The funny faces of Rhani and pups eating - ALWAYS eating!
A lot has happened since I last posted! Where to begin? Rick Rack? Puppy weights? Dew Claws? First Visitor? Early Neuro Stimulation?
How about rick rack? So, I usually use different colors of rick rack to identify puppies when they are newborns since they are mostly white. This time was no different except for Goldy since she's the only girl. I ought to be able to keep her straight! The problem this time was that no matter how many times I retied it, I kept finding puppies with a front leg poked through the ribbon around his neck. That was just not going to end well, so as we were doing the mug shots the other day, I cut the rick rack off thinking I knew who was who. Yadi is the smallest. Albert has fully finished trim. So if it wasn't the small one and it didn't have finished nose trim, it must be Waino!
Well, yesterday, when we weighed puppies, I thought the first I picked up was Waino because it was a boy, wasn't Albert and was big. Then I picked up a small puppy. Here's Yadi. Yadi had what seemed like a really low weight, but I didn't have the chart with the prior day's weight in front of me, so I wrote down the weight with some concern and went on to the next puppy. I picked up a hefty boy thinking it was Albert, looked at his face and realized it was NOT Albert. I went to the small puppy (Yadi) and discovered that was Albert! He had lost a dangerous amount of weight, He'd been the largest puppy at birth and now weighed less than the smallest puppy at birth. We finished weighing Goldy, and I called Meg. When I told her how much weight Albert had dropped, she said "That is not good". Meg is not an alarmist, so now I was really worried. She suggested a corn syrup, water and pinch of salt mixture to rub on his gums and then put him alone with Rhani to see what happened. He found a nipple and started eating. I spent a lot of time with the pups yesterday observing their behavior related to the milk bar. Turns out that Albert is eager to eat but slow to find a nipple. He spends a lot of energy looking for it while his siblings latch on and then toss and turn in their vigorous enjoyment of dining. The tossing and turning would throw Albert off and then he'd have to start his quest all over again. If the siblings weren't causing him trouble, Rhani would decide to give him a good cleaning that would sometimes knock him off. So I made sure he got some alone time throughout the day and evening before putting the others back in the box. It worked! This morning when we weighed him, he had gained 1 1/4 ounces! I think he will be just fine with a few more days of giving him a little advantage. Shew! It was a very stressful day though.
BTW - all puppies except Albert have passed the 1 lb mark in weight. I'm sure Albert will catch the others soon!
So back to Yadi and Waino. Turns out that size is not a distinguishing feature! I probably spent more than an hour trying to figure out which one was which. It probably doesn't matter, but it did to me! We had a lot of photos from the mug shots from earlier in the week so I sat down to blow them up on the screen and compare them to the puppy in my hand. Their nose trim is almost identical. The spots on their noses and snout are almost identical. There are differences in spots on the pads of their feet but I had no photos of those. Anyway, I finally found some very subtle differences that I think sorted them out, but Yadi now sports some blue nail polish on his belly so I can tell him from Waino!
Some of you may have noticed LONG toe nails in the puppies newborn mug shots. Just one more sign they were past due! I decided to do something about that yesterday. JoJo's brother, Maxwell's, family told me about a Cayfus nail grinder they purchased that was super quiet. I bought one from Smile.Amazon.com (supports DCAF!) and it really is quiet. It works ok on the adult dogs but I still use a regular dremmel for them. I hate clippers. A cut is such a definite thing. Grinding gives you warning that you are about to go too short. Anyway, I got out the Cayfus and it worked great on these tiny nails.
We also started Early Neuro Stimulation exercises yesterday. These will continue daily for 13 days. It takes very little time and is shown to have many great benefits to behavior, aptitude, and even health throughout the dogs' lives. I won't bore you here with more details, but if you want to read more, you can read it here. None of the puppies were fond of being held upside down, on their backs or sitting on a cold damp towel!
Today, started with ENS followed by their second car ride back to the vet's office for dew claw removal. Dr. Owen was impressed with their strength and vigor - even Albert. She thinks he's fine and will just take a few days to catch up in size. All the staff that helped reported that Goldy is one feisty little girl! I concur.
Finally, the puppies had their first visitor today - their Aunt Linda. Linda is my very good friend who is the reason we ever got a Dalmatian in the fist place and the reason we ever got a show dog! Rhani knows her well, but kept the stink eye on her the entire time she visited.
So it's been a busy few days.
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!