Ok. I know. She should not have been bred on her first heat, and while I correctly identified her heat cycle and locked up our male, I underestimated the little hussy’s ability to shimmy under the gate and find her lover. Luckily, Penny has had unlimited access to goats milk and puppy chow throughout her pregnancy and has been well-nourished. While I certainly wouldn’t have chosen to have our first whelping anywhere near spring kidding, it was a sweet way to cap off a successful kidding season.
Penny is a Karakachan, and a valuable member of the LGD team we employ to keep our goats safe. Due to the scarcity of this breed in the US, we decided to introduce Karakachans to Colorado where LGDs are a necessary part of raising livestock.
When our livestock vet was out a few weeks ago to disbud goat kids, I asked her to ultrasound Penny to confirm pregnancy. Our vet saw at least 4 pups on the ultrasound and their stage of development lined up with Penny’s heat dates. I began a cram course on whelping; employing my mad googling skills and picking the brains of a couple dog mentors in my area.
We got our whelping box set up, ordered meds and started tracking Penny’s temperatures. For those who don’t know, a dog’s temp will drop to 99.0F 24 hours before whelping, and 98.0F 12 hours before whelping. Yesterday morning, Penny’s temp was 98.4. She spent most of the day under our bed (because the whelping box was scary), but occasionally came out to touch base with us. Before bedtime, her temp was 99.0F. I wasn’t sure what to make of this, but was mentally prepared for anything.
At 2:30 this morning, Penny woke me up to go out. She typically sleeps through the night, so this alerted me to the possibility of labor. I let her out and made sure to keep an eye on her. She returned to her spot under the bed, and I could hear her shuffling to get comfortable. After about a half hour, I dozed off, but it wasn’t long before I woke to my little dog Zippy urgently trying to get my attention. He was shaking and perturbed. I heard some faint, high-pitched squeals and quickly looked under the bed. Penny was there with a tiny black and white baby! I woke up Mr SizeMatters and we jumped to action. Penny was on a blanket under the bed, so we gently pulled her out on the blanket and found a second pup nestled up next to her! We transferred her to the whelping box, and assisted her over the next 2 hours as she delivered a total of 7 pups! Two males and 5 females! Penny has been an excellent mama – she is acting like an old pro and making sure those pups nurse. These babies will go to working homes, so if you think you need a Registered Karakachan for your farm, please contact us.