends some time with us. When Beth and Genti were here on Friday, she was schmoozing with them and their baby Dea. Puppies are not the only thing on her mind, but they are on her mind often enough.

Anyway, their eyes are still closed but they should be opening soon. When they do open, we will have to be careful with taking pups' pictures. You can't blast them with a flash when their eyes are very sensitive.

These are pups today's weights:

Blue pup 285 grams when born, now 590
Green pup 295 then, now 750
Yellow pup 275 then, now 655
Red pup 315 then, now 745
Pink pup 300 then, now 750

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Are all these dachshund puppies going to be wirehairs?

You might wonder why these puppies look so different from Paika whose coat is longer. Well, puppies coats are very short for the first few weeks of their lives. With time differences between individuals will become more apparent. We are quite sure that all these puppies are going to be wirehairs as Paika was DNA tested for the gene that controls the absence/presence of furnishings. If you would like to learn more about it click here and here. BTW, the color of Paika and her puppies' coats is called "wild boar".

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day number 6 for the little pups

You probably noticed that their bellies are getting rounder... thanks to the good milk supply courtesy of Paika.

Puppies like to stay all cuddled together and close to their mom Paika. However, a mild stress is good for them, so a couple of times a day, when I change their bedding, I spread puppies in the whelping box. This way they have to do some "work" to reunite (they must follow their noses) and they get some exercise too.

Paika cornered!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Puppies are growing like weeds

Everything is going really well in the whelping box, and puppies are growing like weeds. Puppies were born just four days ago and these are their weights now. It is easier to do it in grams than pounds and ounces.

Blue pup 285 grams when born, now 380
Green pup 295  then, now 415
Yellow pup 275  then, now 397
Red pup 315 then, now 445
Pink pup 300 then, now 460

Paika is still spending all her time in the whelping box.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A video showing the whelping of the second puppy

This is a seven minute video showing the whelping of Paika's second puppy. The placenta was not expelled along with the puppy so I had to cut the cord to free the pup, which was already outside. I think that the real star of the video, besides Paika of course, was the first puppy. The original video is 11 minutes but it seemed a little long so I shortened it to seven minutes.

It is touching to see how Paika handles the delivery. She is able to focus on the first puppy, which is pretty demanding,  and the puppy that is being born. She is highly cooperative and has a complete trust in me (not all bitches are like that).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pups and Paika are doing well

A couple of pictures taken this morning put a smile on my face. Is there anything better than happy and healthy puppies?

Last night I spent a couple of hours applying warm compress to Paika's breasts. I used Epsom salt (1/2 cup per 3 cups of warm water), and it looks like it helped a lot.The breasts are much better now though not completely normal yet. Paika and pups are getting some Bene-Bac, which contains healthful Lactobacillus acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria to support normal digestion.This is to counteract the effect of antibiotic that Paika is on.

All puppies are gaining and doing well:
Blue pup 10.2 oz when born, now 12.0
Green pup 11.2 oz then, now 11.8
Yellow pup 9.8 then, now 11.0
Red pup 11.0 then, now 11.8
Pink pup 10.6 then, now 12.0

This is our S litter, which means that all the pups in this litter will have their registered names starting with an S. We already had one S litter in 1995 that had 6 girls and 1 boy. Now we need some new S-names. 

Let your creativity flow, and let us know your suggestions for puppy names!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The whelping is over

Last night around 11 PM I gave Paika a shot of oxytocin. We were not sure whether she had more pups in her or not. She was having occasional contractions but nothing was coming out. After she got oxytocin she expelled a big placenta but no additional pups. Her contractions ended after that.Today we palpated her and we don't feel any additional puppies.

So we ended up with five nice puppies - four males and one female. We are really looking forward to all the fun we are going to have with them! Last year when we had two litters of pups at the same time, 14 in total, it was so much work. This year with just 5 it is going to be fun! I'll post some pics and video later.

Update 4:00 PM
Some pictures taken during and after whelping. Everything is going well except for the fact that Paika produces too much milk and two of her mammary glands got too full and hot. This condition is called galactostasis and it could lead to mastitis, a serious condition. I am trying to avoid it so I am keeping an eye Paika's temperature and started her on Clavamox.  I also put warm wet compress on the affected teats and milk them to give her some relief. Puppies are doing well, and all put on some weight. They have different ribbons around their necks, and to make things easier to identify the only girl she wears a pink ribbon.

Click on the images to see larger versions.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today is the day!

Paika's water broke at 8:50 AM and the first puppy arrived at 10:30. It is a pretty big boy, weighing 11 oz (315 gr). Her maternal instincts seem to be excellent, and the boy is doing well.

Update 2:00 PM.
So far we have three boys - 11.0, 10.4 and 10.2 ounces, and everything has been going really well.

Update 4:15 PM
Two more puppies - one boy 9.8 oz and one girl 10.6 oz. Paika has been eating and drinking in between pups and seems to be in a really good shape. All pups except for one came out feet first, at a somewhat awkward angle, but nobody was stuck. The pups are very vigorous and everybody has been nursing.

Third boy coming out feet first

Update 10:30 PM
I believe that there is one more puppy in Paika but she has taken a very long break. The five puppies have full bellies, their bottoms are clean and they are very active when not asleep. Paika's temperature is normal, she has been eating, drinking and taking care of the pups. We are just going to wait and see what happens. Sometimes the last puppy is whelped quite a few hours after all the others.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still waiting

Wednesday 10:50 AM
So far there is no change worth reporting.  Paika's temperature this morning was 99.0.
I washed her and trimmed her behind. Otherwise she has been sleeping all morning, and she is not showing any sign of being in labor. No panting, no shaking, no digging. We are still waiting.

Update 7:30 PM
Around 4 PM Paika walked into her whelping box, which now is lined with old t-shirts, towels etc, and things started to happen. She scratches and digs, throws up a little, and then goes back to sleep. We could be having puppies tonight or tomorrow morning. The below is a video taken around 7 PM.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No puppies yet

I think Paika decided that she is going to hold on to puppies for a while longer. Last night she ate a big meal and drank a lot. She was turning her nose at everything I offered but when I opened a container of moist pre-prepared Purina Beneful dinner, she really went for it. Go figure. I noticed that in this late stage of pregnancy she likes novel things that she has never had before.

Since she did not act like she was going to have pups last night, I managed to get some good sleep in my own bed. Today she seems happy and pretty active. No sign of  any distress, no abnormal discharge. Who knows what the Mother Nature has in store for us but we are going to wait. The waiting game will be over when her water breaks and then things will have to progress at a certain rate, but until then we are going to be patient.

Thank you for all your support! We really appreciate it.

Update 10 PM: There is no change to report, and it does not look like Paika will be whelping tonight. She just ate her only meal of the day (her appetite is much better in the evening than in the morning). Puppies are moving in her belly, but obviously we have to wait longer for their arrival.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It is going to be a long day

Monday 10:30 AM
Paika is more uncomfortable and wants to be in eye contact with me.

I read my notes on Keena's last whelping, and if Paika follows the same patter, it might be a while. In Keena's case it took at least 36 hours from the temperature drop to the arrival of first puppy. So it looks like it might be a long day... It is too bad that John has an appointment in Albany this afternoon :-(  He is really good at pulling out stuck puppies.

Update 6 PM
No change in status quo. Paika is not eating and she is drinking very little. But she is not in distress, and her water did not break. I read my notes on Keena's first litter and as it turned out it took Keena three days to prepare for whelping. So I am going to relax as probably nothing is going to happen today. I might even sleep in my own bed.

Anyway, Paika likes to be touched and massaged, and this is a short video clip taken with our webcam.