Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Life in the Whelping Box: Sleep, Snuggles, Sustenance, and Stimulation

As of Day 3, here's where the pups are on their weights:

Master Blue:  1 pound 7 oz. (+7.5 ounces since birth)
Master Red:   1 pound 8.5 oz (+ 8 ounces since birth)
Master Green: 1 pound 6.5 oz (+ 5.5 ounces since birth)

Remember that Master Green is six hours younger than Red and 11 hours younger than Blue, which makes a difference when they're only a couple days old.

Life for these little guys consists mainly of sleep (90-95% of their day), snuggling (for warmth and security -- remember, they can't hear or see yet) sustenance (nursing), and pottying (something they cannot do on their own, but are entirely dependent on Kenya to stimulate them to do and from which to clean them).

This video will give you a peek into their normal routine.  When the clip gets to Master Red nursing (it starts with Masters Green and Blue twitching and stretching and sleeping and vocalizing), you'll notice yellow-ish gunk on Master Red's bottom beneath his tail. This is neonate poo. :O)

Puppies' very first poo is like thick tar in texture (can be nearly solid) and is colored a dark black  (it's meconium, just like in human babies immediately after birth).  Once the pups start nursing, their poos turn to a golden-yellow, thick-mustard consistency (again,  like nursing human babies).  That's as it should be.

The pups' nervous sytems, however, are not developed enough yet for them to void (pee) or eliminate (poo) on their own. The dam (in this case, Kenya), needs to "stimulate" them (by licking) to activate the pee/poo response.   You'll see Kenya do this to Master Red while he's nursing. 

And if you really care to look closely, he produces even more yellow poo during the process (clearly visible in this video).

If something were to happen to the dam (death during delivery or post-whelping issues of some sort) where she couldn't do this for the pups, human caregivers can achieve the same ends by gently caressing their "privates" with a warm, slightly moistened cotton ball or soft cloth (we've had to help with this process with very large litters).  Without the ability to void/eliminate on their own, if it's not done for them, they would die.

So, here's a short video of the 2-3-day-old pups doing what they do at this stage, and of Kenya doing what dams do for their pups at this stage, too.  Enjoy!

My apologies for the delay in getting these videos posted. Blogger and Picasa have been giving me fits, but I think I have it finally figured out.

Stay tuned for more...


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