Theresa Bowermaster visited today to take photos of the show-potential girls for her friend Terri King. She also helped with clipping the puppy toenails and took some photos for the blog. The pups are more mobile now and are lurching around the whelping box. They are starting to stagger over from the sleeping mat to the part of the box that doesn't have a mat to pee and when we change the box bedding in the morning we are now finding the newspapers under the carpet to be pretty much soaked with puppy pee.
They are also growing fast, with several over 3 pounds now and the two smallest, Woodstock and Peppermint Patty, at 2 pounds plus. The total litter weight today was 27 pounds, up from 10 pounds at birth. So in just 16 days, Molly has managed to produce enough milk to produce 17 pounds of puppy! Amaziing, just DNA and milk!
The pups are all seeing now and walking around without falling over at every step. They are still gaining well and Molly is starting to look a little skinny. We are helping a little by giving the smaller puppies a boost with our goat's milk puppy formula from time to time. Here is the formula:
Puppy Milk Formula
1 quart goat's milk 1 cup of plain yoghurt 1 egg yolk 2 tablespoons of mayonaise 1 tablespoon of corn syrup
Here are short videos of Woodstock and Peppermint Patty getting their supplementation bottle yesterday:
And here is a video of Snoopy walking around the whelping box.
Clayton was gone for a quick business trip to New York and Louise cared for the 18 Camelot dogs all by herself while he was away. The ten puppies are continuing to mature and are running around like little dogs, not creeping like little gophers. They are starting to play and wrestle with each other and even look like little dogs when they hang out (see below photo).
This was the day for DNA sample collection for the EOAD marker test. We set up a little outside area with an x-pen so that we could keep track of who had been tested. The pups all started outside the box in the pen and then Louise handed me each puppy, I collected the sample, and she put the sampled puppy inside the box. Here are photos of the area and one of the swab kits:
There are two swabs for each puppy. The technique is to put the bristle part inside the mouth, between the gum and inner cheek, and swirl for about 10 seconds. The same thing is then done with the other swab on the other side of the mouth. After drying briefly (10 seconds) the two swabs are put back in the envelope and the end is stapled (it is important that the envelope not be made airtight). Here are photos of one of the puppies being sampled and the pile of completed sample envelopes:
The samples were packed into a mailing envelope and sent to ProjectDog. We should get results in about two weeks.
We had a spa morning. As each puppy was scaled, the nails were clipped with a little fingernail trimmer. Then the weighed and manicured puppy was put in a little pen outside the whelping box. After all ten had been groomed, the pile was all comfy.
Then we had the big event--the first meal from a pan. We mixed 20 ounces of the goat's milk formula with 1 1/2 cups of Gerber's Rice Cereal and put the warm porridge in a warm metal puppy feeding pan. Then the ten critters were loosed on the prey. As usual, the first attempt was overly-enthusiastic--they have not yet learned table manners and for a couple the best eating position was in the pan (most notably Lucy). You can see a short little video clip on the Camelot YouTube Channel. As the food in the pan dwindled, some of the puppies found it productive to lick the side of a sibling.
It was interesting that the three smallest ones were the most agressive eaters from the pan. This is probably because they have had supplement bottles and are familiar with and like the taste of the goat's milk formula. After they were finished, we cleaned up with a wet towel, or in a few cases, gave a complete warm water bath. Here is little Lucy, the most enthusiastic eater.
Today's weigh-in showed the expected boost resulting from yesterday's first pan meal. Snoopy and Pigpen are now up to 5 pounds. with Charlie Browndog, Linus and Frieda close behind. There is still a large range, with Peppermint Patty still under 3 pounds and Woodstock at only 3 1/2 pounds. However, both of these little ones are strong and perky and as the pups transition to solid food with no nipple competition, they will gradually catch up.
For the next couple of days they will get one of the goat's milk--rice cereal meals in the morning and Molly will nurse when she decides to do so. On Tuesday they will start getting two pan meals per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. As long as the pups are getting the milk-cereal meals Molly will continue clean-up duty. By next weekend they will be moved out to a kennel room and begin getting ground up kibble and from then on Molly will not clean up--so our workload will ramp up.
For much of the day we are keeping the door out of the whelping box so the puppies can expand their range by walking around a small section of the bathroom, which is fenced off and newpapered.
We prepared a new batch of the goat's milk formula--shown below in the grey pitcher. We used 1 1/2 pints of this formula and 2 cups of Gerber's rice cereal to prepare the porridge shown in the metal feeding pan. The little critters had lots more manners today--no one climbed into the pan and no one needed a complete bath for cleanup.
The Peanuts Puppies are turning into little dogs now. Several are over 5 pounds, which is the limit of the little kitchen scale I have been using. So I hauled in the postal scale from the kennel. This will give some apparent discrepancies in the weight chart over the next few days because the postal scale isn't as sensitive and its resolution is 1/4 pound rather than the 0.1 ounce of the kitchen scale.
They had their breakfast from the pan for the third day this morning abour 11 am and I plan to give them another pan meal about 4 this afternoon. In between, Molly will be put in and may nurse them. Or maybe not. She is starting to be less interested in nursing and cleanup and I think she would just as soon we take over. I cleaned out their kennel room yesterday and mopped the floor with a bleach solution. Tomorrow my gardeners will be here for yard care and I have commission them to give the outside kennel run a good cleanout and after they are finished I will spray the gravel and cement porch with aqueous bleach.
We are giving the puppies a little x-pen area outside their whelping box for most of the day. Here is a photo of them all sleeping in one corner of their "yard".
This is a big day for the pack. After the morning weigh-in we moved from the master bath to the kennel this morning. Their home for the next month will be "kennel #2", a 5' x 8' indoor room with a dog door to an outside 35' concrete and gravel run. At the moment the dog door flap is down but this afternoon when it warms up outside I will fasten it up on the inside so the puppies can learn to use the outdoor run, via the little porch I made out of boxes and pieces of wood. There is a 500 varikennel in the room with the door fastened open by a bungie cord. There is also an oil heater, which is protected by a small section of x-pen so the puppies can't burn themselves or knaw on the electrical cord. I have about half the room newspapered and I also have placed a piece of the indoor-outdoor carpet that they are familiar with from the whelping box.
After they got settled in the new digs I whipped up a morning meal consisting of 1 1/2 pints of the goat milk formula and about 2 1/2 cups of Gerber rice cereal. This is probably the last meal with just rice cereal--this afternoon I will start introducing pulverized kibble and by the end of the weekend I hope to have them completely on softened kibble. I will be using Taste of the Wild Puppy Formula.
The photos below were actually taken yesterday, after the pups had moved into their new home in the kennel. When I pinned up the dog door flap in the afternoon it was Snoopy who made the first trip outside, down the steps to the concrete pad, and back up and into the room. I dropped the flap when it got cold outside at the end of the day but have it up again today. I will probably close it again tonight. The other photos are me sitting with the puppies on the floor of the main kennel room. The pup sleeping on his back is snoopy.
I am switching to three pan meals a day starting today. They had the first at 6:30 am--2 1/2 cups of kibble that had been softened by soaking in hot water overnight with about a half cup of the goat milk formula. I will be phasing out the goat milk formula today and when the current supply is exhausted the pups will get just kibble that has been softened with hot water for a few hours.
Grandson Byron Gillan and his friend Amanda Bordas are visiting for a few days, and helping in puppy socialization. Now that the pups are living in the kennel it is good for them to have visitors as it teaches them to like people and not be shy about being handled.
The first steps toward house-training are under way. Yesterday I kept the dog door flap up all day and through the night. The pups have a warm crate that is facing away from the open dog door, and the room is heated by an oil heater so they have a warm and cozy place to sleep. Now that the way is clear to the outside, the pups are starting to go out to do their business. Here is what their little porch looked like last night! In a few more days I expect to see a lot more puppy poop outside and less inside on the newspapers. It will take about two weeks before they are fully conditioned to go outside to poop. When they are fully conditioned to using the dog door I will lower the flap and they will learn to push through the rubber flap to come and go.
The Peanuts' puppies are a bunch of little hellions now. They are completely through with the goat milk and nursing mommy. I am feeding them three times a day, around 6:30 am, 1:30 pm and 8:30 pm. They are getting three cups of kibble at each meal. After they eat and I clean up the feeding pan and "dining room", I measure out the 3 cups of kibble for the next meal and add enough hot water to cover it. This softens it up for the next feeding.
Here are a few photos taken yesterday.
Doggie dad with Pigpen.
These are the two "mini-Mollies", Marcie and Sally.
The pups had visitors today. Elaiine and Patrick Connolly and their son's Colum and Cahal. There was lots of socializing, Molly paid a visit and gave a little milk top off while being petted herself, and the pups got their first picnic lunch one th e patio.
We are really impressed with the attractive heads on these puppies. Here are Sally and Pigpen.