The puppies are changing so fast! Their latest feat is that they have learned to spin around and run! Sorry no great videos but trust me, it's hysterical! (The last video below does have Waino making the move.)
We've had visitors since I last posted. Valerie visited Friday. The puppies were introduced to the screened porch on the main floor. Photos below are of them piling on Valerie (they love people) after fearless exploration. Oh the excitement of the new venue! So much room to run; birds' eye views of the back yard; electric cords to remove from their sharp little teeth; chair rungs to climb over and crawl under; many glass doors in which to admire their reflections; and on and on and on! On Sunday, Alex and Brittany visited. Thanks for the great skunk toy! The puppies discovered it today and especially liked chewing the tag I failed to remove! (See next to last video below.) I had to check Alex's pockets when he left to make sure he didn't take Goldy with him! Today, they met their first little girl when my friend, Sherri, brought her 5 year old granddaughter, Emerson, to visit. Emerson was a perfect introduction to children for the puppies. She didn't even mind when she (nor I) noticed the puppy pee puddle she sat in!
The puppies are now eating three meals a day. Each consists of 2 cups of puppy kibble soaked in water with a cup of thin milk replacer gruel. They are CLEAN platers! I am gradually reducing the amount of water that I soak the food in and have heard them crunching the few kibbles from the top of the container that don't get soaked with their sharp little puppy teeth. Once the last can of powdered milk replacer is gone in the next few days, they will get kibble floated in water. The exciting news for them is that they have now "dined" in their room, on the patio and on the screened porch. Four more places to dine in the next 2 weeks! I better get creative quickly! They also have eaten from three different containers - pie pans since we started; a couple days ago I switched them to two plastic dog bowls; this afternoon, I forgot to bring their bowls up to clean them, so they had dinner tonight in 4 sort of melmac bowls. (Does anyone remember these? Years ago they came in Purina Dog Chow bags. We have bowls, plates and glasses! All are hideously ugly, but they sure are durable!). They did a pretty good job of sticking to their own bowl. I was shocked! They are very good eaters. No kibbles left behind! And I need to come up with 4 more containers in the next 2 weeks.
I've been introducing new things to them each day. The tunnel on the patio, new (and suspended) toys to their indoor room, and different toys for the screened porch. They always immediately find whatever is new in their environment whether I introduced it or not!
I did their nails again today. All but Goldy were calm about that. Goldy surprised me because she is usually very happy to be in your lap no matter what position or what you are doing to her. She still gave me puppy kisses when we were done though1
I leave you today with random photos and videos of cuteness!
Every Day Really Is A Gift!
Until next time....
I've been a terrible blogger and I apologize! There are simply not enough hours in the day to take care of Rhani, take care of puppies who have an absentee momma, give Jo Jo and Baili some time so they don't feel totally neglected, and do minimal responsibilities for DCA, DCAF, DCGSL and JuJu Consulting - all poorly! So, this update will be mainly photos and a few videos!
Puppies are growing and developing....
Four Week Mug Shots. Already?
These are really more full body shots. I think they are very cute, but I am biased. And none of them thinks the camera will steal their souls! They seem to love to pose! Assuming I find the right homes for each of them, I have only less than 4 more weeks to enjoy them.
Yes, they still sleep a lot, but they are so cute doing it....
Visits continue! Since I last posted, Dave & Margot came again; Cindy and Stephen visited (and Stephen twice!); Aunt Linda was here again; and Donna and Rich came by today. They have more visitors planned tomorrow, Sunday, Monday and next Thursday. Reservations still available! The more the merrier! I'd like them to meet different people every day! Thanks to Aunt Linda and Donna & Rich for the very fun toys they brought for the babies and to Dave and Margot for the very nice wine you brought for us! And special thanks to Stephen (the puppy whisperer) for entertaining the babies and challenging them with airplane zoomies, dangling keys, funny sounds and tennis shoes!
Rhani is home....
Rhani came home from the hospital a week ago. She is happy to be here. Her condition is guarded, but we have some hope she will be ok. When all is resolved, I will share all details available. In the meantime, your continued good wishes for her recovery are very appreciated. Until next time.... Every Day Really Is A Gift
Sunday was a rough day for Rhani. She began refusing food and clearly did not feel good although she was very attentive to her babies. So Monday AM we went back to the vet. Dr. Owen told me they didn't have the type of IV fluids she needed so we were referred to AVS (a specialty urgent care office.). She was admitted and they began IV fluids and tube feeding immediately. She was seen by the Internal Medicine specialists today and underwent ultrasounds. The news is hopeful. Her levels are all coming down - though still very high; all the ultrasounds showed normal kidneys and GI tract; she ate food offered and has kept it down; the urine culture came back and showed e-coli but there is no bacteria or blood cells in the urine now meaning the antibiotic is working. The plan is to keep her there on fluids until her levels return to normal or plateau. Please cross paws that they return to normal in the next day or two. We and the puppies miss her, but we want her to get well. And everyone I talk to at the hospital tells me how sweet she is.
I am sure sure when Rhani comes home, the puppies will express preference for mama's milk, but that would not be a good idea for Rhani. I ordered a "surgical recovery suit" for her today that will cover her nipples so the puppies cannot nurse on her but she can be with them. Hope that will work!
It's hard to believe the puppies are 3 weeks old already! Here are their mug shots! Next week, I will try to get everyone to pose naturally like Goldy. I love that they will "give ears" at such a little age!
They all got a pedicure today but from the looks of the mug shot photos, I could have gotten them shorter!
We discovered teeth erupting last night! Another reason they don't need to be nursing on Rhani when she comes home. Those little baby teeth are needle sharp!
Albert was the first to escape the box this afternoon! I was upstairs and heard some puppy noises so went down to check. There was Albert just wandering around the office all by himself. He's quite curious and adventurous as well as being very sweet! (And his tail is healing nicely from the licking Rhani gave it when he was tiny!)
The puppies had a few visitors - Valerie, Campbell and Amelia (who came home from college just to see the puppies!) and Stephen and Cindy. I failed to warn Stephen and Cindy how messy the babies are when they eat. They both went home covered in gruel!
Now that they are three weeks old, I will begin tracking all the different people they meet, smells they smell, sounds they hear, surfaces they play on, types of dishes they eat from, where they eat, etc. The goal is to expose each puppy to as many different things as possible during the 3-8 week period of their lives. I will try to expose them to at least 2 new auditory, tactile, visual and odor stimuli every day and spend some one on one time with each puppy every day. I have a big spreadsheet with all different things in all the categories that I will check off as we complete them. Tomorrow or Thursday, I will take down the whelping box and transform the room into a play room for them with things to climb on, suspended things to bat around, a mirror, etc. I'll introduce new items daily and hopefully new people at least weekly! Hopefully we will have enough warm days to get them outside to play on the patio too. (Not today for sure! Brrrr!)
We will also do the "Rules of 7 BEFORE they are 7 weeks old when puppies enter their first fear stage: Play on at least 7 different surfaces; Play with 7 different objects; Play in 7 different locations; Eat from 7 different containers in 7 different locations.
All of these activities are to help the puppies develop confidence and blossom their natural sense of curiosity so that they are brave and happy with new things they encounter throughout their lives. It's a lot of work, but fun and worth it!
Thank you to everyone who has reached out or just said a prayer for Rhani and the babies. I really appreciate the support and hope the prayers work to bring her home healthy and happy as she was before this all happened.
I will leave you with a few more cute photos from the past couple days.
Until next time....
... because IT HAS BEEN a few days I would rather not repeat in many ways!
I'll start with the fun stuff!
*** I am confident all 4 puppies can hear!
*** All eyes are wide open and they are all BROWN!
*** Everybody is up and motoring about pretty well even though they are slightly like drunken sailors!
*** ENS is finished.
*** Puppies have been out of the box on the floor of my office/dog room and also got to visit the living room upstairs today.
*** Now that they can see and hear in addition to smell, they are beginning to play with each other.
*** Three puppies weigh over 3 lbs and Albert is less than 3 oz away from that!
*** I introduced the artificial grass mat to the whelping box to begin training them where to do their business, but that effort has taken a step back due to other issues that you can read about later.
We've had three sets of visitors since I last posted. Dave and Margot from next door stopped by Thursday morning. (I have got to remember to take a photo the next time Dave and Margot visit!) Myrna and Nancy from Rolla came to visit on Thursday afternoon. Meg and Mike (Liam's owners) came by on their "way home" from Lawrence, KS today. All our visitors were great puppy socializers. Every puppy got equal time with all!
So I put Rhani on the other side of the pen in the same room and began only letting her in with the puppies to feed them. I looked up how often puppies this age should eat, and it said every 6-8 hours. So I was going down to let her feed them every 4-5 hours. Rhani was not happy about this. She really wants to be with her puppies. During the day, I noticed that she was very content while the puppies were nursing, but when they finished and started wandering around the whelping box, she tensed up. At one point Yadi wandered up to her face and she curled her lip at him. It was suggested to me that perhaps she had a calcium imbalance. So I got some Tums (rich in calcium) and gave them to her. After the first one, she refused them. She also was turning her nose up at the cottage cheese I've put on her breakfast for the past 6 weeks. A calcium deficiency is not uncommon close to birth and can cause the moms to reject the babies or be mean to them. I didn't really think this was the problem though because these puppies were well over 2 weeks old.
She began some other very odd behavior: She would refuse to eat until she fed the puppies. Then if I waited more than 4 hours to go down to let her feed them, she would throw up everything she had eaten. I started feeding her brown rice and chicken broth thinking that would be easy on her stomach. That did not change the behavior. She was hungry, but she WOULD NOT eat until the puppies did. And she continued to throw up everything she ate if I waited too long to go down. By Friday, I was getting very concerned. On top of this, I noticed that no puppies had pooped since Thursday afternoon. So I called the vet who wasn't able to get back to me till late on Friday. Rhani had now not kept any food down for about 48 hours and was drinking less water than she had been before this started. Also, the puppies had not had a BM for more than 24 hours. Dr. Owen gave me some ideas to try to help the puppies go - none of which worked - and told me to come in to the office this AM at 8:30 if things were not better by then. I sat with her and the puppies for about 4-5 hours on Friday evening. She was very content in the box with them and they nursed literally non-stop for the entire time. (Not everyone at once but someone was on her the whole time I was down there.)
I noticed on Friday AM that everyone had slowed in weight gain since I stopped letting her be in with them all the time. On Saturday AM, two puppies had lost weight, only one had had a BM, and Rhani had thrown up the food she ate the night before. So we went to the vet!
The puppies all got an enema to get them going. Rhani had an ultrasound to make sure there was no fluid in the uterus and a complete blood panel to rule out low calcium. Calcium was normal as was almost everything else. However, her creatinine and BUN (both kidney function values) were through the roof. BUN was 112.4 vs a normal high end value of 29 and Creatinine was 4.7 vs a normal high end value of 1.4. On top of that, her total protein levels were low. There could be many things at work here, so next we did a urinalysis that showed both red and white cells and bacteria in her urine suggesting a UTI. We discussed options to deal with the dangerous kidney function readings. I could take her to the emergency specialty service and hospitalize her for the weekend where she would be on IV fluids to flush the kidneys or we could try subcutaneous fluids and recheck her values Monday AM. I am pretty sure/hopeful that she is just severely dehydrated from vomiting all her food for two days and that the protein is low for the same reason plus she's still trying to make milk to feed the puppies (which clearly she was not or they would have continued to gain weight). She is on an anti-nausea med and clavamox (pending results of the urine culture which will dictate which antibiotic she should have). However, none of this explains why she snapped at Goldy or why she is vomiting. My theory on the vomiting is that she is doing what animals in the wild do - regurgitate food to feed it to their young. The timing of it is what makes me think that. But what do I know? Not much! That still doesn't explain her snarky behavior.
Now for my second "educational" blurb/rant: This is not for anyone who has bred responsibly because you know. My vet bill this morning as $930.23. That brings the total I have spent SO FAR on this litter of 4 puppies to $6,043.73. There will be another bill on Monday for the additional blood work to check her kidney function levels, and who knows how many other unexpected expenses will pop up. Expected expenses yet to come include BAER tests at Univ of MO at $107 per puppy, Veterinary wellness checks including the first set of shots and DNA Blood Draw, Microchipping, and AKC registrations. I will spend AT LEAST $7500 on this litter before they leave my home. I get so tired of people who think responsible breeders make a bunch of money from breeding. I will be upside down on this one. In fact, I recently added up my expenses from previous breedings vs. the income from puppies sold and was upside down overall. Breeding is not for the faint of heart and not for profit. We do it because we love our breed and want to improve it or at least preserve it! And, as an add-on... it sickens me that people pay upwards of $3,000 for mixed breed oodlewhatever puppies bred by jerks who don't know anything about breeding or do any kind of health testing. If you are offended by that last statement, I hope you at least think about it!
Ok - enough! I feel better! So does Rhani!
I will close with just some cute pictures taken since the last blog entry.
Until next time....
Me, not the puppies! But aren't Waino's and Albert's yawns cute?
I set the alarm for 4:30AM so I could be first in line with Jo Jo to run Fast CATS at Purina this AM! It was one of those first come/first served events, and I could not be away from the babies at home for very long. We were successful! Jo Jo got to run first and finished his DCAT title! But I was wiped out the rest of the day!
Since I last posted, a few things have happened!
Everyone is at least trying to open their eyes! (See mug shots below.) EVERYONE is getting up on their legs and motoring around the whelping box. Goldy is the first to pass 3 lbs, but Yadi is right on her heels. Spots are coming out more and more daily. They got their first de-worming dose today. We will repeat at 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks to ensure they don't have any nasty internal parasites. The babies got their third car ride yesterday as they came along with us for Rhani to get her sutures from the C-Section removed.
Rhani is so happy to be able to patrol her yard without a leash! The puppies are becoming more and more "assertive" eaters so I think she is happy to escape them for a few moments' peace!
I asked the Vet Tech who took out Rhani's sutures to have a look at Albert's tail. The scabs were still significant. She took him back to see the doctor who decided to remove the scabs and put him on Clavomox as a precaution. I was worried about removing the scabs, but the tail looks a lot better and I think it will heal without scarring. Donna and Rich visited today, and Donna thinks it will be fine also. All the puppies got equal time from both Donna and Rich. But meeting people now helps them get used to being handled differently and to different smells. It's early for this to count. I will start tracking how many people they meet, along with all sorts of other experiences, once they are 3 weeks old.
We took 2 week mug shots this afternoon. Enjoy!
And here is a bonus smile from Albert!
Until next time.....
Well, it's been an eventful couple days! Yesterday morning when I picked up Goldy to do ENS with her, she was looking back at me! First to open eyes - Goldy! Waino is working on getting his open too! Waino is also now making "big dog" noises. Sorry - none caught on audio, but he is making a growling noise when he doesn't like something now. It's pretty hysterical because he really is a sweet puppy! And today he was actually barking! Everyone else just squeaks and moans, but Waino is finding his big dog voice! The other great event from yesterday is that Albert passed the 2 lb mark and doubled his birth weight. He's still the smallest but he continues to grow and is about the sweetest puppy ever!
All that pumping their legs at the milk bar and little puppy stretches are building up their muscles to get up and go! Goldy - our leader of the pack - is really working at getting up on her legs to walk! Others are as well, but Goldy is most advanced at this point and most actively working on it! I predict this little girl is going to be a whole lot of fun for someone! I also predict that by the end of this week, I will be having a hard time keeping these guys in the whelping box!
Cindy and Stephen visited again today. They made sure all 4 puppies got equal time with each of them. Rhani and Jo Jo got some love from them too!
We want to make a BIG shout out to the Baby Daddy, Liam! He was awarded back-to-back Group Firsts this weekend at shows in Ohio! Way to go, GCH Liam! We can't wait to get back to the show ring!
I leave you with some random cute photos from the past 2 days. You can see spots emerging rapidly!
Until next time....
And that is good! Not a lot to report but I thought I'd give a quick "pupdate" since we've got a busy weekend.
The puppies spend all day eating and sleeping and growing! Goldy, Yadi and Waino all weigh well over 2 lbs now and Albert continues to gain weight each day. He will get there tomorrow or Sunday. His tail is still covered in scabs, but Rhani is leaving it alone, and it seems to be healing fine.
Valerie (Maxwell's person) visited on Wednesday. Waino was quite content to lay in her arms throughout the entire visit. It was great to catch up! We vowed to get together more often for walks with JoJo and Maxwell! (Maxwell and JoJo are brothers and half brothers to these puppies.). Valerie and Mike have triplets - Amelia, Campbell and Riley. They turned 20 years old on Thursday. (Happy Birthday!). Valerie told me the puppies weigh more than her kids did when they were born! How amazing is that to think about? Riley has already visited, but Amelia and Campbell are away at college. They are making a special trip home the weekend of 10/14 just to see the puppies. We love our extended JuJu family!
We continue the Early Neuro Stimulation exercises every morning. I had Dave video Albert this AM so you can see how simple these are. First you tickle the puppies foot between its toes with a Q-tip. Next you hold the puppy up vertically. Next you hold the puppy upside down vertically. Then you put him on his back. Finally, you set him on a damp cold cloth. Each exercise is just for 3-5 seconds and should only be done once per day for days 3 through 16 of their lives.
It was mug shot day for the puppies as it's been a week since the last photos. One of Maxwell's people, Riley, came over to help out! Rhani, after a few minutes of stink eye, settled down and was actually happy to see him! We took the puppies one at a time outside on the patio in the warm sunshine to take their mug shots, so they got their first breaths of fresh air too! After we finished, we took Baili and JoJo for a nice long walk together. Sorry, we failed to take photos of that! So here are the mug shots. At the end of today's post is a collage showing their one day and one week photos side by side so you can see how fast they change. Thanks, Riley, for your help!
Yadi tipped the scales this morning at 2 lbs and 5/8 oz! Waino and Goldy will likely double their birth weight tomorrow. Albert, who had the early set backs, continues to gain steadily now.
As already mentioned, Rhani is relaxing a bit. We resumed neighborhood walks today, and she enjoyed the short outings. However, when we rounded the cul de sac to head home, she picked up her pace, anxious to get back to the babies.
Thankfully Rhani has left Albert's tail alone. I am not one for gross photos, but this is amazing to me. I am very confident that Albert's tail was fine yesterday morning. I would have seen it while doing the ENS exercises. It was NOT subtle. When Stephen found it in the afternoon it was an angry red color that looked like blisters, but was not. It was "hard" as if scabbing had already started and no moisture at all. Less than 24 hours later, this is what it looks like. I have a lot of confidence in the use of Vetericyn, but I think this has more to do with how fast puppies develop at this stage, and some super regeneration of cells is at work here. Who knows? I'm just delighted that it is healing so quickly! (Getting that photo was not easy!)
Ok - enough of that! Here are the comparative mug shots for those of you who like to study puppy development. :). Who is your favorite? I think they are all pretty stinking cute!
Until next time....
Albert is fine! Here is a little video of him dining alone to prove it!
When I checked on the puppies throughout the AM they were sleeping or seemed to be finishing up eating. When we got back from Purina, it was the same. It bothered me that I had not observed Albert eating during the day, so I decided right before our dinner to weigh him. Well the scale said 12 ounces! OMG! Was he failing? Was I going to have to figure out how to tube feed him? Should I take him to the emergency clinic? You will think I am awful, but I decided to eat my dinner before doing anything since I had not eaten all day. I wolfed down a pork chop and headed back down. He was eating like a little pig, so I took a deep breath and waited for him to finish. Then I weighed him again. Now the scale said he weighed 1/4 of an ounce. Well I knew that wasn't right! I dug out our old postage scale and put him on it. It immediately registered over a pound! Shew. However, the next morning, he'd gained only 1/4 of an ounce from the day before. But he gained. And my instincts about him not eating much on Saturday were correct. I kept a close eye on him throughout the day, and he was consistently eating with gusto. I think perhaps dew claw removal might have been harder on him than the others given his weight loss early last week.His weight this AM was up to 1 lb 4 3/8 ounces. Still the smallest, but I think he's on his way now. More about Albert and not catching a break later....
We've continued the ENS exercises every morning along with weigh ins. They are becoming more tolerant of the Early Neuro Stimulation exercises (except for being upside down). The biggest puppy, Yadi, has already doubled his birth weight and is knocking on the door of 2 lbs! (Remember, he was smallest at birth!).
The babies have had two mores sets of visitors since I last posted. Our dog loving neighbors, Dave and Margot, met the puppies Sunday AM. Rhani was not much happier to see them than she was to see Linda on Friday. This afternoon, other neighbors - Cindy, Stephen and Stephen's girlfriend, Sarah - came to visit. These visits by them 10 years ago resulted in them becoming owned by a Dalmatian - Lexie, Baili's daughter. They love puppies and are great with them. Rhani got her dinner and an outing in the yard when they first arrived. She settled down eventually and gave up the stink eye!
Back to Albert not catching a break....Stephen noticed that the underside of poor little Albert's tail is basically one big scab! I assume this is from Rhani's obsessive licking. Deep sigh. One more thing to keep an eye on. I sprayed on some Vetericyn which is a miracle worker for skin abrasions. Hopefully, it will heal quickly.
The puppy Daddy, Liam, went to shows this weekend in Pennsylvania and brought home a big Group 3! Congratulations, Dad, from your Cardinal babies!
We'll do mug shots tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!
Until next time....
I like to keep a diary of the puppies as much for myself as for prospective puppy buyers and interested friends. Sadly my blogs for Lucy's and Baili's litters are no longer available due to legacy systems, but I recently reviewed the Imagine Litter blog. It was a good refresher on all kinds of things and brought back lots of good memories. Looking forward to Cardinal memories too!