Today the breeding coordinator came out for her weekly check of the puppies and Sugar-and it was nice to have someone ELSE in the box for a change! The puppies are doing great, are plenty “healthy” in their weights, are scooting around the whelping box and generally getting into mischief slowly but surely. All signs that everything is great:)
Blue and Orange are continuing to try walking when they move to a new destination and the others are right behind them. Blue has continued the trait of bugging his siblings when they are sleeping soundly, so I decided it was time to create some timeout rules. Unfortunately, Blue outsmarted me as he figured out how to climb out of the timeout area that I was so proud to have established-it’s a hit on your self-esteem when a 2-week old puppy beats you at your own game!
Sugar bear(our nickname for her:)) had a good check-up as well and was able to have her stitches removed! She has really endured the road to recovery remarkably well and every day I feel a sense of relief that she is doing so well! She officially was able to be removed off of all of her medications other than her antibiotic that will be finished at the end of this week! I can officially erase all of the timers and alarms I had set up on the various electronic equipment that I had created so that I would remember to give her all of her various medications at the right time each day 🙂 You have NO idea how good that feels!
Although I didn’t see any signs of it this morning, by afternoon what had made an appearance was the ever so slight slits in the eyelids-telling us that the eyes are just about to open! From the looks of it, in the next day or two these little pups will be able to see the world in front of them, although a very blurry version!
It got me to thinking about why their eyes and ears don’t develop until after they’re born, so of course, I had to check out what Google had to say about it! I think it’s pretty fascinating to learn about all of the things that are either taken for granted or considered insignificant simply because we don’t know the reason behind it. When you think of all of the nervous system things that had to develop in just the past 14 days for these pups, it sort of boggles the mind-even though their eyes are open, clear vision still is down the road a little bit longer.
According to a variety of veterinary websites, here is the basic information about their last two senses to develop and how that is part of the canine evolutionary process:
Puppies lack two senses at birth: sight and hearing. It takes a minimum of 10 days to two weeks for their final two senses to develop. Although lacking their sight and hearing might seem odd to human beings, puppies develop in a way that is advantageous to their species.
Puppies’ optical nerves are developing along with the rest of the central nervous system, making them very sensitive to light. In addition, the eyes themselves are still forming behind the lids. Sealed eyelids protect the nerves and membranes of the delicate organs from hazards such as light or grit. Once the eyes have fully matured, puppies’ lids start to open.
Newborn puppies bear little resemblance to adult dogs. They have massive heads with pronounced muzzles suited to nursing. Their legs are short and possess only enough power to scoot their bodies along the floor or ground. Newborn puppies cannot stand. Neither can they hear; their ear canals remain sealed shut. Finally, they cannot see because their eyelids are also sealed.
Dogs as Predators
According to Stanley Coren, Ph.D., this helplessness makes perfect evolutionary sense. Newborn herbivores emerge fully functional after their mothers’ long pregnancies because they have to be able to run with the herd, in part to escape predators. However, long pregnancies would interfere with predators’ ability to hunt and to survive. Puppies continue to develop after leaving their mothers’ wombs because doing so is in the best interest of the canine species in terms of survival.
The Nervous System
Puppies’ central nervous systems are incompletely formed when they are born. The brains, spinal cords, and nerves are all present in their bodies, but the nerves cannot transmit electrical impulses in an efficient way because they have not been coated with enough myelin yet. Myelin is the fatty layer that carries messages along the nerves. In normal, healthy puppies, the myelinization process takes several weeks, after which puppies can make more purposeful movement.