Thursday, March 29, 2012

Rogue's Beagle Puppies - First Day of Life (Video posted to blog)

The grand total is...6 puppies: Rogue delivers 3 boys, 3 girls!

Rogue...still smiling, just days before giving birth.

So... after a late night, Rogue finally had her very last puppy, making the official total 6 puppies!  All of the puppies are doing great - they are warm, clean, and nursing well.  Rogue is extremely overprotective right now and is constantly worrying over every little cry and peep the puppies make.  Normally I would weigh all the puppies and put collars on them, but since Rogue is a very anxious over them and every last puppy seems to be thriving (no runts), Dave and I decided against doing this until mom settles down a little bit.  In fact, Rogue doesn't really want to even lean her head out of the crate to eat or drink right now, so the time being, I am hand feeding her and passing the water bowl over!  Talk about first class service! 

All of the puppies ended up being tri-color, so clearly this is a dominant pattern considering that none of the puppies got dad's colors.  Regardless of colors, the puppies are beautiful and I'm already enthralled by just watching them.  Their coats are glossy and shiny, since mom is doing an excellent job of grooming them.  When mom gets a little calmer about me handling the puppies, I'll work on getting individual pics and assigning collar colors to everyone so you can get a feel for what everyone looks like.  In the meantime, I've included first pictures for your viewing enjoyment and have a video I'll get posted as soon as I can get it onto YouTube.  Stay tuned!

Rogue's belly the day prior to delivering.

I got home from work on Tues to find that Rogue had already popped out these three puppies on her own!

The puppy line up - a black tie affair!

Mom has to sniff and lick each and every puppy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

FINALLY! Rogue has her puppies...

Hi all,

Just a quick note to let you know that Rogue finally had all 5 puppies...and I think we are waiting on at least one more!  I can still feel a puppy on one side in her belly, but didn't want to upset her by making her move so I could feel the other side of her belly.  So far, there are 3 girls and 2 boys, all tri-color, all doing great and nursing well.  I will drop you all a message tomorrow to let you know what the final count is, but figured you are would be anxious to hear word asap!  I will be in touch and will get pictures up when I have time to actually download...

Take care!

And still waiting...

Wow!  The anxiety of waiting is about killing me!  Rogue continues to do well and puppies are moving and vigorous...but still not HERE yet!  She continues to show signs of being close to delivering and has stopped eating.  We brought Rogue home to our condo because she gets very upset if Dave or I am not nearby, preferably touching her, and she has taken up residence on our couch, waiting for me to bring the water bowl to her and only eating a kibble or two of food if I put baby food on it.  Given that she still hasn't had puppies yet, I would say that she didn't get pregnant on her first breeding, but on her second or third, since Sunday was day 63 from her initial breeding.  As usual, I will keep you all posted and hopefully Rogue won't keep prolonging our wait for too much longer!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No puppies yet, but they're on their way!

Hi everyone,

This is just a quick post to let you know that puppies aren't here yet, but Rogue's temperature dropped this morning (I slept in the barn overnight), which means puppies will be born in the next 24 hours.  Rogue is starting to act more restless, is crying for extra attention, and is scratching and digging in her nest box - all of which are additional signs indicating that she is close to delivery.  I may not have much of a chance to post in the next 24 hours, but will try to drop you all a note as soon as I can to let you know that puppies have safely arrived.

Wish us all luck and I'll be in touch!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

No puppies yet...but Rogue is getting close!

Hi everyone,

This is just a brief email to let you know that Rogue is doing great.  Her belly is definitely big and round and feels like she's got some Mexican jumping beans in there!  In the week prior to delivering, it always seems I start to notice the babies moving in mom's belly and the closer she gets to bringing them into the world, the busier they get!

Since Rogue is far enough along to go at any time now, we have been monitoring her temperature.  The past two days she has been at 100.2 F and 100.1 F.  This is a normal lower end temperature for a dog.  Typically, when a dog is getting ready to have babies, her temperature will drop about 24 hours in advance of labor. This means that if Rogue's temperature drops to somewhere around 98.5-99.0, we will know to start camping out in preparation for new arrivals!

Other signs that a dog is getting ready to go into labor includes decreased appetite (or stopping eating completely), digging and scratching at the nestbox, and pacing.  Rogue is still eating a little, but not much (she holds out for biscuits).  I have her nestbox clean and lined with towels, but no digging yet.

Based on all of the signs and symptoms, I strongly suspect Rogue will have her puppies on Friday night into Saturday...but we will see.  When I find out more, I'll make sure to let you know!

PS - I sure hope this all made sense, because I am literally falling asleep at the computer writing this!!!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

X-Ray results are in...and the number of puppies is...

Our trip into the vet today...and a beautiful sunshiny day it was!

Hi everyone,

I brought Rogue to work with me today at the vet's office, where we took x-rays to give us an idea of how many puppies she is expecting.  Dave noticed yesterday that it seemed like her milk had started coming in.  At 52 days out from her first breeding, puppy skeletons should certainly have been visible...and they were!  While the x-rays weren't the easiest to read due to the large amount of food still moving through her digestive tract (aka, stool), the vet was able to definitively count 4 puppies and feels strongly that there are 5.  There is a slight possibility of 6 puppies, but we wouldn't go so far as to place bets on it.  This means our original estimate of 4-6 puppies based on Rogue's belly size was right on the money!

This means that for those of you currently on the waiting list, everyone should end up with a puppy!  Cross your fingers and throw up some prayers that all goes smoothly and that Rogue delivers safely.  With Rogue's first litter, she whelped 6 puppies, and while she had to have an episiotomy, she was able to deliver all six puppies naturally.  Right now, from what we could measure of puppy skulls on the xrays, it looks like the heads should clear the pelvic girdle of the birth canal, which is another positive sign. We expect puppies will be born between March 21st and 25th, so by next weekend, newborn puppies should be joining us in the world! 

When the puppies arrive, it will be very interesting to see what colors the puppies turn out to be, as this is the first time we have directly bred one of our tan and white dogs.  I'm so eager to see what happens, as no matter how much I love traditional tri-colored beagles, there is something special about the diluted variations of coat.

Because Rogue is getting so close, this weekend will be the last opportunity for those of you who would like to come out to the kennels, so please let me know if and when you would like to make arrangements to visit.  Remember, even though you won't be able to visit for about a month, I'll still work to keep you updated on how everyone is doing and developing.  Then, once the puppies have made it to 4 weeks of age, we'll begin welcoming people to come visit again. 

Well, all, it is much later than I'd hoped to get this posted, so I'll bid you all goodnight (or good morning, based on when you'll probably read this!)  As usual, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns...


Look at that belly!

Friday, March 9, 2012

"There's No Way She's NOT Pregnant"

Rogue's noticeable belly!
Hi everyone!

Welcome to the first pregnancy watch blog for Rogue!  Dave dropped Rogue off while I was at work today, and in the words of Dr. McArthur, the vet I work for, "There's no way she's NOT pregnant!" - this said after she saw Rogue's big belly.  We decided to forgo the pregnancy test, rather, deciding at the end of next week to get x-rays, which will give us more information.  Technically speaking, we could have tried x-rays today, but at somewhere between 42-46 days along, Rogue is just barely at the minimum timepoint required to start detecting fetal skeletons by x-ray.  Based on her size, Dave and I are predicting at least 4-6 puppies, which is an average litter size for a beagle and based on the dates of breeding, we anticipate puppies arriving sometime between March 25th to March 29th.  I am posting some information below to explain how we determine pregnancy in dogs and, of course, will let you know the outcome of next week's x-rays!


The following information is a re-post from a previous blog entry, but should provide you with some useful information.  Once we have updates, I'll share them with all of you here on this blog.

The options for determining pregnancy in dogs are as follows:
  1. Wait for all of the obvious signs, such as weight gain & lactation. However, some dogs may go through false pregnancies where they show abdominal distension and even produce milk! This is definitely not the most reliable way to tell!
  2. At ~22 days post-breeding, ultrasound can be used to detect fetal heartbeats. It may be difficult to tell exactly how many hearts are beating, but this method can still be used to help estimate litter size.
  3. At ~21 to 31 days post-breeding, abdominal palpation may be used to try to feel the walnut-sized fetuses. Ideal timing is to palpate at approximately 28-30 days. This requires skill and experience and is not the best way to estimate the number of puppies present.
  4. After ~21-30 days post-breeding, blood may be drawn to run an early pregnancy test for the hormone relaxin. Ideal timing to test is 28 days post-breeding.  This is a negative or positive test, and does not give us any additional information about the puppies.
  5. At ~45-48 days post-breeding, puppy skeletons have begun to calcify and can begin to be picked up on x-ray.  Ideal timing is closer to 50 days.  This can be used to help estimate the number and size of puppies. As for any safety concerns, x-rays are commonly done in this later stage of pregnancy and are considered to be relatively safe. Early pregnancy is when x-rays pose the most significant risk to unborn puppies.
We typically wait to do x-rays to confirm pregnancy because this allows us to estimate the number and size of the puppies. This information helps us to make critical decisions during the labor.

Rogue sprawls on our couch, making herself at home!  I gave her a bath and a pedicure after her vet visit tonight.

Rogue's beagle smile :)