Ginger the Dam, is Currently in Heat. Which means we need to get a Brucellosis Test by our veterinarian for any sexual transmitted diseases before breeding can be performed. This is a standard to protect the Sire and Puppies.
Then progesterone testing with the Veterinarian begins. We will get Ginger tested every other day until her level is 5.0, or higher. This 5.0 or higher will mean she has ovulated. When 5.0 or higher is met, we have only a 2 day window for breeding and fertilization. We will start the testing next Wednesday.
Ginger had her first Progesterone test, results are 1.8, we will go again on Friday for another blood test.
Results of the second Progesterone test are 4.3, not 5 yet but getting closer. Went for another test today hoping she has ovulated overnight. She is slower to ovulate this heat. Our house is a little crazy with Nick very agitated with a female in heat. We are keeping them separate and neither is very happy with us.
Results of the 3rd Progesterone test was 7 - Bingo! Time to go visit Fred. Ginger was artificially inseminated (A.I) because she doesn't really want strange dogs jumping on her. Fortunately, our breeder Jennifer Masterson of Masters Goldens Retrievers is an expert! We will go for another visit on Wednesday, and then the clock starts, puppies can come anytime between 59-63 days.
Next update will come after we take her for Ultrasound confirmation of the pregnancy approximately 28 days from today.
Today we had the ultrasound exam at the veterinarian office. Ginger is 31 days pregnant. We could see 6 puppies with heartbeats. Last pregnancy we could only see 5 at the ultrasound and she had 9 puppies, so there are most likely more puppies that we couldn't find with the ultrasound. We are very happy and excited. Ginger's whelping date is May 12th. We will keep the puppies 8 weeks, estimated time for adoption pick up is the weekend of July 8th.
Wow! Today we took Ginger to the Vet for Xray of the puppies, we think we see 9. Now we are counting down to the due date, earliest is Friday we will see puppies this weekend, praying for another easy delivery for Ginger and good health for all the pups!
There here! Nine puppies. Contractions started around 11:00 am Saturday morning. The first puppy was born at 12:40 pm, baby blue collar. The final puppy to be born was 6:30 pm, light brown collar. Mamma is doing great. We gave her an oxitocin shot to help contract her uterus. Now Michelle and I take turns being with the puppies 24 hours. We take turns staying up all night. We want to make sure mama does not lay on a pup, and all the pups are being fed equally by mama. We make sure by weighting the pups, and keeping a written log of their weight. We will be posting pictures of the puppies every week, and continuing posting written updates.
Its been four days since Ginger delivered puppies. The oxitocin shot we gave her has helped. She is eating like she should be, and she does not have any stomach upset. Puppies are putting on weight. We weigh them every day. Everybody is happy!
Puppies are two weeks old now. They are double in weight which is great. They are very easy to care for. Mamma is doing a great job. We don't have to get up during the night with the puppies. Today is the first day we can see the puppies are starting to open their eyes. We are picking each one up and saying, "Hello little one! Welcome to your new world."
Puppies received their first de-worming treatment of Pyrantel. This treatment is to remove pinworms. They will receive a second dose at 4 weeks old.
Puppies started being fed "mush" which is Goat Milk, Yogurt, with some puppy food softened and blended up very fine. As they get older we will add more puppy food and blend it less and less so they can start chewing their food. Right now they are only getting "mush" once a day. The next milestone will be moving to the bigger pen in the garage so they can stretch out.
Today the puppies moved out to the garage to the bigger pen. They were confused by the big space and had a hard time settling in to go to sleep. By the end of the day, they were accustomed to the pen and doing really well. We added toys for them to play with, and a litter box. They will start discriminating where they potty soon, and we like to start the training before they go home.
Puppies received their second dose of Pyrantel. They are all over 4 pounds now, gaining a pound a week. So far, this will increase when they are eating puppy food.
Today we started the Fenbendazole treatments - active ingredient in Panacur. It is effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and stronyloides. They are weighed and given the correct dosage every day for three days.
Today we saw the Vet for our puppy check up before they go home. All the puppies are in excellent health. They were weighed, temperatures taken, and checked for - hernia's, testicles descended (boys all ok), eyes, mouth, bite, palate, and joints. They all got an all clear from our vet. Took in a stool sample for a lab check for giardia and parasites, will get those results tomorrow.
Puppies were chosen and picked up over the weekend. We are really pleased with all the placements. Looking forward to happy progress reports and testimonials!