Wife has a battery operated intercom system. She places one unit near the whelping box. She places the other unit at her bedside. If a greyhound puppy squeals, wife springs from the bed and runs to see what is wrong. Sometimes a mother will accidently lay on a puppy. Wife reports this happened four times the first night. One time while up, she let KB out in the turn-out pen. Husband slept through it all.
The second day for KB and her puppies was a little active. The puppies nursed during the early morning. KB kept licking at herself; this act of curling around to reach herself was one reason she would accidently lay on a puppy. Wife and husband decided to take her to the vet. Wife and husband gave KB a bath. At 10:00 AM wife placed the 8 puppies in a baby carrier with several towels. Husband loaded KB and the puppies in the Blazer. Wife gave instructions to husband to not run the air-conditioner and to be sure and show off the puppies to the receptionist (a friend) at the vet's office. Husband complied.
The vet gave KB a shot of oxytocin and placed her in the vet's bathtub. The vet probed KB with smooth round forceps for a remaining placenta. No luck. Soon KB started having contractions as a result of the oxytocin. The vet then used a long tube and large syringe to flush out KB with a solution. Small pieces of placenta washed out. It appeared no intact placenta remained. Then while the vet and husband were talking, KB had a strong contraction and ejected an entire placenta. Shortly thereafter KB had another strong contraction and ejected another entire placenta. The vet gave KB a shot of 5cc's of penicillin. Meanwhile, the receptionist, the vet's wife, and the vet's assistant viewed and petted the puppies. Soon husband loaded KB and the puppies and returned home.
Wife had cleaned the whelping box and changed the rugs. Everything returned to normal. KB ate, drank water, and nursed the new puppies for the remainder of the day and night. Wife did not have to get up the second night.
Everything fell into a normal routine. KB stayed with her puppies and nursed and cleaned them regularly. Wife fed her about 3.5 pounds of mixed red meat and dry meal with a milk solution each day. A pet tab and four calcium tablets supplemented KB's daily diet. KB was given an amoxicillian tablet twice each day. Wife also cleaned and changed rugs in the whelping box twice each day.
On Day 4
wife took all eight puppies back to the vet and had their dew claws removed. The vet removed the dew claws with a hemostat. He them placed a dab of super-glue on each spot to keep it from bleeding. Obviously KB went along to oversee the entire proceedure.
It is interesting to watch and study newborn puppies with their mother. When not nursing they tend to huddle up in a pile- legs, heads, bodies, and tails are intertwined every which way. They will struggle, fall, roll, and crawl from their mother to the huddled pile. They will then sleep. When they start waking, they reverse the process and struggle, fall, roll, and crawl back to their mother. They manage to find a faucet. Every now and then KB will take her nose, roll one over, and lick the puppy to get it to do it's business, and then clean after it. Sometimes a stray puppy will go off in the wrong direction. Or one will end up on the back side of it's mother. One can't help but get a little concerned. Sometimes KB will reach out with her nose and nudge the puppy back to the fold. Even when she doesn't, the puppy makes it back to it's mother's loving care.
Its amusing to watch a litter of eight newborn puppies line up when nursing. We always watch for the smallest puppy and can't help but place it on the fullest spout. Some puppies act like a bulldozer and just plow through the rest until they find an open faucet. Some will tunnel down under the others and all of a sudden will pop up in place. Others will root another puppy off it's faucet- some real struggles take place. A mother greyhound will periodically release her milk. Nursing puppies tend to spread their front paws on the side of their mother with their heads straight into the faucet. Puppies will arch their back with their little butts sticking straight back and up in the air. When getting milk their little tails wag 90 miles per hour. It is fun to see eight black puppies lined up and their little tails wagging like crazy.
When we are out and return to the whelping area, the first thing we do is count the puppies. This is not easy when all eight are solid black. Many times we count two or three times before looking for a missing pup behind or under its mother, or under the corner of the rug, or under a pile of three or four other puppies, or behind the water bucket.
Everything was normal. Wife noticed a tiny slit, or opening in one puppy's eyelid. Two others had a slight opening. For the next couple of days all the puppies began to open their eyes. This is a gradual process. One day the eyelids will just barely be open. The next they open a little more. This may go on for three or four days.
As mentioned in our introduction of KB's eight black puppies (4 males, 4 females), they seem longer than most greyhound puppies we have raised. We continue to believe they have longer bodies, longer legs, longer noses, and longer tails than normal. They also appear to have longer toenails that need clipped earlier than usual (to keep from scratching KB while nursing and to keep from scratching other puppies' eyes). They have tried to walk. They will stand up, take about two or three steps and then fall over, only to get up and try again. We anticipate they will be climbing out of the whelping box before 4 weeks old. We have already started thinking of names such as Longbow, Longshot, Longarrow, Longleg, etc. Of course they will not be named for a month or two.