And the X-ray says..... 

8-9 puppies!! The x-ray was hard to read, so there might be even more hiding. Judging the size of Sparta, she has lots!  She weighed in at 89.9 lbs, which is about 20 lbs heavier than her normal.

Puppy cam 

The puppy web cam is here, thank you Nathan & Mary Lynne!  We will enable it once Sparta goes into labor. I will put a link on the home page if you'd like to watch 

Oh the stuff I buy : ) 

I ordered a cd a few days ago. It's for newborn puppies once their eyes open. It has all kind of noises, so the idea is that the puppy will be well adjusted to hearing just about anything and not be skittish. Love the idea! Of course, Gane & Sparta are mentally solid but I figured might as well give this a try with those babies  Here is some more info if you're interested Puppy Sounds  

This week... 

Poor Sparta has an ear infection  I got anti-biotics today that are safe during pregnancy, so I hope her ear clears up soon. Last thing she needs with puppies due next week. 

I started taking her temperature twice a day. Fist temp. taken was last night. She HATED it! Can't say I blame her but I sure hope she stops fighting it when I have to do it. The thermometer only take 30 seconds to read but holding her while doing it feels like a lifetime

Movement 

I felt Sparta's puppies move last night! It was so, so cool. We just can't wait to see these sweet little babes 

Her breeders also came over last night(thank you guys) & set up the whelping box. We are ready & so excited!  

Nesting already? 

 Sparta has been sleeping under our bed for the last three nights now & even all this morning. This is not her normal routine, so gotta wonder if she's doing some early nesting. I also called our vet, Dr.James Wingert to confirm that he will be on-call for the whelping. He is the best around!

More appointments 

Sparta's appointment is set for her radiograph with Dr.Heather Steyn. This will give a better count of how many babies she has  Can't wait to see. Come on June 7th!  

She also enjoyed her walk again today. She's still trotting along except those hills take her a bit longer than they used to but she thinks the grass tastes as good as ever~ 

Responding to "more blog" request : ) 

Well, let's see. Sparta is still eating like a famished creature, which is a good thing. Loves, that Honest Kitchen! Once she is done eating & happy to be full, she rolls around on her back smiling. Cracks me up. I'll try to get a video of her doing that. Otherwise, in the technical area, today her stool sample results came back clear of any parasites or worms. That is a great thing. Those creep me out!

Took her out walking again & she gets to panting pretty quick. Still eating the grass. Oh, my mom called to let me know she found a great large cheetah print rug. She said this will look great with puppies on it lol. She is very excited for these puppies too : ) 

Did I mention she ate an entire new roll of Charmin Ultra Soft toilet paper! Gane enjoyed his own roll...bad dogs.  
   

The first five weeks in a nut shell.... 

First time doing a blog here, so please bear with me : ) Sparta is pregnant! This plan has been in the making for years, at least 3.5 actually. It all started with Gane. He is an amazing boy, with an amazing temperament. I decided to try and find a girl that would be my ideal, from pedigree, conformation & temperament. I found her and her name is Sparta!  This is our first litter. Gane has been used at stud, but this is much different. Both dogs are indeed worthy of breeding and we did not make this decision lightly. There is a lot that goes into making such a life effecting choice. We also have the best support from truly wonderful people. 

Sparta was bred naturally and I also did progesterone testing to determine when she ovulated. Gane of course told me when this was, as he ignored her until a Sunday evening when the time was right. I wanted to know the most accurate date of whelp. This helps decide when I should take time off of work, not to mention being a tad anxious with my first litter!  

Anyway, they bred and Sparta acted like normal.  After the first week, Sparta was so hungry! She even tried to eat Gane's food by pushing him aside lol. Sparta has been a very picky eater since I've had her, so this was a noticeable change for her.  Then 3 days later, she was sick. Still eating though.

We did an ultra sound on day 30 for her. We saw puppies! The repro. vet said she saw at least six but was being conservative with that number. There was a seventh pup but it was being reabsorbed. It was much smaller than the other six. Reabsorbing is a fear of mine and we did a progesterone test to check her levles. They need to be at a higher level to maintain the pregnancy. Her levels came back at 18.8 which is good. Her whelp date is June 10-14.   

Back to being sick. She stopped eating or when she did try, she would throw it all up. Poor girl. I felt so bad for her & of course, I was worried about dehydration since this was day 11 of this morning sickness. We tried anything & everything to get her to eat. Chicken broth, tripe, canned puppy food, table food. It just didn't matter. Then, the clouds lifted and she is feeling better! She was just famished. She ate about 6 times a day for two days. I made her some brown rice & ground meat. I also was giving her Honest Kitchen, which she really loves. I included some grilled chicken with the Honest Kitchen.

She is back to eating just about three times a day. She is also getting pretty thick around her rib area. She does a lot of sleeping, more than her normal but still enjoys her favorite treat toys, car rides & walks : )        
 
  

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