Puppy Updateshttp://www.potomacvalleysams.com/Samoyed_Puppies_Photos.html

Friday, March 9, 2012

I (the breeder, Jan) consider myself a conscientious dog owner, but have already learned some things you won't find in the books.  For example:

1) Not all spot on flea and tick treatments can be used on pregnant bitches.  Vectra, the one I use, because my dogs react to Frontline, is one that has not been tested.  My other dogs can continue to use it, but Irish cannot while pregnant or nursing.  Recommend you clear your flea/tick treatment with your vet before you breed.

2) My dogs are on heartworm medicine, Interceptor (milbemycin oxime), year-round.  The package states it also treats the dog for worms.  It does, but even with a clear stool sample at the vets and no symptoms, most dogs still have worms and should be de-wormed periodically. The bitch must be de-wormed with Panacur (liquid) about day 42 for 3 days and during the last week of pregnancy for 3 days.  De-worming minimizes transplacental and transmammary transition to the puppies of parasites.  Not de-worming risks the health of the pups and the potential for runts.  And you still have to de-worm the pups at 3, 6, and 8 weeks of age!

3) You also need to de-worm your other dogs and cats at the same time.  Many of these parasites are passed in the stool and can be picked up from the soil and ingested when the dog licks its paws, eats something dead, eats stool or ingests a flea.  Too gross to think about but you have to.  Step up your poop patrols in your yard and keep an eagle eye on what they eat when you're on your walks.

Puppy Weight Chart

(by week)http://samoyedmoms.com/Puppy_Weights.html

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Well, we're getting close--10 days to D-Day (Delivery Day).  Virtually all the supplies are here.  Whelping pen should arrive Monday.  Irish definitely looks "preggars."  She has a round little tummy and her girlish waistline is gone.  I think she is now feeling the puppies moving around.  She normally sleeps like a rock at night but the last couple of nights she has been waking up a couple of times and coming over to the side of the bed wanting me to pet her.  My friend, Cathy, who is a nurse, was at the house today, used her stethoscope and could hear the puppies' heartbeats.   We see the vet on Monday and will find out how many puppies there really are (sonogram showed 7) and, hopefully, get reassurance that Irish should be able to deliver them without any problems.  I'll be setting up the room next week and will see if I can get her comfortable in the whelping box.    

Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish finished the first round of Panacur for possible parasites.  She didn't have diarrhea (thank goodness!) and I didn't see anything in the stool (which doesn't mean anything but is still comforting to me).  However, I have learned that getting 10 cc of liquid Panacur down a dog's throat is not as easy as you think.  First time is hard, second time is harder.  Dogs have an amazing way of closing their throats while you're trying to squirt it down the back of their throats with a syringe.   No matter how fast you are, they're faster.  I figured out after the second try that mixing the liquid Panacur with food solved the problem.  I mixed the full 10cc in cottage cheese on the third day and she gobbled it up.  I learned from Harry's breeder that Panacur also comes in a powder which can be simply sprinkled on the mother's food.   I'm going to ask vet about it but at least I know Irish will eat the liquid when mixed with cottage cheese.  Lesson learned:  liquid medicine goes down easier in food just as pills go down easier with Pill Pockets or in a ball of cheese or meat.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The first six weeks ends tomorrow.  As Irish' morning sickness disappeared, her appetite grew.  She also still doesn't look pregnant because of all the fur, but you can feel her hard nipples and her round belly.  Per the vet's instructions, I've been increasing Irish's food intake so that it is now 150% of her usual amount and amount of protein is over 32%. She was already on a high protein kibble so I did not have to go through an adjustment of changing dog food brands.  She will stay on this diet through her pregnancy.  I increased her breakfast by adding half a cup of kibble and a dollop of cottage cheese or plain yogurt to her usual and have added a mid-day meal of kibble, a couple of squirts of salmon oil, and a protein such as scrambled eggs, roast chicken, cooked salmon, cooked tilapia, sardines in olive oil, canned tuna, ground beef, or turkey.  Her dinner is the usual--kibble, 1/2 cup vegetables such as green beans, beets, carrots, pumpkin, lima beans, or diced tomatoes, and a dollop of cottage cheese, yogurt, and one of the fishes or meats.   The biggest challenge was feeding her at lunch but not the other two dogs.  They were upset that they were excluded so I reduced their kibble at breakfast to half and give the other half at lunch.  It's only a few bites but they're happy.  I don't need for them to gain weight.

Tomorrow I start her first worming.  The vet gave me liquid Panacur for both Irish and the puppies.  The worming is for three days.  I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't cause diarrhea.  

I'm also trying to decide on a kennel name.  Tough.  I was advised by other breeders to keep the kennel name fairly short because of the AKC's space limit for dogs'  names.  I was also advised to check the SCA list of approved kennel names so I didn't accidentally duplicate someone else's.   I checked Samoyed Club of America's list of kennel names and everything I came up with at first had been taken.  Forget anything with white, polar, crystal, snow, or ice in it.  They've been used with every variation conceivable.  I've come up with a list of seven names and have asked several friends for their opinions.  I'll end up with a first and second choice.  The SCA list that is posted on its website is as of 2010 so the likelihood of one of my choices being taken by another Samoyed owner in 2011 is pretty good.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Irish saw the vet today.  She had an x-ray which showed 8 puppies definitely, probably 9.  Irish had gas which was blocking some of the view.  As a result, the vet could not see the head of the 9th puppy but could see the legs.  So 9 puppies or 8 puppies, one with 8 legs.  I think the 9 is more likely.  The puppies are all about the same size, estimated at 10 ounces, which is a good thing.  None too large or small.  Irish is now 56.8 lbs.  She examined Irish as well and said that she should be able to deliver normally without problems.  I am still comforted by the fact she is on call at all times if I run into any problems.  Tam and Cathy were there as well, and the vet gave us a great tutorial on what to do and how to recognize any problems.  Came home from the vet and found six boxes containing the whelping and weaning pens.   I know what I'll be doing Tuesday.  D-Day (Delivery Day) is one week away.  It's starting to get very real.  

Monday, April 2 

Irish and her puppies had a great day -- all had hearty appetites and lots of naps.  The puppies continue to add weight at a healthy pace (see their weight chart).  As healthy puppies do, their regimen is eat-sleep-repeat.  Might add to that:  exercise vocal cords.  Still far from the trademark “woo-woo” of mature Samoyeds, but their squeeky vocalizations are familiar to any who have been in the presence of newborn sammies (especially when ravenous, which is pretty much whenever they aren’t asleep).  The aural development of Samoyeds is nearly as remarkable as their physical maturation as their vocalizing transforms from these newborn high-pitched squeeks to sounding like a flock of seagulls at five weeks and then they discover the joys of “Arf!” around 7 weeks and will be howling and probably woo-wooing (or roo-rooing) within months.  There are exceptions to this rule (see GidgMom’s “Gidget” a.k.a.: The Happy Yapper). 

Irish, who in addition to natural births, endured a c-section on Saturday, has regained her appetite (especially for her faves:  salmon filets and vanilla ice cream), is staying well hydrated and has resumed bowel movements.  Her veterinarian is very pleased.