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Showing posts from November, 2016

Kingston and Whitney Litter – Week Two

“Can you hear me now?”

One of the most exciting events for us is when the puppies’ eyes open. Many of the puppies’ critical organs including their brain are not fully formed and they will spend several weeks developing rapidly. Since the gestation period in dogs is short (63 days), the tradeoff is that puppies are quite helpless at birth. Biologists refer to species that produce immature dependent offspring as altricial, which means “to nurse, to rear or to nourish”. It refers to the need for the young of these species to be fed and taken care of for a long period of time. Puppies are born with their eyelids tightly shut because the eye itself is still developing and is extremely fragile. The closed eyelids serve as a barrier to protect the eyes from potential damage. Now that their eyes are open, it will take a few weeks before their eyes mature and their eyesight begins to approach normal. The puppies are also born functionally deaf since their ear canals are closed. While their ear …

Kingston and Whitney Litter – Week One

“Fly Ball”She’d been down this road before, but she needed some assurance that everything would be alright. On the eve of puppies’ births, Whitney snuggled up to spoon with us and to get some quality touches before the big event. Nearly five hours later at 4:15 a.m., Mr. Jet Black poked his head out. We were afraid might see his shadow and go back inside but with a little encouragement he said hello to the world. Forty-five minutes later, Mr. Camel made his entrance followed by Mr. Mint. Then Whitney made us wait for an hour and a half before Mr. Tangerine was born which completed the ensemble of four boys. The girls must just have been polite to wait their turn. After another hour and a half, Miss Carnation made her debut. Fortunately we only had to wait another ten minutes for Miss Chiffon as we all know that girls are more punctual. The big surprise was that while Whitney was out on what was supposed to be a pee break, she delivered Miss Pansy outside whom we caught in mid-air like…

Princess Whitney, Day 55 (pre-parturition)

As we head into the final week of Whitney’s pregnancy, she is certainly continuing to slow down. Her abdomen measures a whopping 36 inches or 91cm. She is eating her meals very slowly but still polishing them off. Whitney is now receiving 4 meals daily but we may increase that to 5 or 6 meals daily as we move closer to her birthing date. The pressure of her growing puppies increases when she's near to term so she may want smaller more frequent meals.
Whitney has now begun to nest as all moms-to-be do. In the wild she would have carefully chosen a safe area in which to dig herself an appropriate den. Without human intervention, this is where she would have her puppies! But not to worry, she’ll actually have them in a nice warm and sterile environment known as the whelping box. Over the next week we will make all the final preparations for the arrival of her puppies.

We have begun monitoring her temperature twice daily as any significant drop would signal the onset of labour.At day 5…