Rottweil Xpress / December 1989
Make sure she gets quite a bit to eat. Do remember she must feed all those puppies. She should now be on puppy food. Supplement it with meat and a milk substitute like Unilac, Esbilac, or goat’s milk.
A good mother will now be spending a lot of time in the whelping box. You should have your record book open to the first day. Each puppy should be listed: male or female, and the color of the collar around its neck. Do make sure you keep track of the collars so they do not fall off or get too tight on the pups. If you have a consistent litter, the collars are all that will distinguish one pup from another.
Let them feed on their mother as long as possible. When one puppy is finished get his weight. The best scale to use at this age is a gram scale. A baby scale is sufficient if a gram scale is not available.
Check the puppy for back dewclaws and make a note of this in your journal. Some puppies will be born without back dewclaws. This is a genetic trait. We very rarely have back dewclaws because our main stud dog was born without dewclaws. If he is bred to a bitch born without back dewclaws most likely the whole litter will not have them. Back dewclaws are always removed when the tails are docked. Removal of the front dewclaws is optional in the United States. We personally do not remove the front dewclaws. Germany and the other European countries do not remove them.After recording the weight, give the puppy some of the high caloric diet (dyne), 1/2cc at this age is sufficient.
Make records in the book how the puppy ate and how much dyne was given.
Do check the stools of the puppies. Make sure they are firm and that each pup goes to the bathroom after it eats.
The mother should be cleaning the puppies and licking their genitals so they go to the bathroom. Some mothers won’t know to do this so it is your job to get this accomplished. A 0-tip with a little bit of Vaseline, rubbed over the genitals, will encourage them to eliminate.
After the puppies have all eaten and been recorded in the book, they should be falling asleep. When they are all finished on the mother, now is the time to give her some attention.
Take her out for a long walk. Give her food and water. Do have a place for her to be while you are cleaning up the whelping box. A flight or metal kennel is sufficient. There should be a box or basket lined with a heating pad to place the puppies in while the whelping box is being cleaned. Do not get the temperature too hot.
Pull up all the sheets from the whelping box, and make sure it is clean. Put down new sheets, and in the winter polyester fake fur is good to put down over the sheet. This can be purchased at a fabric store. Cut it to the size of the whelping box. Make sure your thermometer is in a spot where you can easily see it. Remember, it must be warm in there, 8O° to 85° is comfortable. We usually put a heat lamp over the box and turn it on when needed.
Put all the puppies back in the whelping box. Before putting the mother in, clean her feet and teets. When she goes in make sure she is in a good position and make sure she lays down where the puppies are not under her.
This whole routine should be repeated at least twice a day. Remember, everything must be kept clean including yourself. Make sure you wash your hands before touching the puppies. Keep all strangers out of the whelping area. If they have pets they can carry disease to your home and pups.
Make sure the puppies gain weight every day. These few weeks are critical to the puppy’s life.
The mother should now be laying in the whelping box with a smile, and the puppies should have full bellies.
Until next month, rrrrrrrring!
Article written by Evie Lynn