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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago I took a young GSD and her 6mo old pup to foster at my boarding kennel. The pup was quickly adopted but mom is heartworm positive and needed to stay with me thru her treatment. She has a wonderful family waiting to adopt her afterwards.

In any event, while waiting on her hw treatment to begin, she unexpectedly had puppies in my kennel. She was very thin, and I thought she was putting on a little weight, but being a big girl (tall and long) she did not appear pregnant. We are still amazed that she was hiding 8 huge puppies. We assumed her "motherly" look was the result of multiple pregnancies (we were told 3) and she is supposedly less than 2 years old.

All pups survived and are 1 week old today. I'd like to give these pups the best chance of a good life. Mom's temperament is fabulous but if the dad (GSD) is who we think it is, that half might be less desireable for the pets these pups are destined to be.

Any tips, ideas, suggestions on stimulation, activities, handling, playpen equipment? Things to avoid? I live on a farm so Im hoping early spring weather will allow some nice "field trips."

Thanks in advance.
 

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Bless you for giving mom a safe place to have her litter! This is a big undertaking.

We had one like that who unexpectedly dropped a litter in a shelter kennel at a city pound one night--the workers came in the next morning and found an exhausted girl nursing 6 puppies in her kennel. The shelter called rescue to come her out of there into a foster home, and all was well. I'll be honest though that I was sweating whether the newborn pups were in the shelter environment long enough to pick up disease. We somehow got lucky, and they were fine.

My strongest advice is to keep them safe and away from any situation where they might get parvo. That was my greatest fear with our litter. For example, when we had them out for meet and greets with prospective adopters, they were on a blanket, never touching the ground when out of their safe area at home. Visitors were even restricted to the foster home before the pups were vaccinated.

For a foster volunteer, a parvo outbreak at home would be devastating on multiple fronts -- potentially killing your foster pups and preventing you from fostering any other puppies in the future (for at least a year). For your boarding business, it could also impact your livelihood. Read all you can about how to prevent it.

Mom's HW treatment is obviously going to have to wait. Hopefully you can start her on slow-kill while she's nursing -- I would ask your vet. I've got a vague recollection that the dog we had was on Advantage Multi (topical, not ingested) as she was HW+ too, but I can't be positive -- your vet can look it up for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your response. We are doing our best to keep mom and pups isolated from risks. Fortunately my kennel is on a private farm and we aren't in a high traffic area. But parvo does worry me and once they are able to go outside, they will only touch the ground in my yard, not near the kennel.
 
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