However the good news is that today, the ultrasound showed four puppy heartbeats. So either there are five puppies in there (with one dead), or yesterday the puppy was turned in such a way that the heart could not be seen.
I finished setting up Paige's whelping box - the home for Paige and the puppies for the next couple of weeks. I left the room for a few moments, and came back and found Paige in the whelping box staring at me.
Waiting outside. Notice how wide Paige is. Waiting to be taken into surgery.
My first view of the puppies. From left to right, the big girl (170 grams), the little girl (100 grams), the big boy (170 grams). Usually I put colored yarn around the puppys' necks in order to tell the puppies apart ... but with this litter I suspect that may not be necessary.
Another view. The red tint is from the heat lamp.
I recently watched on DVD the HBO series "Rome". So this litter with be my "Julius Caesar" litter. So names either have to come from that Shakespeare play or from the HBO series "Rome". Actors names are also allowed. Feel free to make suggestions.
Before we left NC State, the puppies were put on Paige to nurse. Paige was still pretty groggy at this point.
Of course, what I really like to see is when Paige lays on her side and I can see everyone nursing. Puppies normally lose up to 10 percent of their body weight in the first twelve hours, but after that we want them to gain weight. I am weighing the puppies twice a day. A loss in weight is usually the first indication that something is wrong. But after a drop this morning, everyone's weight is up by this evening. (The big boy even gained more than his birth weight.) The little girl looks a lot better than when I brought her home. But she is still small compared to her siblings.
Paige's maternal instincts have really kicked in. She will not leave her puppies even to eat and drink. So that she does eat and drink, I have been periodically putting her food and drink bowl right in front of her. Paige finally left her puppies this afternoon to go outside and do her business. All the puppies were asleep and have nice round (full) bellies.
Good news! My petsitter reports that little sister gained 10 grams during the day. The other puppies also gained weight.
The puppies are now quite good at crawling ... and hiding underneath the pig-rails of my welping box. Needless to say, this always make my heart skip a beat when I walk into the bedroom, count puppies, and come up short ... until I remember to look under the pig-rails.
Of course, often the puppies just sleep where they are like little sister here. (I thought about titling this picture as "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!")
At one week of age, the puppies now weigh as follows: little sister - 188 grams), the boy (410 grams), and big sister (324 grams). So the boy had doubled his birth weight, with both sisters almost doing the same. Little sister now looks like her big sister did when she was born.
Of course, it is nice to sleep next to mommy ... until big brother comes over to get a drink.
Today both little sister and big sister doubled their birth weight.
Little sister: "Big brother makes a nice pillow."
Big sister: "Talk to my right rear paw."
A blood chemistry was normal, and the vet does not think there is a problem. But I feel better after having Paige checked out. I would rather err on the side of caution - especially since Paige had this exact problem with her previous litter.
All the junior vets and students wanted to hold the puppies. As the price to hold the puppies, I made them cut the puppies tiny nails. The puppies' nails had begun to scratch Paige's tummy when the puppies nursed.
The boy broke the half a kilogram weight mark today. Little sister broke the quater of a kilogram mark. Big sister is between the two.
And it will be several more days until their ear canals open and they can hear.
Even though all have their eyes open, the puppies still just eat and sleep (left to right - big sister, little sister, boy). Paige clearly has the puppies on some sort of feeding schedule, as she often wants to come out of my bedroom to be with my other dogs ... or to explore the yard around my house. My job seems to be "doorman" - opening and closing the gate so that she can come out of my bedroom. Then a few minutes later opening and closing the gate so that she can check on her puppies. Then a few minutes later, letting her back out again ...
Today was "weigh day" at my house ... where every dog gets weighed. Paige now weighs 5.765 kg, down from 7.0 kg right before she had the puppies.
I had a visitor today. The first visitor to my new place. Unfortunately Paige took great exception to this person being in the house. She evidently thought this person was going to steal her puppies. She barked and barked, so much so that she made herself slight hoarse. I had not realized how strong her maternal instincts really are.
Today I noticed "puppy breath" - the slightly yeasty and wonderful small of a puppy's exhaled breath. If we could only bottle it!
At the slightest noise outside, Paige leads the charge to scare off any (wildlife) intruder. I do not mind, unless and until she gets out of sight. Then I call everyone back (for which they get a treat for coming back). At night of course, I close my doggy fence so that no one can go far ... just enough to go outside to potty.
Today is Paige's birthday. She is five years old. It seems like only yesterday that she was one of the puppies crawling around the welping box.
The puppies are starting to respond to sounds, which means that their ear canals are starting to open.
The puppies now weigh: little sister (515 g), boy (858 g), and big sister (704 g). Today little sister joined her siblings in the "over half-a-kilogram club".
Here is the boy sleeping. A moment later, he did a long stretch as if waking from a nice nap.
An invader in the whelping box! Wrestling the invader. And now that the invader is vanquished, it is time for a nap.
Today the puppies had their first long car ride ... from North Carolina to Maryland. The reason for the trip was so that some of my dogs (which included Paige and her puppies) could stay with a friend in Maryland, while I (and some of my other dogs) could travel to the Montgomery Terrier Agility Cluster in Pennsylvania. The puppies were good travellers in their crate.