Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Litter - April and the Bonus Puppy


So, some of you may know that one of the things breeders do to assure a safe whelping is to take a pre-whelping x-ray. This is taken 3 to 5 days before the first possible whelping date to count the number of puppies expected. This way breeders can be prepared and know if after 2.5 hours between puppies they need to seek help. You are also alerted to an abnormally small or large litter which can pose their own special problems.

I took April in for her x-ray and at first Dr. Borger thought there might be 5 puppies, but when only the shadow of a skull could be seen and no other vertebrae he decided there were four. Mind you reading these things is no easy task, to the untrained eye it looks like smoke and indigestion. These pre-whelping x-rays are nothing like hips and patellas which are very clear and easy to see.

On Sunday night April was very restless, she kept me up most of night just circling and digging around in the whelping box. Then around breakfast time my sister, Donna, came over and said she would like some oatmeal, I made some instant oatmeal in the microwave, then rushed back from the kitchen to see how April was doing. She was doing just fine, she had one puppy, a boy! Five minutes later there was another one, this time a girl. My sister came back and helped me with tying off a few cords, not something she was planning on for the day!

Donna wanted to see the next puppy, and waited about and hour and half, right after she left, April produced another boy and girl in quick succession. Since there were two puppies in each horn of the uterus, this made sense. I thought she was through and after weighing the puppies and rearranging the bedding, I went off to make her some chicken noodle soup. This is a dish that most new mothers really enjoy.

April had a little soup, seemed very content and settled in to take care of the babies. I was reading in the adjoining room. Now mind you neither she or the puppies made ANY NOISE at all in the next hour. I went in to check them again and noticed the blanket was a little damp, so as I was putting down clean towels, I noticed the group of puppies seemed different than before. Hmm. What was it?

I counted them, 1-2-3-4 -- 5, what! 1-2-3-4---5! Yikes! Not believing what I was seeing, I decided to sex them, two girls, check, three boys, check, check, check. Thats right the "shadow" turned out to be a very healthy boy puppy. April was totally non-plussed by my antics, she calmly regarded me with her ears up, not anxious at all - very in control. She is just about the most confident and competent first time mother I have ever seen.

She comes by this naturally as her mother, Nightwind's Sillium, is a well known dam of many champions, who produced 8 puppies in each litter and easily whelped and raised them all.

Obviously, April takes after her mom.

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Jenna Tucci said...

I love this story -- and April is so beautiful! I cannot wait to see new pictures of the puppies. Gary and I contemplate all the time getting another one of your puppies because Vinny brings us SO MUCH joy every day. I don't know what we would do without him in our lives. Perhaps if all your puppies don't have homes, Gary and I will get a friend for Vinny!

Cher said...

Congratulations! Mom and pups look great. Always a nice to have pleasant surprizes!