Greta‘s pups are getting so big. It’s been over a week since they were born and small enough to hold in the palm of my hands. Now they overflow, wriggling and squirming their way out. Just a day ago I noticed a lot of squeaking and practice barking. I wondered to myself what was up and realized that their ears were starting to open. To test this I gently but clearly tapped on the side of their whelping pen (the green wading pool you see in the pictures) and sure enough, they all startled! So cool to see their bodies right on target developmentally.
Greta has been sick but is finally getting better. I counted and she was having a loose, runny, large volume poop every two hours! You know what fun that is? I can’t even begin to tell you. The vet thinks her whipworm or hookworm infections may not have cleared with the first round of Panacur so we are doing a second three day dose. She also included a general antibiotic just in case in was something bacterial. It seems to have done the trick as she pooped three times today, just like a normal dog. Hopefully we’ll be out of that particular woods soon.
I feel so bad for Greta. Until the foster mamas are given a clean bill of health I have to keep them quarantined, which basically means she spends the majority of the day and night by herself (with her pups of course) in a room. She does get frequent short potty walks (and is keeping her room clean!) and at least two long walks (45 minutes) each day, but still, she is bored and wants to hang out with me and the other dogs. Poor girl. Hopefully soon she’ll be able to get out and about more.
As you see from the pictures, the puppies mostly sleep. Lately I have been catching them sleeping on their backs with their little mouths open! So cute. They are clearly feeling safe and happy. When they are hungry and hear and smell Greta, they “walk” (more like a seal like of waddle thing than a really doggy walk) around their whelping pen crying their heads off, “looking” for her. Their eyes are still closed so mostly they snuffle around, bumping into one another. eventually they give up and just huddle together in a lump. Very cute.
Hopefully you read my post on the merits of Frontline Plus and how to save a few dollars in the process. Ok, now a word on heartworm preventative…
If you live anywhere where there aren’t hard, killing frosts, you have no business stopping your heartworm preventative! Let me repeat: Treat your pet every singe month with a heartworm preventative if you live anywhere where some plants can survive all winter. Here in Illinois everything dies back or goes dormant for at least three months of the year: December, January, and February and these are the months that I stop heartworm treating my dogs. But this is the first time every that I did not treat for the full 12 months. Again, the reason I stopped was to try to save some money and it felt safe to me. But heartworm is a NASTY parasite and it will kill your dog. Don’t mess around. Prevention is easy but not all products are created equal.
I have been treating my pets (Cleo the cat and all my dogs) for the past 20 some years with Heartgard. The dogs LOVE the meaty chew and even our nearly 15 year old gobbles it up. It is never difficult to get the medication into the dogs. But you have to have your vet’s prescription to purchase the medication so I always just bought it from my vet. However, last year I tried two things. First I shopped online and found that the same products were slightly cheaper on PetMeds.com than at my vet. Second, I tried Interceptor. Shopping at PetMeds was a GOOD idea, switching products was not. See, I like Heartgard because it is easy to get the correct dose into my dogs and that dose covers other parasites as well; parasites like round worm and others. Interceptor says it covers other parasites too but the product comes in a hard tablet form and my dogs either swallowed it whole (the package said they were supposed to chew it for it to be effective) or refused to eat it. So I was forced to either jam it down their throats (which I did one month) or grind it up and mix it with some wet food – which was WAY more hassle than I wanted.