Monday, March 19, 2012

Puppy Mouths, Ears, Eyes and Thermostat

Contributed by CP's founder Danielle Rackstraw

Hi everyone:
Lori and Kathy are doing an amazing job being foster Moms and the babies are simply precious. I'm passing on a little information here for some of the newer people who may not have been with us for other litters or may not know.

Puppies are born with their eyes sealed closed. They typically open on the cairn at about 10 days. Larger breeds obviously have everything happen much faster . . . so I'm speaking of the cairn here. The same with the ears and hearing . . . although we DO UNDERSTAND that the cairn can only hear when they want to and the words they want to hear. The pups are totally blind right now and their eyes will open in generally one day and they will have a blueish hue at first and then over a few days they change to a dark color.

With the hearing, you talk to pups now by putting them under your chin by your throat since they love the vibration and they can hear a tink. The ears open with full hearing at the same time the eyes open. Dogs are born with absolutely NO WAY to control their body heat which is with the shiver response. The shiver response which causes dogs to have the ability to regulate their body temperature again takes place about the time the eyes and the ears open. Larger breed dogs have all of the above happening very quickly but the foster Moms have to pay really close attention to the temperature of the room which is why is hang room thermometers in the baby room, have room heaters and heating pads and when the babies have to go to the vets like to be dew clawed they need to be put in what is called a READY BOX which is basically a box with little air holes, no drafts and hot water bottles. Right now, the babies being able to digest their food and stay alive is totally dependant on their Mommas body heat, our heating pads, room temperature and of course their general over all health. If they get chilled they quickly *shut down* which is the ability to digest food or have energy to suckle.

You can see why it's so important to keep the Moms hydrated and it's constantly trying to get them to eat and drink nutritious liquids and water and really healthy food . . . as much as they want and as many times a day as what they want . . . they have a lot of little mouths that eat constantly. When they start to gain regular weight they will typically gain between 1/2 and 1 ounce a day depending upon their size and weight.

The growth of the upper jaw and the lower jaw is totally separate and you will be a lot of mouth movement for the first months of life where they can really go from what would be a beautiful bite in appearance to being under shot or over shot in just days and it goes back and forth.

1 comment:

Cairnnation said...

That's really interesting Danielle. Thanks for that useful info. These pups are fascinating, complex and fragile little creatures. They sure lucked out being born into the knowledgeable safety of CP.