Gulliver X Daisy Puppies – 2 weeks old

So much to see !!

The puppies have all had a fantastic week and are growing and developing well !!   The biggest change this week has been the opening of eyes — this is always my favourite part of puppy development.  I love being able to look into their eyes and wonder what they are thinking as the world takes on a whole new dimension for them !   Of course things will still be quite fuzzy at this age — but it seems to instantly give each puppy a deeper level of personality when you can look into their beautiful face and see someone looking right back at you !

The puppies have all been eating well and I think Mr. Green and Mr. Blue in particular must be raiding the refrigerator late at night between feedings — as they are quite chunky and seem to have an endless appetite.   All the pups are weighing in at around the 3 pound range (around 1.40 kg) with the girls weighing slightly less than the boys.    Little Charlie is still inching along and has now finally made it past his birthweight and is weighing around 370 grams.    He is definitely a midget compared to his siblings – but he doesn’t seem to mind – so for now he will remain with everyone as he loves their company and somehow they seem to sense that he needs extra snuggling and protection.    He is really doing amazingly well considering the rough start he had and in most respects he is just like the others — he loves having his ears rubbed and enjoys any time he can cuddle with one of our family.

The puppies are also becoming more mobile getting a bit sturdier every day on their legs.    They are generally quite a quiet bunch unless Daisy is delivering the latest meal – in which case you can hear their excited little squeals which are quickly followed by contented gulping sounds 🙂 

We look forward to another exciting week as the puppies will start to spend more time awake and playing. We will fondly watch each one as they start to take on their own little personalities….

Brotherly Love: Mr Purple and Mr. Red keep a loving paw around Charlie

Gulliver X Daisy Puppies (1 week old)

Mealtime at Daisy's milk bar

The time has certainly flown by and here we are already at the one week mark for Daisy’s puppies.   Daisy has been doing an exceptional job as a mum – especially considering that she herself was recovering from a C-section and probably was dreaming of lying under a shady tree somewhere, not tending to 8 little, hungry mouths.    For the first few days she would not even leave the pups’ side for food — and I basically had to put a leash on her to get her to leave for a potty break.    These last few days she is more willing to go for a short walk or swim – but she always bounds back to the house full speed to check on her babies and prefers to always have them in her sight.

The puppies are all growing in leaps and bounds with all the boys weighing within the 900-1000 gram range (except for Charlie) and the girls being a bit lighter (which is to be expected).    They are all hearty eaters and look forward to each and every mealtime.    Charlie (who is Mr. Chocolate in the litter) is weighing 300 grams now – which may not seem like much but it has been a Herculian accomplishment for all of us !

We had noticed by day 2 after the puppies had arrived that all the puppies were gaining well except for Charlie.  It didn’t seem to matter how much I positioned him in the best dining spot or how often I encouraged him to nurse from Daisy – he just wasnt gaining.    He appeared to be suckling – but in actuality he was just going through the motions… he was not getting any milk at all.    We soon discovered that Charlie has a cleft palate — which I have never experienced with a puppy in any previous litter – so the signs of Charlie’s struggle had caught me completely off guard.     Day 3 and 4 were spent trying to get Charlie re-hydrated and experimenting with how we could best feed Charlie that would pose the smallest risk and the best results. Unfortunately bottle feeding did not work either — so we are now using a 1 ml syringe to drop formula slowly into Charlie’s mouth.     Usually he will only take small amounts at a single feeding – anywhere from 2-5 mls. – so we have been feeding him approximately every hour (every two hours during the night) whenever he will take it.   Sometimes it appears that he just gets frustrated so some days are better than others as far as how much we can get him to consume.  The sad part is that he really wants to suckle – but due to the nature of a cleft palate he has no suction to do this and the milk just goes up into his nasal cavity.   It seemed to take forever for him to level off with his weight — he just kept losing.    He had dropped down to 280 grams which was well below his birthweight – but fortunately he is back on the upward turn and is 300 grams this morning.   Hopefully now we can get some substantial progress with weight gain…. The biggest concerns for the next couple of weeks will be avoiding pneumonia and sinus infections.   But Charlie is a fighter – and as long as he is not suffering and appears to be in good spirits – I will do everything that I can to help him.    Other than the lighter weight – he is just like all of the other puppies in his family; crawling around the whelping box to explore and snuggling up with the others.  He even still tries to nurse from Daisy even though those efforts are fruitless.  If we make it through the next couple of weeks – there is a chance that the palate could gradually close itself – or later on there is also a minor surgery they can perform to cover the area with skin.   For now I am just thankful for each day that we have with him and I am reminded again of just what a miracle life is.

The rest of the clan spend most of their day sleeping or eating….  Mr. Green and Mr. Blue in particular always seem to be first in line for mealtime.  I am sure if they could talk they would be asking for a steak dinner already….   All the pups are quite mobile as they move around the whelping box – they are getting strong and steady on legs as they explore or scurry to mum upon her return from a walk.

They seem very content and although they can get a wee bit noisy when dinner is about to be served for the most part they are a very quiet and happy bunch.    It will be exciting to see them grow and develop even more in this coming week and we can hardly wait to see what new adventures await.

Gulliver X Daisy Puppies — They’ve arrived !!

Daisy with her 8 beautiful babies

It has definitely been an interesting few days around our household – but most importantly Daisy and Gulliver’s pups arrived safely this morning around 8:30 a.m. following an emergency C-section.    We are now the proud guardians of 6 beautiful baby boys and 2 sweet little girls — and both mum and pups are doing excellently.

Daisy already began showing labour signs late on Saturday afternoon.  Through the night Saturday and then all day Sunday she paced and panted, begged to go outside to build a den for her babies in the garden (the place SHE really wanted to have her babies), and piled up all the blankets and towels we had prepared in the whelping box.    However – as time passed it became obvious that things were not really progressing as they should — and early this morning the decision was made to perform a Cesarian Section on Daisy.   I am SO extremely thankful for the team of dedicated professionals at Centennial Animal Hospital in Bracebridge for taking such good care of Daisy and really doing an amazing job in the delivery of her puppies.   Dr. Duder and Dr. Lehman are to be applauded for their wealth of knowledge and expertise, as well as their compassion and dedication to the well-being of their patients. I feel very grateful that they were able to help us during this critical time – as the outcome could have been much different without their assistance.

Daisy is now already back here at home — Not an easy day for her:  Surgery to deliver her puppies and then a trip back home, followed by the demands of 8 hungry mouths to feed.   We are trying to give her as much support as possible to make her recovery quick and easy.

The puppies all seem quite oblivious to their strange entry into the world and are enjoying being with mum and feasting at the milk bar.   Now the real adventure begins !!

More updates to come….

Gulliver X Daisy puppies – Day 57 (Pre-parturition)

Golden Retriever puppy fetus

Well we are now entering the “final stretch” for Daisy and her little ones.  Thanks to National Geogrpahic the above photo can give you some idea of how the puppies are looking around this time.  The babies can apparently be born safely anytime from now on — but I have found that my mums-to-be generally go the full term which is approximately 63 days (which I am SO thankful for !).   

Daisy’s abdominal area is now measuring about 93 cms.     She really doesnt seem to have much room for food and is rather picky with her meals these days (and who can blame her !!) — so we continue to cater to whatever food she is currently accepting and we keep portions smaller and more frequent.

Daisy has turned in her retriever ways for simple wading in the lake now and still gets rather excited when she sees I am ready to throw a stick or the toy for everyone — but once she gets in the water she has second thoughts and only wades along the shoreline.    I can’t say I blame her as I can only imagine how tiring it must be getting carrying around all the extra weight (and passengers) she has accumulated !!

The puppies have now fully developed their puppy features – however they continue to grow and finish the last stages of development.   We can easily feel the puppies moving when Daisy is resting and I’m sure it is starting to get quite crowded in there.

The whelping box is all set and ready to go and we will monitor Daisy’s temperature now daily – as any significant drop will signal the pending onset of labour. 

We will be looking forward to the big event now with great anticipation and will make sure to update the blog with all the details as soon as they are available !!

Gulliver and Daisy Puppies (Day 51 Pre-parturition)

Daisy at 50 days gestation

Well our beautiful girl Daisy continues to expand this week with her abdomen now measuring 89 cms.    She has slowed down considerably the last few days and usually just wades around in the lake now instead of her usual all-out swim for sticks and balls.    She is still in great spirits though and prances around the shoreline while the younger ones and big boy Steele carry on with all the action.

Daisy is getting quite full looking so her meals have become much smaller but more frequent.   I don’t think there is a whole lot of room left in her stomach area these days — so we try to supply as many little meals as she can handle.   She continues to eat well with a base of kibble mixed with fresh veggies, fresh meat and yogurt or eggs – whatever she is in the mood for.

The puppies continue to grow although all of the major features are in place so development now takes place mostly in the form of increased size.    Before we know it the big day will be here — We are just trying to make these last two weeks as comfortable as possible for Daisy and we will continue with light exercise so she can stay in tip top shape for the puppies’ arrival.   

For me personally – It is now time to get all of those last minute things done around the house that will quickly get moved to the bottom of the priority list once the little ones are here !   We will have a busy week and look forward to the next update….