|Happy 3rd week Birthday to us!|
“A Foot in Cold Water”
Here’s one we’ve never witnessed before. We’re not certain as to whether it’s something she learned in a spa or if it has some other purpose, but we’ve noticed that Chanel puts her right paw inside the water bowl while she’s having a drink. Irrespective of the reason, at least the bowl is fixed in place during her hydration session and she has one clean foot.
To add to the challenge of nursing eleven puppies, Chanel contracted mastitis this week - an inflammation of a mammary gland which is an infection caused by a little bite or scratch. This is not uncommon in larger litters and not serious when diagnosed and treated in the early stages. We opted for two courses of treatment: the medical solution of a regimen of antibiotics coupled with the homeopathic one of strapping a cabbage leaf to the affected area. That gets followed up with basting the wound with saline solution and the incredible healing properties of honey. Since the pups aren’t even remotely considering a vegetarian diet or any other kind of diet for that matter, we have to keep part of Chanel’s “equipment” bandaged up while she’s nursing her young family in the whelping box. As a result, we must monitor the pups very closely to ensure that they all get a turn at the milk bar while it’s under repair.
Now that their vision is established beyond simply being able to detect light, dark and movement, the puppies are becoming increasingly curious about their surroundings and each other. They are beginning to get acquainted with their littermates and can often be seen standing in a group gently colliding or rubbing their noses and heads against one another whether awake or asleep. This is the beginning of a key period for the puppies as they are developing rudimentary social skills. They are testing each other’s limits and learning the difference between hard and soft biting and they also take turns sleeping at the top and bottom of the sibling pile.
In order to accommodate the puppies’ rapid growth, we’ve had to raise the pig rails in their box up a notch. These are rails around the inside of the whelping box that are there to help prevent mom from accidentally squishing one of her kids. At some point during the coming week, the rails can safely be removed altogether. Now that the puppies are getting pretty adept at staggering around, an extension will be added to the box which will give the gang lots more room to play in. That’s when the real fun begins!
That’s it for now, but be sure to join us next week for another nail-biting instalment of “Puppy Tales”.