Usually (not always) getting through the first week means the pups should be free of big, bad, ugly congenital issues (like heart problems or organ malformation). Any serious (but not readily visible) birth defect or health issue will usually show up during the first week of life, most often in the first three days, as failure to thrive, lack of weight gain, immobility, sickness, etc... Though defects like these are rare in the hearty Lab breed (with responsible breeders and healthy studs/dams), these things do happen.
This litter is thriving (as have all our litters so far...phew!).
Here's the report:
- The pups have more than doubled their weights (something healthy Lab puppies should do by the end of their first week of life):
- Master Blue currently weighs 2 pounds, 6.5 ounces.
- Master Red is 2 pounds, 9 ounces.
- Master Green is 2 pounds 9 ounces.
- All are nursing and pottying as they should (yes, we do have to watch these things, just as we do with newborn human babies). Their little poos are just as they should be. :o)
- The entire litter is content: no fussing, no excessive crying, no trouble sleeping. It's a very cozy scene in the whelping box.
- All of the pups are making appropriate sounds: grunting, sighing, squealing (if Kenya steps on them), making "barks" and "growls" when they dream, etc...
- All of the pups are using all four limbs to squiggle and push their ways around the whelping box.
- All of the pups can turn in circles to find Kenya (it's they way the find her, by scent).
- All enjoy piling (the puppy pile!).
- All are able to be handled by their humans without too much stress.
- All have and are experiencing the following:
- they've had their collars (rickrack) changed twice (due to growth)
- they've had their dew claws removed (at 3 days old)
- they've had their nails trimmed (today for the first time)
- they've spent brief intervals without Momma Kenya (Kenya gets a break now and then!).
- they've started Early Neurological Stimulation (a series of brief daily exercises designed to help improve the pups' cardio-vascular systems, their resistance to disease, their tolerance of stress, etc...). We've done ENS with all of our litters so far.
- The pups eyes and ears are still sealed tight (no sight or hearing for them yet). That will change in the next two weeks.
The pups are considered "neonates" (newborns) until they are two weeks old. For more info on what puppies do at this age, read this article I posted while Kenya's first litter was developing (seems silly for me to rewrite all that here now).
Here are the three boys at (approximately) one week old:
|Master Blue, the firstborn|
|Master Blue has a small white marking (a straight line) on his chest. This may or may not disappear over time. His daddy, Tuc, had a small white chest marking (allowable by AKC Lab breed standard), but his disappeared.|
|Master Blue's white mark on his chest is visible while he's snuggled on his back in Gandpoppop Don's arms.|
|Like his brother Master Blue, Master Red has a white mark, too, but his is teeny: it's more like a dot -- the tip of a pencil point in white on his chest.|
|Master Green, who has no markings on his chest, gets weighed on the baby scale.|
All is well for the one-week-olds. From here on out, the changes in their progress and development will come fast and furious. Look out world, here they come!
'til next time,