I was thinking today that in hindsight maybe it would have been interesting to blog about a litter from planning to puppies, and then onward. I might get around to doing it sometime.

For now I can write a bit about where I'm at with Tenko's litter.

She's a first time mom, a bit of a playful, friendly dog. I made one mistake on the night of the birth by putting an old sheet in her crate. By the time I was woken up by the sound of a mewing puppy, it was 4am and 2 pups were out. Neither were visible as Tenko had lost them in the sheet. One had the sac open, but placenta still attached. The other was still in its sac and not moving. I thought I had lost it, but ripped it was still warm, so ripped the sac open and gave her a good rub down and cleared mucous from her mouth. Nothing happened for a bit, but around 30 seconds later she gave a little jolt and started breathing. Phew

It was a bit of a mess in there, so I removed the sheet and tried to help Tenko clean up the area a bit. My Shikoku have always done everything themselves, but Tenko seemed a little panicky at times, and shocked about what was going on. She was taking care of the pups though, so that was good. I thought I might need to cut cords and such, but by pup 4 she had settled into a nice spot in the crate and was doing everything very smoothly. Pup 5 took a little longer to come out since it was stillborn (less than half the size of the other pups) and I removed it quickly and didn't try to resuscitate. A little while later pup 6 popped out and Tenko looked a lot more relaxed once the contractions eased up.

I made sure everyone was nursing and cords had been cut nicely, and the place was fairly clean before going to bed. Around 12 hours later when taking Tenko out for a walk I realized she wasn't cleaning the pups very well after they defecated so there was dry stool caked around their anuses. Took a bit of time to clean that up, and to clean up the crate, but it looks like once I helped Tenko get caught up she's got the hang of it now.

Tenko's not eating so well right now, so I'm monitoring that. The last thing I want is a sick mom, or poor milk production. Anyway, my mantra with new pups is to do enough to help the dam without getting too involved that they get stressed out.


  1. Nami was similar for her litter. She wanted to do things, and minded the puppies, but she was just so shocked about everything. She ended up retaining some material after the birth. I had to bring her to the vet the following day. She looked miserable and under the weather. Not eating, generally gross-looking. She bounced right back, though.

    I hope everything has been going well!

  2. Six puppies! That seems like a pretty big litter (even if one did happen to be stillborn, shame that). Good luck to you; here's hoping everything is going well and Tenko is starting to feel a bit better now that it's a bit further on.


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