Its been 10 years since Pemberly has had a litter born at home! There is something to said about the benefits of owning the father of a litter vs. the mother. Mom and her owner have the hard part: whelping and raising the puppies.
Taylor turned three in April and we had already taken care of her health clearances. In Flat-Coats, it is important to have the eyes cleared by an opthomologist for heritable eye problems.Glaucoma can also be a problem in flat-coats so it is recommended that the eye doctor evaluates them through Gonioscopy which involves placing a small lens(like a tiny magnifying glass) into the eye where the angles between the front and back portion of the eyes meet.
Hip and elbow dysplasia, and patella luxations are evaluated through examination and x-rays by a veterinarian. The OFA(orthopedic foundation for animals) is the organization which examines the films sent in order to classify the dogs as normal or diseased.
Taylor is a small bitch so we were looking for a dog who had more substance but still had a strong work ethic. We picked a male from Michigan named Phinn who seems to compliment her well. The breeding took place in mid-september so we are expecting puppies between the 12-15th of November. The gestation period for dogs is 60-67 days but dogs do not always follow the book!
The Whelping box was set up the weekend before the predicted whelping date to allow Taylor the opportunity to get comfortable sleeping in area where she will care for her babies the first few weeks of their lives. Their are as many designs of boxes as their are breeds of dogs. One feature include an inner firm edge known as a pig rail which presents the mother from laying on her puppies.
Also on hand is rickrack in a variety of colors to identify the puppies, towels, newspapers,hemostats(small instrument used to clamp the umbilical cord), a small food scale to weigh each puppy when it was born and a notebook to record the information on each individual.
The temperature of the expecting mother usually drops 1 degree within24-48 hrs prior to whelping. Taylor’s started at 100.6 and as of saturday afternoon it was 99.4. Although she appears uncomfortable with the large load she is carrying, she has been eating and sleeping well.
So we wait….