Kate's Litter


1 and 3 March 2001
Kate bred to Mikey (CAN CH Fairewood Fanfare of Sandina, owned by Georgia Crompton). Day 63 from first breeding (due date) is Wednesday 2 May. Weight at time of breeding - 12.03 pounds.
25 March
Beginning of canine "morning sickness" (refusing to eat).
28 March
Vet unable to determine number of puppies, but fairly sure that she is pregnant. Blood test indicates more than one puppy.
31 March
Weight drops to 11.12 pounds.
7 April
Weight back to 12.07 pounds.
14 April
Weight 13.03 pounds.
21 April
Weight 14.01 pounds.
photo - A pensive gestating Kate. Not sure about all this frivolity of agility, but willing to play for a little bit.
photo - How wide she is ...
22 April
photo - Laying around ...
25 April
photo - At the vet's, about to find out (via an x-ray) that she is carrying at least four puppies.
photo - As wide as her door ...
26 April
photo - After getting her belly shaved ...
28 April
Weight 14.06
photo - Waiting at agility class ...
photo - Wider ...
photo - On her side ...
photo - And wider ...
photo - In her new welping box ...
photo - Another view of Kate in her welping box ...
29 April
photo - Laying around waiting ...
30 April (evening)
photo - Kate panted for three hours. I thought it was the start of labor, but it was a false alarm.
1 May
photo - I accidently left the door to the guest bedroom open. Kate went to a spot where I did not want her to have her puppies! (Which was why I was keeping the door closed.) Fortunately she later came out.
1 May (evening)
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - Kate began classic nesting behavior - furious digging for several minutes, followed by several minutes of panting, and then the whole process is repeated. I put towels down on the floor so that she would have something to "dig". Nesting is usually a prelude to labor.
photo - But after an hour and a half, Kate went to sleep (!) - and slept the rest of the night.
2 May 1000 hours
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - After about a half hour of nesting, I noticed that Kate was having contractions. It looked like she was straining to make a bowel movement. I then put her in her welping box, where she continued to have contractions. I also called my local vet and put her on "alert".
2 May 1048 hours
photo1 - photo2 - I noticed that Kate's "water" had "broken". (This lubricates the birth canal.) Kate continued to have contractions. From this point, Kate had one hour to produce a puppy, otherwise I was taking her to the vet.
2 May 1200 hours (at the vet)
Since no puppy appeared, I took Kate to the vet. An x-ray showed a puppy in the birth canal, unfortunately, its head was almost exactly the size of Kate's pelvic opening. Also the vet mentioned that there might be five puppies inside. The vet recommended an injection to stimulate contractions; if the puppy could not be "spit out" in half an hour, the vet recommeded a C-section.
2 May 1245 hours (at the vet)
Still no puppy, so the decision is made to do a C-section. The office calls in all their vet techs and the other veterinarian in the practise. (They need one person to hold and suction each puppy - make sure the puppy is breathing - as it is "delivered" by the vet doing the surgery.) At 1315 the procedure begins. I was not allowed to watch the C-section, so I did not see the beginning of this whole process (Kate being bred) nor the end (Kate having the puppies).

Week 1

2 May 1345 (at the vet)
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - I am told that there are three boys and two girls, Kate and puppies doing fine. One of the vet techs brings out one of the puppies (later called "Black"), then all of them are brought out for a group photo. It looks like four of the puppies will be "red" in color, with possibly the puppy on the far right of the group photos being "black and tan" in color.
photo - Each of the puppies gets a colored piece of yarn as a collar so as to tell them apart. This is "Pink" - a girl (naturally!) - who was the puppy trapped in the birth canal.
photo - This is "White", a boy and the runt of the litter.
The order that the puppies were "born", sex, and weight at birth
1GreenGirl136 grams(4.4 ounces)
2PinkGirl164 grams(5.2 ounces)
3BlueBoy162 grams(5.2 ounces)
4WhiteBoy96 grams(3.1 ounces)
5BlackBoy174 grams(5.6 ounces)
As I was only expecting four puppies, I only had yarn for four (green, pink, blue, and white). As the possible "black and tan" puppy is very dark in color and is easy to distinguish from the rest, he does not get a collar and is called "Black". These color names will be what the puppies are called until they go to their permanent homes.
photo - Kate recovering from the anesthesia.
photo - A much thinner Kate! Going into the surgery, Kate weighed over 14 pounds. Now she weighs just 10.13 pounds. (This is a low weight for Kate.)
photo - The puppies arrive home warmed by a hot water bottle in the blanket. For the first three weeks of life, puppies can not produce body heat and must be kept warm, in a temperature above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Consequently my house is now heated at 77 degrees. The thermostat in the photo above the box gives the temperature above a heating pad in one corner of the welping box.
photo - Blue off exploring. The puppies can only crawl.
photo - Black and Green sleeping over the heating pad.
photo - At first, Kate wants nothing to do with the puppies, no doubt feeling poorly after her surgery.
photo - Pink, Green, Black, White, and Blue, over the heating pad.
photo1 - photo2 - I had to wrestle Kate onto her side to give the puppies a chance to suckle. It is important that they suckle in the first 24 hours. The puppies are pretty clueless about the idea.
photo - Finally, White gets the idea!
2 May (evening)
photo - By evening, Kate has licked all the puppies (indicating that she "accepts" them as her's) and lets them suckle.
photo - A contented mom, with puppies underneath, keeping warm and suckling.
3 May
photo - Three heads and two bums.
photo - Curled up asleep.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - Pink, Green, White, Black, and Blue. Some personality is already evident. Pink is very vocal (all night!) White, even though he is the smallest, is a fighter - willing to push others out of his way for his share of food.
photo1 - photo2 - Why is everyone sleeping when food is available?
photo1 - photo2 - Two at once!
photo - White, Green, and Black.
photo - Kate keeping an eye on her puppies from outside the welping box.
5 May
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - After birth, the next imperative is putting weight on the puppies. All puppies lose weight the first day or so after birth. The mother does not produce much milk. If a puppy loses too much weight it can quickly "fad" and die. In spite of my efforts at supplimenting all of the puppys by hand feeding, Green began to fad very early Saturday morning.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - At the vet first thing Saturday morning, the puppies are in the box with a hot water bottle to keep them warm. Originally we came to get tails docked, but the vet thought the puppies should gain more weight so that was postponed.
photo - A last look at Green. The vet was not able to do anything for her and she died. She was a quiet and pretty bitch. I was very sad to lose her.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - photo4 - Kate making sure that the puppies stay warm.
photo1 - photo2 - Four at once! (Blue is underneath the three you can see, sucking on a lower teat.)
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - Blue decides he has had enough food and it is time for a nap.
photo - Another good place to take a nap.
6 May
Pink, Blue, and even little White finally get above their birth weight. Black is very close to his birth weight.
photo - Note the difference in size and shape of Pink and little White.
photo - Another photo of Pink and White. Note Pink's tail.
photo - Everyone sacked out after eating.
7 May
Everyone above birth weight.
photo - At the vets (again).
photo - A last look at everyone before tail docking.
photo - Pink, Blue, and Black are taken in the back to have their tails docked and, for those who need it, rear dew claws removed. (Black did not have any rear dew claws, Blue had two, and Pink only had one.) Because White is still so tiny, tail docking is postponed (again) for him and he is in the box.
photo - Kate hearing the puppies cry out.
photo - A worried mom.
photo - Kate checking out White.
The vet told me to go home and take a nap. Evidently my lack of sleep showed!
photo - Home again, but only White still has an undocked tail.
Kate is (finally) producing more milk. The puppies prefer mother's milk rather than being hand feed.
8 May
Puppies now getting all their milk from Kate. My role is reduced to making sure that little White has a fair chance at a teat and does not get pushed aside by his larger siblings.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - I am not a big fan of lopping off body parts. However the breed standard in the United States calls for docked tails ... and I must admit that I prefer the look of a Norwich with a docked tail rather than with a full tail. It took me a day to get over the guilt of having the puppies tails docked
photo - But now the puppies look like Norwich terriers.

Week 2

9 May
One week old! Their weights
PinkGirl218 grams(7.0 ounces)
BlueBoy212 grams(6.8 ounces)
WhiteBoy138 grams(4.4 ounces)
BlackBoy220 grams(7.0 ounces)
Most other Norwich litters start out at around 200 grams. Since Kate is on the small side and had a large litter, her puppies were exceptionally small and do not make the 200 gram weight until after one week.
This is the first day I am able to relax somewhat as I finally feel the puppies (with the exception of White) have a good chance of surviving. White is still a worry.

Some random observations that were unexpected. Rather than saying that puppies "crawl", a better word describing their movement would be "swim". I love the smell of puppies nursing - a yeasty, fresh bread smell (probably from the milk). I knew that it is normal for puppies to continuously "twitch", but watching them "stretch" (in contentment) certainly indicates that they are getting enough food.
photo - Blue has had enough to eat!
photo - Puppies have nails from birth.
10 May
Dr. Pullen (Kate's breeder) visits. She tells me that Black is definitely not a black and tan puppy, but either will be a dark red or a grizzle.
photo1 - photo2 - White before getting his tail and both rear dew claws removed.
photo1 - photo2 - A worried Kate.
photo - Home again with four proper looking Norwich terrier puppies. From left to right, White, Blue, Pink and Black.
11 May
photo - White at his favorite "watering hole".
photo - Besides feeding the puppies, Kate spends her time cleaning them.
photo - After everyone has eaten and been cleaned.
photo - Blue, sleeping.
photo - White, sleeping. Note that with a little weight he looks better than in earlier photos.
12 May
photo1 - photo2 - For the first time I notice that the ears, rather than being plastered to the skull, are beginning to stand up.
photo - White always seems to be the "odd" one.
photo1 - photo2 - White in the center, surrounded by sleeping Norwich puppies.
13 May
photo - Kate standing outside the welping box.
14 May
photo - Everyone feeding, from left to right - White, Pink, Blue, and Black.
photo - Another view of puppies feeding.
photo - Pink opens her eyes first. Here is a photo of Blue just starting to open his eyes.
photo - Everyone asleep after eating, except White who has not finished.
photo - Pink resting on White. Note the difference in size.
15 May
By morning everyone has their eyes open.
photo - I came home in the evening to find that White's weight had dropped and that he would not suckle.
photo - A sick White.
photo1 - photo2 - At night, if not attending to the puppies, Kate has been crawling into bed with me. Here she is checking out the puppies.

Week 3

16 May
Two weeks old! Their weights
PinkGirl396 grams(12.7 ounces)
BlueBoy394 grams(12.6 ounces)
WhiteBoy202 grams(6.5 ounces)
BlackBoy404 grams(12.9 ounces)
In the morning I took White to the vet. He is put on oxygen and started on antibiotics. I leave him at the vet's.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - The puppies are now attempting to suckle even if Mom is standing up.
photo - Mom spends a lot of her time "cleaning up" - licking the puppies to stimulate the puppies to do their "business", then eating the results.
photo - Three fat and contented puppies.
17 May
photo - At the vet's, Pink, Blue, and Black make a pinwheel.
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - photo4 - After 24 hours on oxygen, White is only a little better. Note the difference in his size compared to Blue. The decision is made to bring him home, tube feed him every four hours, and continue on antibiotics. Either he will get better or he will not ...
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - Everyone in the puppy crate.
photo1 - photo2 - Blue getting his first pedicure!
photo - A full and contented Pink.
photo - A very sick White.
18 May
White died last night. He was a fighter up till the end. I am very sad. I think I was prepared for and ready for most everything - the lack of sleep, rushing to the vet for an emergency C-section - except I did not expect the heartache and grief of losing puppies. You always wonder if their death was caused by something you did or failed to do ...
photo1 - photo2 - photo3 - photo4 - photo5 - Puppies nursing - several views from different angles.
photo - And the aftermath of nursing, everyone falls asleep - some while still nursing!
photo - Three Norwich, sleeping.
photo - Blue sleeping on Mom.
19 May
photo - Blue stretching.
photo - A close-up of a sleeping Blue.
photo - Black sleeping on Blue.
photo - Kate nursing puppies, sitting up. She has lost all her undercoat, and her topcoat hangs listless.
20 May
photo - Pink sleeping on Blue sleeping on Black.
Black is trying to walk! Rather than falling asleep immediately after eating, the puppies are moving around a little.
22 May
photo - Blue ended up on the wrong side of Mom and tries to take a shortcut to the nipples.

Week 4

23 May
Three weeks old! The puppies weights
PinkGirl0.56 kg(1.23 lbs)
BlueBoy0.54 kg(1.18 lbs)
BlackBoy0.54 kg(1.18 lbs)
photo - Pink trying to sit up.
photo - I have small hands. But the puppies that once fit inside my palm are growing so fast and now are much bigger.
24 May
photo - Pink sitting up. Black now walks pretty well and the others are trying.
photo - The puppies are now the size of a paperback book.
25 May
The puppies are responding to sounds.
26 May
photo - The puppies are now so large that their ears are flipping forward.

Contact: shakspernorwich@gmail.com