After weeks of anticipation, the big day finally arrived (and 2 days early)! We knew Jasmine would deliver her puppies soon because her temperature had dropped, she stopped eating, and became restless. Our good friend and fellow lab breeder, Ellen Moon, came and offered a helping hand. X-rays taken on 3/25 showed at least 8 puppies with a possibility of a few more hiding behind the others. X-rays are not 100% accurate, but it is good to know the minimum number of puppies to expect. Jasmine had her first puppy at 10:30 am, totally upside down and backwards! That is, feet first and belly up. Backwards is called a breech position and is harder for the pup to be delivered that way, even harder upside down, but she did it! And she had 3 other puppies the same way! By 1:30 pm, Jasmine delivered 7 puppies, all healthy and able to nurse right away. Then, we waited for #8...and waited, and waited! After 2 hours, Ellen examined Jaz and discovered that a puppy was stuck just a few inches away from being delivered (on the pelvic brim). After a call to our vet, we gave Jasmine a shot to stimulate contractions and waited a little more. After 10 more minutes of contractions, Jasmine pushed the pup out far enough for Bill to grasp the pup and pull her out the rest of the way - whew! That was tough on all of us, especially the little yellow girl. 1 more pup was delivered at 4:45 pm, which turned out to be the last one. Jasmine was tired but relaxed and happy to be feeding her puppies. All the puppies were weighed and collars were put on them. Jasmine had 3 black males, 3 black females, 2 yellow males and only the 1 yellow girl. They weighed between 13 ounces and 16 ounces.
After a quiet night, Jasmine and the puppies took a trip to the veterinarian on March 29th, who confirmed that all were doing fine, Jasmine looked in great shape, and the puppies were all healthy. They are all nursing well and have all gained weight already. We are so thankful for this litter of beautiful, healthy puppies and look forward to raising them over the next 8 weeks.
2013 WEEK 1Jasmine and her puppies all did great this week! All the puppies at least doubled their weight in the first week, which is excellent. They are all over 2 lbs each now. Their eyes and ears are still closed, but some have been getting up on all 4 feet and trying to walk instead of crawl. We started Early Neurological Stimulation exercises (also known as SuperDog Training) with them on Day 3. This was started by the US military with their dogs and helps them become more adaptable and less fearful of new situations later in life. You can see the exercises on this week's video below.
2013 WEEK 2The puppies are walking around their box now although they are still pretty clumsy. Their eyes and ears opened around Day 14 so they have so much to see and hear now! We run the vacuum cleaner around their box to get them used to loud noises, but none mind at all. We also clipped their toenails for the first time -they are very sharp and can cut Jasmine. We started bottle feeding them extra milk twice per day to be sure they all get enough to eat. We use a special milk replacer from Nature's Farmacy that is as close to mother's milk as we can get and all the puppies love it! We weigh the puppies every day to be sure they are gaining weight. They are all healthy and doing great! All weigh between 2.8 and 3.1 lb, with Palmer (orange collar) being the heavyweight.
2013 WEEK 3This is such a cute time for the puppies! They are walking much better now and learning they can bark and play. They can be quite noisy when they want to be fed! They have been out in the living room with Jasmine and exploring a little. The puppies were so big and curious, they started climbing out of their box! So we changed the whelping box out for a 4'x8' x-pen with a crate inside, so they get used to going in and out of the crate. Some of them sleep inside the crate, some outside on a blanket. They are now standing and lapping up their extra milk from a saucer instead of the bottle. Jasmine still feeds them about every 3 hours too, but she will wean them soon because they're teeth are coming in. They are all gaining weight and weigh between 3.6 and 4.4 lbs - Palmer is still the big boy with Russell (black collar) not too far behind! Jasmine is still doing most of the work, so we are enjoying playing with the puppies and watching them grow.
2013 WEEK 4The puppies have teeth now and know how to bite! So we started weaning them onto a soupy mash of pureed puppy food, milk and water. They didn't hesitate, just gobbled it right up. All the toenails were clipped again too. They have been playing in the living room with their toys - stuffed animals, some rope toys and balls. At this age, we supervise them with all their toys. New puppy owners, here are some ESSENTIAL PUPPY ITEMS to look for: tip-proof stainless steel water and food bowls, a crate and blanket, correct collar and leash for their size, toys (rubber kong-type toys, ropes, stuffed toys with supervision - please no rawhide or "greenies" - they are indigestable and can cause intestinal problems), gates for "off-limits" areas.
2013 WEEK 5We had lots of visitors this week so the puppies had plenty of playtime and socialization. We enjoyed meeting some new puppy families and everyone had fun playing with the puppies. They are definitely more active now and have fun running around the living room with their toys, hiding under tables and behind the couch. We feed them in the living room, so they run right for their bowls when we let them out of their x-pen. Their food is more solid now, but we are still soaking it in water first. Jasmine only lets them nurse for a minute or two now, and she is teaching them not to bite by pushing them away and showing her teeth. Next week, adventures in the Great Outdoors!
2013 WEEK 6Lots of changes this week! The puppies are now eating solid food and are growing fast. They all weigh over 10 lbs - wow! They took their first steps outside and are now LOVING their outside puppy yard - so much room to run, explore, and lots of new toys to play with. We give them different surfaces and toys to run on and play with since they are learning so much at this age. This helps them be more adaptable and well-adjusted later in life. They also had toenails trimmed again and their second dose of worming medicine.
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