What a difference a day makes in the life of a puppy.
Last week we saw Ovation’s puppies gain vision, improve their muscular skills, gain their coordination, start processing visual signals and become increasingly responsive towards mom and their environment - and me!
Peace and tranquility rained in the nest.
When the puppies were hungry, their cries brought mommy swooping in to fulfill their every need. Ovation, the proud mother, diligently performed her duties of feeding and cleaning the nest and keeping the puppies immaculate..
But, the Garden of Eden didn't last forever and neither will this pastoral puppy scene.
During this week's chapter in growth and development we'll see the puppies gain another 20% of their body weight, become even more coordinated and increase their muscle strength.
Today, it’s not a forbiden fruit the that rocks The Garden, but enter an equally sinister villain in the puppy development game — teeth.
Both mother’s and puppies’ behavior literally change overnight.
The puppies are bewildered. They want to know what happened. Yesterday mom jumped in, laid down and they suckled happily. Today mom jumps in, cleans the nest but keeps standing. The bosom which they were accustomed to snuggling into, is now suspended over head! Mom's nipples barely in reach. It’s a stretch! You can almost hear little pink Girl cry: “Mom! Mom! Where’d you go? Come back and cuddle with me!”
Ovation, wants to know what happened too? Yesterday her babies were nursing peacefully and gently. Now, every time they nurse — Pain! Her milk flow instantly stops and she makes an exit stage right. After a couple cautious attempts, she finds standing a reasonable compromise.
There is an adjustment process of give and take which will last a few days. The puppies caloric intake will drop, their body weights will level off and or drop a day or two which is normal.
After a while mom will lie with the pups again, but not until she has taught them to be gentle about nursing, and not until they learn.
This is step one of the weaning phase.
During this time we, the caregivers, are introducing solid food. The pups alternate between eating it and playing with it. After a few days, eventually playing gives way to eating..
Eventually their weight fluctuations level off and they begin posting steady gains again by the end of the week.
In the video we can see mom’s new behavior. Her reaction to the pups. The pups reaction to her, and the beginning of their respective adjustments.
PS. Watch for our next episode on weaning Ovation’s puppies.
But for now — enjoy and share with your friends on Facebook , Twitter, using this link: Puppy_Teething
- Dr. B..