Pretty much sums up the NASCAR litter's life right now. They are very active pups with good vigour. Will let the pics tell the story of Day 2 in their lives.
After an eventful day that ended in a csection, the NASCAR litter is here - 6 boys and 3 girls.
Introducing the Girls:
Mich is a little freaked out by this - very common after a C section - so we have hands on her 24/7. Just gives us more excuses to hang with the pups!
Micha's whelping window opens on Sunday so not much longer to go now. Spending the days getting everything set up. In case you haven't guessed it, the litter theme is NASCAR!
We're about 10 days out from the opening of Micha's whelping window and she's definitely feeling her pregnancy now. She's still eating like a horse, but is hot more of the time (thank goodness that heat wave broke and we have a pond) and is definitely slowing down. We're still quartering with her to keep her on birds (plus she loves it!) but no big marks, blinds of water since she still tries to leap. Obedience is limited to some directed gloves, signals/command discrimination, articles, and some doodling at the slow pace. She can't really "strut" anymore so there's no point in asking, she's too thick to spin/twist and even her fronts are a bit off with that belly getting in the way. She's not as big as Bon was (thank goodness) but she's definitely ungainly. Sorry girl! I'll make it up to you!
Micha is now in her third trimester and we are getting closer to her whelping window. We've increased her food to support the growth of the puppies who will be doing most of their growing in the next three weeks. We've also drawn blood to be sent to the University of Wisconsin who will run a nomograph. What's a nomograph you might ask? The CAVIDS titer testing website gives a good explanation:
"A nomograph is an estimate of the amount of antibody passed to a litter of pups from the mother via her colostrum. During the puppy’s first hours of life, its intestinal tract is able to allow colostral antibody to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This passive antibody helps to protect the newborn from all the diseases that the mother is protected from. As the puppy grows up, maternal antibody breaks down in approximately 2 week “half lives” until it is no longer present in the pup. While this antibody is at higher levels, it is able to neutralize viruses such as canine parvovirus and canine distemper virus. Because of this neutralization, puppy vaccine can be blocked. Maternal antibody interference is one of the most common causes of vaccine failure to immunize! The reason that puppies are given multiple doses of vaccine is because most of the time we don’t know what their maternal antibody titers are, and so don’t know when the vaccine will be effective. Nomograph testing helps us understand the best timing of vaccination to assure a litter will be effectively immunized."
Beyond that, Micha is doing well. A little thicker in the middle but still doing a bit of obedience training and quartering to keep her on birds which she very much enjoys.
NASCAR! All registered names should have something to do with NASCAR or at least, automobile racing. Should be a fun theme and I already have a great backdrop for photos.
Drivers, start your engines!!!
I've been keeping Micha on lots of birds - she likes them and it's good for the babies. Tonight, she got the treat of having the real thing. Boy, was she happy!! Hopefully, the babies had a good time too.
Huge congrats the sire of the NASCAR litter - Topper - Wynwood’s Over The Top QAA, MH. Topper won 2nd place in the Qual at the Labrador Retriever Club trial in Elton, MD out of a large entry of 63 dogs, mostly run by Pro’s. Wow!!
Yahoo - we have puppies coming! Pregnancy was confirmed yesterday via ultrasound and pups will be arriving between September 12-14. There may be reservations available to performance/active pet and hunting homes.
Now to start to tackle my to do lists and get ready!!
... on the ultrasound later this week to tell us if we'll be having puppies in September. It seems like the day will never come. In the meantime, Micha continues to train, hunt for squirrels and for any birds she can flush. The humidity has been unreal lately so while I had hoped the litter would be born earlier, it's probably a good thing in the end given how miserable it would be for puppies with a daily humidex in the 40s.
In the meantime, I've been busy disassembling "puppy Mountain" - the stack of puppy raising supplies in the basement, washing, organizing and putting out early feelers for heart and eye exams in the hopes that we'll need them.