Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Puppy Report: Two Weeks Old

Well, the plumpty dumpties turn two weeks old over the next twelve hours.  And it continues to amaze me how quickly they develop.  Just look how far they've come in just fourteen days:
  • They've quadrupled their weights!
    • Master Blue, 15.5 ounces at birth, now weighs 4 lbs 1 oz.
    • Master Red, 16.5 ounces at birth, now weighs 4 lbs. 11 oz.
    • Master Green, 17 ounces at birth, now weighs 4 lbs. 6 oz.
  • Once only able to suckle (a natural reflex in newborns), they can now lick, yawn, and are just starting to gnaw on each other.
  • At first, they're only aware of their dams. Now they're beginning to discover themselves ("oh.. I have a paw and I can gnaw at it") and their littermates ("oh...he has a paw and I can chew on it").
  • For the first week to ten days, pups are unable to void or eliminate without their dam stimulating them. Now they're just starting (only just starting) to piddle and poo on their own. For now peeing usually happens as they pull themselves along on their tummies (and the gliding along the towel stimulates them to "go"), but occasionally, they're pooing on their own (not standing yet to do so, but eliminating all the same).
  • They've also begun to push themselves up onto four legs (quite wobbly, and not really standing yet, but up on all fours before toppling over).
  • They can move backward and forward (before they could only move in circles).
  • They can lift and move their heads left and right and up and down at will (before they could only "bob" their heads). 
  • They're consciously sniffing (putting their noses down to investigate).
  • They can just barely sit.  This usually occurs when the pups move backward.  They push themselves back with their front legs and end up on their bottoms.
  • Heehee... they can "bark" (though it isn't a controlled vocalization yet -- more a reflex).  I'm hoping to get a little bark on video -- it's too cute.
  • They can find the puppy pile, and enjoy piling together (part of a growing awareness of littermates)
  • AND they're eyes have unsealed (happened yesterday on Day 13, right on time!).

All of their eyes are blue (as they always are in newborns). They will turn brown later on as part of their normal development. They do not, however, have functional eyesight yet (that will come in time).  I call them little Mr. Magoos (does anyone remember the Mr. Magoo cartoons?),

They've also experienced other adventures as preparation for their life with humans (but only a teeny bit as too much stimulation during the first 10 days to two weeks can be detrimental).
  •  They've had their front nails trimmed twice (poor Kenya would be scratched to death otherwise)
  • They've had their rear claws trimmed once (just today for the first time as we wanted them to be able to "grip" or get traction with their back claws to aid in strengthening those hind legs).
  • They've been put on a scale regularly (twice a day for the first three days, once a day for the next week, now every couple of days as long as they look like they're thriving). 
  • They've almost completed Early Neurological Stimulation (something the military developed to increase stamina, focus, and disease resistance in their working canines). We done the following exercises with them daily since the day after their dew-claw removal, and will do so for another 2 days (until they're 16 days old). We do each exercise for only 3-5 seconds:
    • tickling their toes (all four paws) with a q-tip
    • holding them head-up perpendicular to the ground
    • holding them head down
    • holding them on their backs in the palms of our hands (so they're fully supported)
    • placing them on a cold damp cloth (usually when we weigh them).
  • They've been people handled and snuggled daily (apart from ENS exercises). 
  • They've had their color collars changed four times (for growth). 

Here are a few photos taken today.  Aren't they starting to look like puppies now???

Nursing is still our favorite activity.

But Momma Kenya is taking more breaks from us.  We're quite content to sleep without her.

We stretch a lot (and we can still look like little black bears).

We can sit for a couple seconds before we topple over.

Look, we have eyes!  Master Red was the first to have his eyes all the way open. But Green and Blue followed closely.

"YHmm... I think I see you over there...maybe...."

As the pups have grown and gotten more agile, Momma Kenya has changed her nursing style.  She sits often to nurse them now.  Later on, she will move to standing.

"Like my baby blue eyes? *wink wink* Aren't I handsome?!"

In this picture, you can see that their eyes are quite "cloudy" still.  Functional eyesight will develop over the next couple of weeks.

Master Blue has blue eyes, too. :)

Puppy pile!

Big yawn!

Three heads...?  The chew chain?

Master Blue: "Ooooo... Red has a paw and a tail that I can gnaw on!"

We may have made lots of progress but we're still just little squirts (still helpless and completely dependent on Kenya).

We like to snooze and snuggle together (provides warmth and security).  Sometimes we sleep on our backs, sometimes on our tummies, and sometimes on our sides.

Snuggle buddies (we still sleep 90% of the time).

So, there they are!  A whopping two weeks old.

And they are officially no longer neonates!

Now they begin what's called the Transitional Period (roughly 14 to 21 days).  This period begins when the pups eyes open and ends when they first startle to noise (meaning their ears unseal).  Much happens in this brief window of development; it lasts only one week.  I'll write more on that another day.

So far, so good. All is well.

'til next time,


From Mary's Pen said...

Aww lovely boys! These posts make me smile, and remind me of Charlie when he was younger. We didn't bring him home until almost 12 weeks, so I missed many of these developmental stages with him, but he'll always be my "baby" just the same. :)

Rejoicing in the day,

Riley and Stella said...

So adorable! I've branched out with my latest puppy to the vizsla breed but nothing beats that cuteness of a labrador puppy. I have both breeds now and love the mix of them.

Hunting Labradors said...