Puppies have arrived here at Forest King!! Kyler decided to show signs of labor last night around 10pm. (We had been at the VCCNE club versatility day for the whole day, I had friends checking on her during the day, just in case.) She nicely kept me awake all night needing to go out every hour or so and panting next to me on the bed. As much as I tried to convince her, she just wasn't going to go into the whelping box until absolutely necessary.
Here is Kyler right after delivering her first puppy, a female. The first puppy was born a little before 7am and the last puppy was born a little before 9am. There are a total of 5, as suspected. 3 girls and 2 boys. We lucked out, we have "reservations" for 3 girls, so we were really hoping that we would have enough. Just squeaked by. This next one is right after she delivered her 2nd puppy, another girl. Incidently the light in the corner looks like it is on, it is just the sun shining in a strange spot. The lamp is actually a ceramic bulb that does not emit any light, which is better for the puppies eyes.
Also, just as an aside. I believe in letting the mother do everything that mother nature intended her to do with taking care of her puppies. The only thing I will do is help to get the sac off the head initially if not already done, and I suck out their mouths with a bulb syringe. I do not believe in taking the puppy away to clean it, tieing the umbilical cord and packing it away in a warming box until the next one comes. I think this goes against everything that the dog does by nature. Also, taking the puppies away from mom does not allow them to nurse. Nursing releases Oxytocin, which aids in uterine contractions and furthers the birthing process.
These puppies are smaller then her first litter last year, but still appear very healthy. I think her poor appetite this year made for smaller puppies, which is fine, it made it easier for her to have them! Last year she had a few puppies that were a solid pound, with some just below a pound. This year she had one that was a pound, but most were significantly under that. The smallest was 9oz., which was the size her smallest puppy was last year. Hopefully all the puppies will continue to be healthy and happy! Here is Kyler with her whelping box all cleaned up and all the babies born. She is a content mom with her new babies!