Archive for November 10th, 2020

Day 1

Tuesday, November 10th, 2020

(I call the birthday day 0 which makes today day 1)

We had a bit of a rough night, what can sometimes happen is low calcium can cause restlessness and anxiety, and that’s what happened overnight. I’m so thankful to have the amazing resource of the Canine Repro group on Facebook. So I was up all night getting calcium into Alice until we reached the level that relaxed her. Since about 5 AM she’s been calm and mothering perfectly. Today I’ll make her some special food (Mother’s Porridge) to help support her milk supply and calcium levels in addition to the Doc Roy’s Healthy Bones I’m using (they’re a balanced calcium/phosphorus supplement and they’re tasty too). She’ll stay on the calcium supplement until the puppies are weaned, and then I’ll gradually wean her off it. She may not need to be on the amount she’s on right now, I will try reducing it gradually after a day or two to find the sweet spot. Short term calcium supplementation is safe, and dogs (especially with large litters) are at risk for eclampsia, especially around the week 2 and week 4 marks, which is when the puppies really grow and put a lot of demand on her.

In addition to the calcium she’s getting 1 sunflower lecithin capsule twice daily to help prevent mastitis, plus her usual DHA supplement and probiotic.

She’s got a bowl of her regular ProPlan Sport food available at all times and I’m giving her Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Puppy canned food, which should be easy on her system (they often have diarrhea for a few days after whelping, and she also ate the placentas), so far she hasn’t even pooped though!

The lucky sevens all did GREAT overnight, everyone gained which is very unusual (usually they lose a bit in the first 24 hours then start gaining again). The average weight of the litter at birth was 194.7 grams (I weigh them in grams because I’m from Canada originally and because it’s easier to track small changes in grams), average weight this morning is 211 grams and average weight gain was 6.45 %. I have a nerd spreadsheet that calculates all this stuff for me, because math.

I generally don’t like to put collars on at birth and usually you get enough markings etc. to keep track of who’s who, poor Jim is the note taker while sleep-deprived I calls out what sex they are and what markings they have. Unfortunately this can mean that you end up with descriptions that can fit more than one puppy. I try to refine this on day 1 now that they’re dry and plumped up, so that even if I mixed up puppies between birth and day 1, it’s at least accurate going forward. Tracking weights is important because it can give you an early warning of someone not thriving who might need some extra help. I will hand feed them all a bit eventually anyway because I think it starts them feeling good things about people early on (thanks to my Rottweiler breeder friend Diane Richardson who does this and who told me about it)