Archive for January, 2008

After birthing, new born puppy care

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


The newborn puppies are weighed daily for the first five days of their lives to ensure they are gaining weight. If a puppy’s growth is lagging, the pup may be bottle fed.

The nursing mothers’ milk is examined for discoloration and tested to ensure it contains the appropriate nutrients and is free of infections. If a mother has more puppies than she can handle, the pups may be transferred to another mother that has also whelped at close to the same time (within 24-36 hours). If no such dog is available, the puppies will be bottle fed. As a health precaution for the newborn puppies, only the staff members working in the whelping kennel that day are allowed to go into that kennel.  (From Guide Dogs for the Blind)

Birth – typical event or what can happen

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


To prepare for whelping, they are put in stalls that contain plastic wading pools lined with newspapers. The stalls are warmed with radiant heating coils in the floor, and are equipped with closed-circuit cameras that allow the kennel staff to monitor the dogs’ activities from afar (they can keep an eye on the expectant moms from the kennel kitchen during normal hours and from an on-campus studio apartment after hours).

Births can occur as early as five days before the official due date. When the time is near, the females start to “nest”—tearing the newspapers into small pieces and settling into the pools.

During birth, the kennel staff will assist when needed. This assistance may involve resuscitating newborn puppies, clamping bleeding umbilical cords, and feeding females tired from a long whelp.  (From Guide Dogs for the Blind)

Top things to watch for during pregnancy

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


  • Observe urine, watch flow – Should stay same yellow color the whole time. If red blood is seen in stream, she might have a bladder infection. Call breeding or vet clinic right away.

  • Vulva – It will still be slightly swollen, like she was in season. She might also have whitish, stringy drips. If her vulva smells nasty, call breeding or vet clinic right away.

  • Ears – Look in ear canal for brownish wax. Clean 1x or 2x a week to prevent build up. Clean with blue ChloriHexi solution on cotton ball. If wax build up returns within 1-2 days after cleaning, call vet clinic.
  • Teeth – Brush 1-2 times per week. While pregnant she doesn’t chew on bones, so her breath starts to stink.

  • Nipples – Clean off dirt and old skin with warm water on cotton ball. You can add ChloriHexi blue solution to the water if you need to cut the grease. Her nipples get dirty when she starts expressing milk and they get sticky. She will start milking sometime after the ultrasound date.

  • Eyes – She may start to get more goo in the corners of her eyes as she approaches her due date. Usually the moms go on an ointment a week before their due date. If the goo is lime green or the whites of her eyes are blood shot, call breeding or the vet clinic.

  • Toe nails – I usually cut her nails once a week and since she doesn’t chase balls or run around while pregnant they don’t wear themselves down. Usually at night while she is really tired is a good time.

  • Buckle collar – Loosen to other hole, when you notice that it has gotten snug. She will gain weigh everywhere and her collar gets too tight.

  • Hair Loss – She will loose all the hair on her belly by her due date. Hair on other parts of her body will remain thick

Discomfort from the pups

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

 As the pups gain weight, it puts pressure on her, so she will begin to whimper and sigh pitifully. Some times she will whimper on every exhale. I try to ease her discomfort by petting her belly, getting her to reposition, or just distract her from what ever she was thinking. She wakes me in the middle of night during that last 2 weeks of pregnancy, either that I am sensitive to her or that she gets loud. If she doesn’t calm down (fall asleep) after repositioning her, take her out to do business.

Daily Walks or Exercise is important

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Her walks before ultrasound (4 weeks) will be just about the same as she always does. After ultrasound she starts gaining weight and her pace slows way down. Begin doing shorter walks multiple times a day, she will also be pooping more, so try to get a business on each walk. If she poops she will eat more at the next meal. At the start of her pregnancy on a typical day, she will ride with me in the car while I run errands in the morning. Nap in the afternoon, go on a brisk hour long walk (2 miles) about 5 pm, then eat dinner about 5:30 pm A typical day about 2 weeks before her due date, starting at 6 am, she will do business, eat only about 1 cup of food, sleep, then 4 hours later, take on short walk to get her to poop, and feed her another cup. She will sleep gain. After 4 more hours, take her on a short walk to get her to poop, feed her another cup of food, you can see how this pattern is repeating itself. She will probably need to do business in the middle of the night, sometimes twice a night. Last pregnancy, our schedule was 9 pm, midnight, 3 am, 6 am.

Food quanity, schedule, and loss of appetite

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


Before ultrasound – She will be on Science Diet Maintenance. 1.25 or 1.5 cups twice a day. I raise her food so the pups can grow up big and strong and she usually will eat less about 10 days before her due date, so I like her to have some fat stored up on her.
After ultrasound – She will switch (in 5 day period) to Science Diet Puppy and they will increase the amount of food by about 1 cup a week.
Loss of appetite – She will loose her appetite about 2 weeks before her due date. Do all that you can to get her to eat. Try only 1 cup per meal, try canned food, dry kibble instead of wet, dog sausage log, dog biscuits, any dog food product on the store shelf. You can switch foods without having to worry about loose stools. Her nutrition is more important than a soft serve stool. I will buy 1 can of food from each dog food company (Iams, Purina, Natural Balance, etc). She will tire of a flavor after one meal, so variety is important. Sometimes she will only eat kibble, other times she will only eat canned food. Sometimes holding the bowl up off the floor helps. Sometimes going for a walk before eating. It is best to stay with dog food and not use people food.

Ultrasound appointment FAQs

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008


Bring her to the vet clinic with a full bladder. They will ask questions about her behavior, physical condition, and then you take her to the small office with the ultrasound. With your help (or not) Alda will be flipped belly up in a big blue foam wedge. Pet her head and talk softly, to steady her after the flip. They will raise the table, squirt goo on her belly (the coolness will startle Alda), and stick the probe on the goo. The image shows on the monitor screen. They will attempt to count the pups, and also look at other organs. They can give you a print out of a pup if you want. After the ultrasound, they will ask for the Pregnancy Care papers. They will fill in the food chart, increasing her food about 1 cup a week for the next 3 weeks. She will also change to SD Puppy food.

Ultrasound during 5th week or pregnancy

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

During Alda’s first pregnancy, she had approximately 8 puppies inside her. This is a guess and things can change as she got closer to her due date. The puppies are about an inch long. This was Alda’s 5th week of pregnancy.  Here is an image of the ultrasound.


As it was explained to me, the round dark blobs are the puppies in their individual sacks and the white fuzzy splotch in the dark blob is the puppy.

While there we could see one of the puppy’s heart beating. It was moving fast, creating a really fuzzy spot in the center of the fuzzy splotch. Doc said a typical puppy heart beat is 180 beats per minute. Alda’s heart beat is 88 beats per minute, I just checked.