April 8th is Sugar’s due date, and that means just two more weeks until we get to discover how many puppies are waiting to join the ranks of life-changing “puppies in training”! She is 46 days along currently and the pups will start growing rapidly during this last stage of development!
Their organs have developed, claws have formed, hair has grown, and on Friday I was able to feel them kick for the very first time! No one else could feel it, so I thought maybe I was mistaken, but Saturday I felt it again and today there was no doubt that what I was feeling was some tiny puppies making their presence known!!!! This may not sound surprising, but when you realize they are only about 5 inches long at this age of their development it might change your mind!
So, the journey begins over the next two weeks! I will be picking up the whelping box, whelping kit, and some supplies to start preparing for a home with puppies; the room they will call “home” will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to make sure they have a great area to start life on the right track, and our schedule starts slowing down to make a calmer environment for Sugar to just rest and relax!
At this time, we have no idea how many puppies to expect other than the fact that during her ultrasound they were making an educated guess of somewhere between 2 and 6 puppies! So, when delivery day comes-I will be just as surprised as to the number of puppies as everyone else!
And now the waiting begins….this is the two weeks that can feel like an eternity:)
Some interesting things about the puppies growing during the pregnancy;
The Rate of Growth of the Fetus:
- At 10 days the ova is approximately 1/12 to 1/20 inch long.
- At 3-4 weeks old they are approximately 1 inch in length.
- At 6 weeks old they are approximately 3 1/2 inches long.
- At 7-8 weeks old they are approximately 5 inches long.
- At the 9th week, they are 6-8 inches long.
The stages of development are interesting as well:
- At 10 days the fertilized ova have reached the uterus.
- At 10-21 days traces of the fetus appear, and traces of head, body, and limbs can be discerned.
- At 3-4 weeks the first indications of claws can be seen.
- At the 5th week, the stomach is well defined. At 6 weeks large hairs appear on lips, eyelids, etc.
- At 7-8 weeks the eyelashes have appeared, and hair is beginning to appear at the tip of the tail, head, and extremities.
- By the 9th week, the puppy is getting fully covered with hair and ready for its birth.