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duckbuster

Labs & anyone else, it's almost go time!!!!

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LABS, we are getting close to whelping time, one week from this Friday. Can you try and answer some questions

1)How many heat lamps do you use?

2) If she happens to have a puppy somewhere other than the whelping box, can you move the mother into the box for the rest of the delivery?

3) When she is having the 2nd, 3rd ,4th & 5th do we take the already born puppies out of the box for safety reasons?

4) Any specific instructions on immediate puppy care after the mother has done her cleaning?

5)Anything else that you or anyone else thinks is important please tell me.

Ultrasound says 5-6 so I want to make sure we don't do something stupid to lose or hurt one of our new little friends!!!

THANKS!!!!!

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1.) I use 1 heat lamp. I set it in a corner next to a 'bumper' rail. That way if Mom is hot she can lay off on the otherside of the pen and if the pups are cold or Mom is out, they can snuggle up under the lamp. You'll be surprised how fast they grow out of the heat lamp...

2.) Start having Mom spend time in the whelping box the week prior to delivery. That way she is accustomed to it. Keep fresh paper down and as the due date draws near, she will start 'nesting' and tearing up the paper. Always make her sleep in the whelping pen, that way if she begins to deliver, she will already be in the right spot. If she starts some where else, move her and her pup(s) as soon as possible to the pen.

3.) I only leave the pup in with Mom to let her clean them and to get their first drink of milk... This is the best milk with the most colostrum which they need to build up their antibodies. Once she begins to contract on the next pup it's off to the 'ready box' until you and she are all done. I use an old heavy box from a case of Shlitz beer longneck bottles. I wrap a warm water bottle in a heavy terry cloth towel and lay the pups on that with a light towel over the top. This keeps them warm and content till they get back with Mom.

4.) Make sure the pups are breathing. A pink tongue and moving head is a good sign. I remove the placenta and amniotic sack myself. This way I can account for all of those and know that she has not retained one. Also, allowing her to eat too many of them can make her sick or give her diarehha. One won't hurt and the old timeers swear it helps in milk production and to move contractions along. If a pup isn't breathing, start with some nose pinches and see if you can get them to squeel.. use an infant bulb to suction their nose if need be... the head tip method works great too. In essence, wrap the pup in a small towel (so they don't slip out of your hand), head between you 1st and second fingers, their back on you palm, firmly but gently tip them down head first to clear any fluids in their lungs. I always let Mom have 1st crack at getting them going... she will lick them and toss them around and then you know all is fine when they start squirming. Let them have a drink of milk and into the ready box.

5.) Mom will feel 'empty' when you are done. If she hangs up between pups, take her outside for a little walk around the yard. Keep her close and carry a dry towel with you in case a pup squirts out while outside. The walking motion seems to get them going again. Most pups are presented in 20-45 minutes stages. 2-3 hours sometimes is not uncommon, more than four may mean proplems. Talk to your vet and see if they will leave a dose of oxytocin with you to get her going again if her contractions end and you know there are still pups in her. They seem to come in the middle of the night and if you go four hours and it's 3 in the morning, it will save you a trip to the emergency vet. Be ready for breech pups... not real common, but I've had to assist on at least 3 occassions. Rubber glove and vaseline, slowly feel for the whelp and try to get 2 fingers around the pelvis area, slowly and gently apply a little pressure on contractions to help her get it through the birth canal.

I may think of more... also buy a book called 'The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies' by Muriel P. Lee... It will answer almost every question you have.

You can call me if need be and I can talk you through most problems... or if you just have any other questions. 651 341.4581

Good Luck!

Ken

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Labs has done this more than I have but I might suggest KY Jelly instead of Vasoline. I work P/T in healthcare and we are never supposed to use petroleum based products because the body has a harder time getting rid of it. KY is water based and will pass naturally out of the body. Good Luck and have fun with the pups!! Post pics when you get a chance.

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ThanksXedge... my wife the nurse would've killed me for saying vaseline... she made sure it was a tube of KY jelly. I guess I get in the habit of saying a name brand (ie: Kleenex or Q-tip) to describe the product. I make her get all the med. stuff ready for me! grin.gif I just do the dirty work... She's there for back-up too! And she does a great job with the pups... she bottle fed one pup for 2 weeks that I had thrown in the towel on. Even the vet thought there was little hope... she fed that pup every 2-3 hours and would not give up... That pup is doing great to this day and living with my friend's parents.

Good Luck!

Ken

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THANK YOU!!!

Hopefully there will none of the two finger operation as you as you so eloquently put it.

I will certainly keep you updated as we finish this breeding/litter up.

Thanks Again

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Small scissors for trimming umbilical cords that mom leaves long, iodine for putting a couple drops on each umbilical cord, multi-colored yarn for puppy collars to tell them apart... We use a grocery box to seperate pups from mom. Once she gets them clean and they have a snack, they go into the box with clean sheets and IV bottles sealed full of water that can be thrown in the microwave occassionally for warmth. We have a complete whelping kit including digital scale for daily weigh ins that I would loan out. Labs knows how to contact me if interested. Good luck.

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How many days should there be someone close by or at home with them after the delivery day?

Just trying to figure out if I will need to take some days off from work.

Thanks

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It's VERY rare for them to go more than 2 or 3 days tops past their due date. If anything, they come a day or 2 early.

Start taking her temperature 3-4 days prior to her due date. When it drops 1-2 degrees below normal and stays there for at least 12 hours continuously, she will deliver within the next day. This is a never fail way of knowing her delivery time.

Good Luck!

Ken

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How about after the puppies are born?

Is there a certain amount of days you need to pay real close attention to see if the mother is ok with the pups?

Thanks

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You would know right away... I'd say within the 1st 24 hours. Sometimes they'll act a little confused when it's their 1st litter, by you generally see the doating mother come out in them after all has settled down. On the outside chance she is 'rejecting' her pups, keep her away from them when you're not around. The heat lamp will keep them warm. Make her feed them at least every 2-3 hours, stay with her and comfort her when she is around them. Hopefully she warms up to them. If not you will have to keep this regiment up till they are weaned. If she refuses to 'clean' them herself. A soft warm wash cloth gently stroked on their bellies, while they are laying on their backs, will get them to eliminate until they are doing so on their own. When is "go" day? Friday? Hope all goes well...

Good Luck!

Ken

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Once Mom is nursing her hormones will come in line and she will get motherly. At first she may be perplexed at what is going on. Your help will be appreciated. You have some great info so far. As to times of feedings I usually go every 2 hours at first. Some drink better than others. Some teats have more milk i.e. the ones closest to the front. Rotate pups on different spigets to make sure they all get full bellies. The color coding helps to track who goes where and who is eating well. The scale helps more than you would think too. Being able to weigh how much they are and then after feeding how much they gained. it does help you keep them all in good condition.

Good info on the small scissors for cutting the cord. I clamp it with a hemostats about 2" from puppy the then cut. Leave clamp attached to insure clotting and then as mentioned dip in iodine.

I have had to do the puppy swing to clear lungs before and it works very well. Usually clear the nose and rub them very well and then a little inverted swing to clear any fluid, if necessary.

One thing not mentioned yet is that you want to check for urine to come so when you do pick them up rub the area with the towel and get them to pee and eventually #2 as well(in some hours or the next morning).

One last thing is to check for cleft pallets. Just open up the mouth and see the tongue is not attached. Better to know right away.

Pups need to have the dew claws done on about day 3 so reserve the vet time once she whelps. This will be when Mom will get her final dose of oxytocin, if needed, and any antibiotics if there are issues.

Eyes open about day 14, ears about day 10. Then soon it will be time for puppy slop! The wonderful time when you get to see them pile into a pie dish full of liquified dog chow. Add water in the blender full and let sit until absorbed. I then blend until liquid. If you have it I also add some milk replacer to it and some more water. It has made the transition to food/off of mom easier.

Last thing will be to dry Mom up. Some like to, others just let them be. I think there is value in it to reduce some of the excess mammary tissue from sagging and getting injured in the field.

Good luck! At least it is only 5-6 so you will not run out of spigets and have to bottle feed every other time.

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You have a lot of good info here. The only thing I haven't seen that I keep around is vitamin k powder to stop the bleeding if mom chews the cord too short. Take a deep breath & be morel support for mom.

GOOD LUCK!!

Ike

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THANKS EVERYONE!!!!!

So, if mom is doing everything she is suppose to it is OK to leave them alone in the house all day after the first 2-3 days?

"Go time" is Friday or Saturday next week.

I really appreciate all the great info.

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I'd say you should feel comfortable after the 1st day or 2. Just make sure all seems to be going as you'd expect the mom / pup thing should look like. Make sure she gets plenty to eat and drink... and watch her for any fever. Have you switched her over to puppy food yet? I always do this the last 1-2 weeks prior to whelping and while she is nursing. It has more fat and other nutrients to help her produce milk and stay in better physical condition. Just switch her over gradually mixed 50-50 with 2-3 small meals a day over 3-4 days. Then feed straight puppy food till she has weaned the pups.

Good Luck!

Ken

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Ya, she has been on puppy food for about 2 weeks now.

Now it's off to the Vets this weekend to get a list of things we will need like the things you guys have mentioned and more.

It looks like I have them all spoken for which eases the mind. One to Maryland, one to the state of Virginia, one to Texas, One to South Carolina, one to Fargo and one to my nephew up north.

Now I hope & pray that it is a smooth delivery and everyone is healthy!!!!

THANKS AGAIN!!!!

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Hey guys, well it's over and everything went real well. Ultrasound said 5-6 with maybe one hiding. Well she put 9 on the ground. 4 black & 5 Yellow, all healthy, as is momma!!

THANKS AGAIN for ALL the replies!!!!

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Good Job! Glad to hear all went as planned. In all the x-rays and 1 ultra-sound I've gotten, I have yet to have one that has been right. I put little faith in any of them any longer. I use it to 'judge' if it's a big litter or little litter, that's about it. Again glad things went well, enjoy the next 2-3 weeks....! Then the work begins!

Good Luck!

Ken

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With that many pups, depending on how big the mom is and how much milk she can produce, watch carefully to see that all the pups are getting a full amount. Rotate on the spigets and if you think she does not have enough then bottle feed 1/2 one time and then 1/2 the other. one big tub of the esbilac should get you through everything and onto puppy slop.

Good luck.

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Thanks for the response there guys. What we have been doing is putting the 4 Blacks in with mom and then rotating them out for the 5 Yellows. So far it seems to be working. Of course at night it is every puppy for themself.

Thanks Again. I will certainly keep you updated as we go along.

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Congrats!!! A litter of pups is always fun!!! As Labs mentioned, enjoy the next 2-3 weeks because Mom will do the cleanup, then you get to start doing the cleanup!!! Stock up on newspaper! Its not all work though, when they hit 5-6 weeks, its fun to get them all out for playtime, they'll be really active for about 20 minutes and then they melt down.

I need to dig around for some pictures of my first litter of lab pups and post them. It was wintertime and I had them under a heat lamp, well it took about a week for our grey farm cat to figure out where life was good, I have some great pictures of the cat snuggled in with the puppies!!! Mom tolerated the cat just fine.

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Yep pups are really fun when they are able to get out and run around. Just make sure when you let them out your shoelaces are tied tight and tucked in!! Also as they get older make sure you have enough eyes to watch them all. When we had pups and they got about 6 weeks old their "circle" got a lot bigger and when you let them out it was like a dam rupture.

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This is all excellent info. I have a question for some of the more experienced breeders. About how long after a dog starts really digging in their whelping box and is acting obviously different will they start to deliver? Our lab is on day 62 and we woke up to her digging and panting this morning. She has continued to do it all day, but still no puppies yet. I'm just wondering what others have experienced.

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Very soon... generally 'nesting takes place for the 12-48 hours prior to whelping. I personally use the temperature method and it works almost w/o fail.

Wishing you and the gal (and her pups) a smooth delivery!

Good Luck!

Ken

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Lets see some pictures of those little guys...even pointer guys can't resist lab puppies. I've almost come home with too many to count.

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Thanks Labs. After a trip the the emergency vet for oxytocin and help removing the first and by far the biggest pup we have 9 healthy yellow pups. I'll try to figure out how to post a picture this afternoon.

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