Sunday, January 15, 2012

Puppy Update - what week is this, anyway?

We've been through thew ringer the past two weeks.  I'm sorry I haven't been keeping up on the posts.  I tried writing this blog post earlier and people have seen it, but it was hard to write and a task I was not looking forward to, so it came off as cavalier, but my feelings are anything but.  I lost little Gable on Friday night when symptoms appeared suddenly - vomitting, diarrhea, fever, and despite my best efforts, he didn't make it through the night.  We were back at the vet's office Saturday (yesterday) and we couldn't come up with a stool sample so that they could figure out exactly what it might be, so they sent me home with Albon just in case it was coccidia since I had already covered the bases the days preceeding with panacure.  I have consulted, researched, prayed, read, brainstormed, even dowsed for answers for these little ones - my passion for them stops at nothing.  I have some miracle working products in my pockets from previous litters and we added another homeopathic remedy yesterday that seems to have really helped the others - they were starting to show diarrhea, but none of the others have had the fever/shaking that Gable did, and they seem (knock on wood) to be on the other side of it now.  I am keeping a very close eye on them and have not left them all weekend for longer than it takes to do a quick chore like laundry.  They are getting albon, homeopathy, parvaid and colloidal silver.  Albon is for potential coccidia, homeopathy to treat the whole body, parvaid for digestive distress, and colloidal silver to negate any potential bacterial/viral/protozoa issues. 
For those who don't know, Parvaid became well-known for an effective treatment of parvo.  However, given its unique formula, it is beneficial for parvo imitators, i.e. anything that has to do with vomitting and diarrhea.  So when the tummy is upset for any reason, Parvaid is one of the first things I grab. Won't have a litter or a puppy without keeping some on the shelf!

As far as daily life with the pups goes (and trying to not talk about something so depressing), we've had an interesting evolution.  Usually I have a crate set up downstairs surrounded by an exercise pen and their little area is all contained and easily managed.  But there is a shepherd downstairs and so this litter, I'm raising in my room so she doesn't try to steal them.  Insane, I know, but curiously interesting.  Thank goodness I have hardwood floors :)  Like the fact that every time one of them would get loose from the puppy condo area I made for them here (couldn't fit the ex-pen there, so had to make do with some creative engineering which didn't work quite as well), they would run around the loveseat, around the bed, to the opposite corner of the room and get under my dresser and poop.  This did two things - it encouraged me to proceed with my long-awaited project of hanging my power strip up on the wall and cleaning up my cords so that they were no longer under the dresser.  And it made me curious what they would do if they had free reign of the room.  Much to my surprise, I have removed their barriers and they will sleep on the softest surface available (which happens to be in their crate) and I put a puppy pad under the dresser and they have used it consistenty.  I'm very surprised!!  The good news for me is that they have been extremely easy to clean up after by going potty in the same spot, but the bad news for you new owners is that they might try to find a similar hiding spot till they're house-trained!!  I never imagined that pug puppies could be so potty-responsible when given so much room!

Here is a puppy pile picture from today when they took over the comforter I had tossed on the floor to be taken to the laundry room. 

The pups got to play with some little girls today.  Their favorites were Rocky and Asher because they were the ones who took their loving for the longest time - lol.  I wish I had some pics but was without my camera for a few minutes.   

As far as their development goes, this is the time when they're supposed to be introduced to all sorts of surfaces and environments.  If you have a dog planned for service dog, now is when you'd take them on an elevator or other things that might cause fear as an adult.  The general rule of thumb is 7 surfaces by 7 weeks.  Normally gravel is one of those surfaces, but with the snow and frigid temps, that's out of the question and I'm trying to think of other odd surfaces in the house to put them on.  I've been challenging them with climbing on/over things, like the comforter on the floor.  Some say to make their food a light challenge.  Don't just plop a food bowl in front of them, but do something easy like they have to crawl over something to get to it, or put a paper plate over it that they have to knock off - just something easy that prevents immediate/instant gratification and both makes them think a little and gives them a second to get to it.  They say that this simple exercise prevents food aggression in adults.  I think free-feeding prevents food aggression, but I've never raised a food aggressive dog, so I'm not sure what makes them that way other than obviously if a dog is put in a survival situation or is a stray for a while.

We've been keeping up on the nail trims, but pug eyes are always susceptible to being scratched.  And when you have this many in a litter, we're bound to see a scratch before they go home.  I had what I thought was my first eye scratch last night.  Mystery squinted her right eye, so with my ninja-like reflexes, I grabbed her up, flushed out her eye with colloidal silver and put a dab of antibiotic eye ointment in.  I did it so fast, she didn't even have time to argue with me.  But she did blink at me like "what the heck just happened here?" and I realized I might have over-reacted.  I think she just had some dust or something in her eye.  But better safe than sorry!!

I'm bound and deterined to take new pics of the pups today, but to tide you over till I get them taken and downloaded, here is a photo series from Asher.  You can tell he was protesting when I put him on his back!

P.S.  I look it up and we're 6 weeks old today!!

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