Thursday, June 5, 2014

Happy Birthday

Alpine's due date was June 5-6. On Wed June 4, I went to work as usual and didn't see any impending signs that she would whelp early - she had "dropped", but no milk in her glands, only minimal nesting behavior, and was acting normal.  Nancy checked Alpine midday and noticed some differences - hard abdomen and more clingy.  When I got home from work, I didn't appreciate much change, figured we were still on track for a Thurs-Friday whelp, and went out for a few hours in the evening.  When I got home, Alpine started getting restless and anxious, and looked to be going into Stage I labor.  Stage I quickly progressed to contractions and I scrambled to finish setting up the whelping suite and get Alpine situated.   Most of the girls do not especially care for the whelping pool, not a very natural whelping "den", but Alpine jumped in on her own accord.  She wasn't in the pool but 10 min when a big female pup made her appearance at 10:20 pm.  Yikes, this was like whelping ICAN Juliette who gave little warning and whelped fast.  Alpine was not too impressed by her first born pup, tolerated it, but basically ignored it.  I quickly called whelper helper extraordinaire Nancy and Alpine's breeder caretaker Melissa.  Soon, Alpine settled down to whelping a pup approximately every 30 min and delivered 7 more pups with the last pup arriving at 1:45 am.  Five boys, three girls.  Most of the deliveries were almost effortless.  Green boy was born outside on the front lawn when I took Alpine out to toilet.  Red girl slipped out without us even noticing and we barely saw her in time to get her removed from the sac and breathing.  The last pup Yellow boy was slow in coming, in breech position (normal for pups), and poor Alpine was getting tired.  We waited a short period of time, and then I elected to assist in his birth.  I finally managed to get him out, his breathing was a bit rough, but he revived nicely and joined the puppy pack.  Alpine's hormones and instincts kicked in after the second or third pup, and she became quite interested in the new arrivals.  Fortunately her milk also came in during the whelp, and the pups proved to be vigorous nursers. 

10:20 pm
17.5 oz
Light Blue
11:00 pm
17.9 oz
11:30 pm
14.6 oz
12:02 am
13 oz
12:20 am
15.4 oz
12:45 am
18.3 oz
12:55 am
14.7 oz
1:45 am
18.3 oz

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