Monday, June 29, 2009

Getting Ready

I usually blog once pups are born but I've decided to start the blog early for this litter. Risk is due toward the end of next weekend so preparations are under way. I'm monitoring her temperature four times a day. As she gets closer to whelping (giving birth), her temperature will drop well below normal and stay there for at least 12 hours. A dog's normal temperature is between 100 and 102 F but as the progesterone level drops to trigger whelping, the bitch's temp drops below 99 and stays there for at least two measurements. Yesterday, Risk's temperature was normal but this morning it was 99.6 F. I expect to see fluctuations over the next five days or so as the pups prepare to be born.

Risk also didn't finish her breakfast yesterday, another sign that things are progressing. I've been feeding her quite a bit each meal but now the pups are squishing her stomach so she can't eat as much. We start three meals a day today so she doesn't have to get as much down.

I used the doppler yesterday to check for heartbeats. Risk was so patient as I squeezed ultrasound gel all over her belly. I found 10 heartbeats but am never very confident that I haven't counted one pup twice. Regardless, I got 11 colors of yarn ready today just in case :-).

I'll be setting up the whelping box this afternoon and getting all the gear ready. Showtime is coming!