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Latest News:   Visits litter basket 1 for the Matilda-Gilbert puppies born December 8 and basket 2 for the Gracie-Charlie babies born January 15! The Dorothy-Gilbert litter is expected o/a February 2, visit basket 3! Follow us on Facebook!
 

Litter 1

Litter delivered by c-section:   December 8, 2017

Number of puppies:  6 males, 3 females

Sire: Ch. Treensea Don't Tread on Gilbert of Brush Creek "Gilbert"

Dam:  Brush Creek's Matilda of Landhof "Matilda"

Breeders:  Brigitte Rhinehart, Kathleen Borgmeyer & Joyce Bearden

Registered names:  Brush Creek's K... of Landhof

Release date:  2nd week of February 2018

Comment:  Our lively Matilda took her sweet time to come in season for the 2nd time after her first heat cycle at about 10 months in November of 2016 as it took her another 10 months to the 2nd heat.
The average time between cycles is about 6 months but occasionally can vary anywhere between 3 months to one year. Regarding these atypical cycles, if we could choose between those every quarter or once a year, we would definitely go for the longer ones. Females have a finite number of eggs and since it is not advised to breed a dog every 3 months, conception rates in frequently cycling females can go down rapidly.
Handily, the handsome Gilbert was on one of his periodic visits at Brush Creek Farm and was on standby for action when Matilda finally decided to be ready for motherhood for the first time at the end of September. The 2 dogs complement each other well and we hope that this amorous encounter will bring us a basket full of healthy and pretty puppies.

Update 12-16-17:  Matilda did very well during her pregnancy except that her progesterone levels started to fall prematurely, this was detected during a routine blood check 11 days before the projected due date. Fortunately, synthetic progesterone administered orally once a day can prevent untimely parturition with the almost certain loss of the entire litter.
Because we were certain that she was carrying quite a few babies, we decided to do a c-section on the first estimated due date. It was the right decision as we were rewarded with a litter of 9, 6 boys and 3 girls, all large and very vigorous, uniform in size and nicely marked.
Because of the absence of the natural mother and babies bonding process after the surgical removal of the puppies, moms, especially first timers, can take a while before accepting their babies. Reaction varies from simple indifference to outright hostility, that's why we always use a muzzle during this introductory period which can last between a few minutes to a couple of hours. Putting the puppies on mom so they can start nursing helps to release the hormones that activate the maternal instinct. Once the mom starts to consistently lick the babies, we know thant bonding has started and that the muzzle can be removed.
Matilda was initially indifferent and it took her about 30 minutes to realize that these noisy wiggly little things were her babies. But once she took to them, she turned out to be an excellent mother with plenty of milk to feed her always hungry offspring.
On December 12, mom and babies moved back to the home of Joyce and John Bearden in Bois D'Arc MO where Matilda lives and all continue to do well.

Update 12-23-17:  The puppies are now 2 weeks old, they are starting to get up on wobbly legs and their eyes are opening. Newborn puppies do not have vision and hearing senses fully developed, they also cannot generate their own body heat. They depend on their sense of smell and touch to find the mother's nipples and on her body's warmth to stay comfortable.  Because of this absence of being able to generate their own body heat for the first 10+ days, chilling is a primary cause of deathr of neonate puppies if the human caregiver is unaware of this vital aspect of successful puppy rearing.
The puppies are all in the 2 1/2 to 3 lbs weight range, they are vigorous and lively and should be ready to start the weaning process in about a week. Matilda continues to be an attentive mom who knows exactly how to nurse her more and more mobile babies without accidentally laying on them.

Update 12-30-17:  Yesterday at the 3-week mark, Joyce started the weaning process. If the litter is large, the puppies often catch faster on to this new concept of getting food than in smaller litters. Matilda's 9 babies are no exception, we expect them to be fully weaned by 4 weeks. Weaning starts with a thin gruel of baby cereal and milk replacer that is made thicker each day. Once they are comfortable eating the thick mush, we gradually add soaked kible to it and decrease the cereal and milk replacer until the mush consists of kibble only. They are feed 3-4 times a day and most moms still let them nurse a few times a day, some will stop after 5-6 weeks, others will continue until the puppies leave between 8 and 9 weeks.
The puppies also traded their initial location in one of the Beardens bathroom with the utility room next to the kitchen where they will stay until the temperature permits moving them to the nearby tool shed. There, they will have much more space and cleaning up will be easier. Once puppies are on solid food and mom stops cleaning up after them, it becomes evident that puppies are veritable "pooping machines".. :)

Update 1-5-18: The puppies are growing in leaps and bounds and at 4 weeks, weigh on average now about 6 lbs. They are fully on solid food and in another couple of weeks, with Matilda's milk drying up, mom's nipples will serve more as pacifiers than a source of food.
We start to worm puppies at 2 weeks in biweekly intervals for roundworm Roundworms in dogs & puppies   we also give a medication to prevent coccidiosis Coccidiosis in Dogs  so today, they got the 2nd treatment. The coccidiosis suspension is bitter while the roundworm is sweet (it's a human formula used for pinworm) so to make it more palatable, we always start with the bitter and finish up with the sweet stuff.
By Monday, the temperature should be adequate enough for the puppies to move to their "big puppy" quarters in the heated tool shed where they will stay until they are leaving for their new homes in about a month.

Update 1-13-18:   The puppies are now in the "puppy palace" in the tool shed. John Bearden designed a nifty setup with 2 large wooden moving boxes covered with a tarp to contain the heat. In addition, 2 heating lamps, a ceramic heater and a piglet electric warming pad - the preferred hangout of the puppies - keep the temperature comfortable even during the artic blast we have experienced in the past few days.
The puppies have weathered the transition from the house to the puppy palace really well and once the temperature gets to the normal MO January levels, i.e. in the upper 30s to 40s during the day, they will have access to the grassy areas surrounding the tool shed.

Update 1-22-18:  On their 6-week birthday on January 19, the puppies got vaccinated against the dreaded parvovirus Canine Parvovirus Infection   that can be fatal in young puppies. They will get 3 more vaccinations that include parvo, the first one a few days before the release date of February 4 and the other 2 at their new homes. They also received another wormer, Fenbendazole is given for 3-5 days.
After many days of bitter cold weather which confined the puppies to the puppy palace in the tool shed, it warmed up on the weekend and the puppies spent the Sunday outside, they also got a young visitor and from the photos, it is obvious that both the boy and the puppies really enjoyed each other's company.
Our weekly close up photo session was quite amusing: because she was wearing a black sweatshirt that was not a good background for our mostly black coated puppies, Joyce donned the only bright item in the shed, a yellow rubber raincoat that was many sizes too big but made a great background for the puppies.

Update 1-30-18:  On Monday, the puppies visited our vet's office to get their wellness check and they all got a clean bill of health. As with all our puppies, we always collect blood samples for the ongoing research at the U of MO Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine to find the genetic marker for epilepsy. We have been participating in this longterm and complex study since its inception in the late 90s and by now have over 800 samples spanning over 5 generations in the project's database.
Today was vaccination day, the puppies received the first of the 3 core vaccinations (the other 2 are due when the puppies are in their new homes) for adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus. They also received their first monthly  heartworm preventive which also contains the common dewormer Pyrantel.
In just a few days, the puppies will be going to their new homes. 4 are leaving from the Beardens, 4 from the Borgmeyers in Martinsburg and 1 will fly to Austin in cabin with our wonderful puppy transporter Louise Carter. TX.

Farewell 2-17-18:  On February 10, the last 2 puppies left for their new homes. We wish all our first time and previous or current BCF Swissy owners all the very best, may their Swissy bring them many years of happiness, fun and faithful companionship.

 

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