“Triple Your Pleasure”
It’s all about food in this place. Misty continues to have this uncanny ability to advise of mealtime precisely on the hour. Of course, her little flock has followed suit with their love of nourishment as they’ve now tripled their birth weights. Since they’re still in their birthday suits, we’ve not had to loosen their belts, but we have had to make adjustments to their collars.
At first glance, it may appear that the puppies spend all their time eating and sleeping, but they do spend a good deal of time exercising. As but as they lay there asleep, they are constantly twitching. These involuntary actions, referred to as “activated sleep”, help strengthen their leg muscles and begin to build muscle mass. This allows them to plod around on all fours when they’re in search of their mom for a snack. Mom adds to this challenge by continually messing up the towels in the whelping box, thereby creating rolling hills that the puppies need to paddle over. But despite her shortcomings in the housekeeping department, Misty’s been a stellar mom. While she spends the bulk of her time caring for the puppies, she does allow for a bit of me-time to have a solo nap on the cool tile floor or to hop up on the bed for some cuddle-time with us.
It’s always exciting for us when the puppies’ eyes open at around the 10-day mark. 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 canals begin to open at around the same time, the ears are much more fully formed than the eyes and their hearing will be quite acute within a week or so.
That’s it for now but be sure to join us next week for another riveting installment of “Puppy Tales”.