Saturday, January 24, 2009

24 hours old, update

Puppies are well. I'm a bit worried about the littlest girl. She's lost a little bit of weight and seems a smidge dehydrated. I gave her a cc or two of a warm water/Nutrical mixture. I was hoping that would perk her up. She seemed to like drinking it, and I think most of it went down her, but she's not nursing right now, just sleeping. Ohhh... she just woke up and is working toward a nipple! (As I write this, she's started nursing--so maybe the Nutrical was enough to jumpstart her a bit.) This is where the moral dilemmas come in... I could pretty much ensure her survival for the next few days/weeks by tube feeding her several times a day (although this doesn't always work if there is something internally malformed). But I've now had to euthanize a few puppies at 6 weeks--puppies who were having malnourishment problems. Both of those puppies were saved through my intervention in the first few days or at 3 weeks or so. So, is it better to let nature take its course at this early stage?

At any rate, my policy is to help out, give syringes of water/nutrical to help keep the blood sugar up and minimize dehydration, but she's got to do the rest of the work of survival. Unless I change my mind.... which I might. It's hard, this puppy stuff.

(Little sable girl is still nursing well--maybe she just needed that jolt of calories and fluid.)

Here are my notes from this afternoon's weigh in:

8 3/8 oz
239 grams
slightly dehydrated, a little listless and cold

no white on chest
16 1/5 oz
475 g

13.6 oz
389 g
he's lost weight, seems strong and healthy, however

bicolor--maybe black/tan
tiny white star on chest
15 oz
440 g

bicolor with wh blaze
14 3/4 oz
419 g

bicolor--maybe more black/tan
tiny white star, white toes
15 3/4 oz
435 g

Weights are really hard to pin down because they wriggle on the scale. I'm using ounces b/c that is (1) what I am familiar with (a 16 oz GSD puppy is quite big, a 9 oz puppy is quite small, but I don't know the equivalent in grams and what to expect of newborns in grams). I'm switching to grams now because it is more accurate and a lot less guesswork in looking at the scale to see if weights are going up vs going down.

Genetically, the options for this litter are
* sable with a black recessive (Ash was this color)
* sable with a bicolor recessive (Danca's color)
* bicolor with a black recessive (like Coal)
* bicolor with a bicolor recessive (like Hunter)

(Although it is possible that Danca carries the black and tan recessive with a modifier gene for heavy black coverage--but it's a lot harder to know and the "experts" disagree about this element of GSD color genetics.)

For the genetics geeks in the audience, color hierarchy in GSDs looks like this:

Black/tan pattern
Bicolor pattern

The shade of the tan/brown/red on the dog is not related to the pattern.
There are also probably some coverage modifiers, so you can have a really light black and tan or a really dark ("blanket back") or a sable like Frost vs what is called a "black sable."

If anyone wants, I could post color examples. (Hmm. What I should do is put it up on my website as information for all.)

1 comment:

Jaz said...

An intervention is the action taken by family, friends, employer and/or concerned others to actively assist someone to change unacceptable behavior.