|Mama Dallas with her 6 newborn puppies.|
It has been a long time since I've had something to post about, but finally some good news! Yesterday evening, Dallas delivered 6 healthy tri-color puppies - 2 boys and 4 girls. Bruce (Fan Woods The Boss) is the father. I hadn't been expecting Dallas to have puppies until the middle of next week, as Tuesday would have been Day 63 from her first breeding, but mother nature had other plans! And, even though puppies came early, at Day 59 it was safe for them to be born, as puppy lungs fully mature by Day 58.
So to give you a little bit of the story, Dallas went to the vet this past Tuesday for pregnancy x-rays to determine how many puppies to expect. The vet counted 6 spines, but only 5 skulls, which left some room for doubt as to how many babies we were expecting. As you can tell from the pictures, it isn't the easiest to see where one puppy starts and the next one begins!
I had started monitoring Dallas' temperature on Wednesday, as is a common practice to do one week in advance of anticipated whelping. Doing this gives me a good idea of what the mother-to-be's normal temperature is and a sudden drop of temperature below 99 degrees Fahrenheit is a strong indicator that labor will begin within the next 12-24 hours. I was more than a little surprised, then, when on Thursday night, Dallas' temperature dropped to 98.3. Not sure I believed this, I checked on a second thermometer, and sure enough, that one read 98.5! Then, the next morning, Dallas woke me up digging in her blankets and refused her breakfast. All the signs said that puppies were coming soon and I was more than a little freaked out, since I was scheduled to work all day Friday and also the weekend. So much for my requesting time off the following week!
Knowing it was likely to still be several hours until Dallas started delivery, I went into work for a few hours and my wonderful coworkers got me out early. Another coworker picked up my Saturday shift so I wouldn't have to worry about labor running long or me having to leave the puppies when they had just been born. I rushed home to find Dallas anxious, but happy to see me. A few hours later, just before 6 pm, labor began and by 6:30 pm, the first puppy, a little girl, came into the world. From there on out, Dallas had approximately one puppy per hour, finally giving birth to her final puppy, a boy, just around midnight. Luckily, she delivered everyone with minimal difficulty - the last boy was the only puppy she needed assistance from me in delivering. Why do I say "luckily"? Well, delivery is always a stressful time for a breeder, as it is not uncommon for beagles to have dystocias and require emergency C-sections due to a puppy being too big to pass through the birth canal - especially when breeding for blocky heads. Usually, if there is going to be a problem, it is with the very first puppy but we've also had the last puppy be the one who got stuck!
|Friday night - 3 puppies down, 3 more to go!|
Since giving birth, Dallas has been an amazing mom. She is very protective and for right now, I'm the only one she wants anywhere near her babies. I've been putting food and water directly in front of her from time to time because she doesn't want to leave the puppies for an instant. As time goes on, Dallas should relax a little, but I'm pleased to see her taking such good care of her babies.
|Girls are in pink, boys in green.|