Down South Westies
...Home of beautiful, loving, West Highland White Terriers!

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We use and recommend
supplies for all your puppy needs!

 Original Mars® Coat-King - 12 blade (fine)

 Nature's Miracle® Advanced Stain and Odor Remove

Kalaya Emu Oil Shampoo

Super White™ Coat Brightener Shampoo

Four Paws® Brewers Yeast With Garlic

Animal Ear Cleaning Products

 

 Puritan's Pride Logo
Omega-3 Fish Oil Concentrate Gel Caps 

 

 

 

 

 

Care For Pregnant Moms!

As former Westie breeders, we were very careful in our breeding program to be sure that our dogs were a good representation of the Westie Standard before we bred.  Breeding is not difficult at all, but it is very important that breeding not take place if the mom or dad are not healthy nor are not good representations of the breed.  Some breeders are horrendously over-breeding Westies.  This means that some people are breeding for dollars, with little thought to quality of pups and quality homes.  This results in a lot of suffering by both people and dogs.  People suffer because they fall in love with a Westie that is unhealthy or has an inferior temperament.  There is nothing more heartbreaking than giving your heart to a Westie that suffers greatly or dies young.  We screen our prospective families  in order to be sure they understand Westies and have a willingness to provide good, caring homes.    We enjoy keeping up with our pups, receiving photos, and learning about their development.  Here is a note from one of our families:

"He started Puppy Kindergarten today.  At first, he seemed very frightened by all the other doggies.  There were pups of all shapes 'n sizes in attendance, e.g., Rottweiler, Lab, Bull dog, Coon mix, and even another Westie.  By the end of the 1-hour session, however, he was playing right along with all of the pups and their owners!  It was delightful.  MacKenzie especially took a liking to Lucy, a 12 week old female Westie.  They ran   and rolled around together like a couple of bunnies.  Westie pups really do look like bunnies when they run!  I highly recommend the Puppy-K for ALL puppies and their new owners.  I am probably being prejudice, but MacKenzie was the cutest, sweetest, and most healthy looking one of the bunch today. And what a difference between MacKenzie and Lucy's overall features (though they're both Westies).  The most striking was the color  and quality of their coats.  Lucy's coat seemed to be very fine and discolored, while MacKenzie's is full and white as snow.  MacKenzie, like  ALL the pups at Down South Westies are so healthy looking, while Lucy  was so slight and frail (though she's 2 weeks older than MacKenzie).  MacKenzie is very laid back and friendly, while Lucy was extremely hyperactive.  So you see, Down South Westies truly ARE the best pups in the world! "                    Deborah

Comments like this make us proud of our Westies!  Westies were our passion and Linda spent a lot of hours caring for them and playing with them.  She took them seriously!  We have been very fortunate to produce a line of pups that are very healthy and have no known health problems.

Before our moms came into season, we were careful to be sure she was checked and cleared for worms, current on her vaccinations, and checked to make sure she was in optimal physical condition.  Most of our moms give birth on day 60 to  day 63. On day 57 we would begin taking her temp two times daily.  When her temp falls to 99 degrees and stays, we know that pups are coming within the next 24 hours.  Any longer than that, we make a trip to the vet.  We stay with her around the clock.  We record the time her water breaks.  If pups haven’t started arriving within two hours, we call the vet and he decides whether we need to come or not.  We kept in close contact with our vet.  We also record the time of the first contraction.  If mom hasn’t had a pup within two hours, it’s another call to the vet!  Again, he decides if we come in.  Usually, whelping (delivery) goes uneventfully.  It usually takes around 5-6 hours to deliver 4 or 5 pups.  It always happens in the wee hours of the night.  We stay with her and I personally have slept beside them for as many as 6 nights anticipating a delivery and then taking care of them afterwards.  They always seem to sense this kind of love and they never forget those long nights.  They are all very loving moms!

Care For Our Pups And Their Moms!

Preparing For Birth 

A couple of weeks before whelping, we begin getting  together all of our supplies.  We have plenty of towels and paper towels on hand.  We have dental floss to tie the umbilical cord, colored cord to loosely tie around their necks for identification, digital scales to weigh each pup at birth, and all of our medications.  The whelping box is a 4’ X 4’ box that offers plenty of room for mom and her new pups.            

Whelping

Even though some breeders leave their dogs to whelp their pups alone and assist only if they have problems, we are present every step of the way.  Linda is a great doggie mid-wife.  Most pups are born head first, although a number are born with hindquarters first.  Either position is usually considered normal.  We assist mom in breaking the sac covering each puppy and let her lick it to clean it.  Most pups begin to squirm and cry on its own,  but sometimes we have to aspirate and vigorously rub the pup to get him going.  Squealing means the pup is breathing.  We record the time, weight, gender of the pup, and place the color-coded cord for identification.  We then place the pups with mom to nurse and get that important milk (colostrum) that contains mom’s immunity that helps the pups for several weeks be immune to disease.  Nursing prompts mom to have contractions and deliver the next pup.  While the next pup is being born,  we place the pups in an incubator to keep them warm.    One of the greatest threats to a pup the first two weeks is temperature.  That is why we keep the whelping room at 80 degrees.   In the weeks to follow, we lower the temp.  

Whelping Problems

Most mother dogs have the necessary tools for normal whelping, but sometimes need our assistance.  Assistance is given immediately because time is of the essence!  If a pup is lodged in the birth canal, immediate assistance is given.  If a pup is born weak, our assistance can save its life. Sometimes we have to drain fluid from the mouth and lungs. I have even given mouth-to-mouth resusitation.  Many times we supplement the mom’s milk with our own formula.  When supplementing,  we are sure that the new born pup receives at least 2-3 cc’s every 2-3 hours for the first two weeks.  We have spent many long nights getting up every two to three hours and feeding newborn pups because mom had problems producing enough milk.  Believe me, you have to love your Westies to do this!

Follow-up Care Of The Mother

Within 24 hours, we take mom and the pups to the vet for a check-up.  Mom is given a shot to be sure she expels all left-over placentas so there will be no infection.  We check her temp for about a week to be sure there are no problems. 

We continue to feed mom puppy food to give her the increased nutrients needed to produce milk for her pups.

Care Of Newborn Puppies

A good mother will do most of the work in caring for her newborn pups prior to weaning, but sometimes a lot of intervention is needed such as hand feeding the pups.   We give a lot of human socialization and contact so the pups get off to a  good start.  About week 4, they are eating well and have a huge appetite.  It is amazing how much food they can eat because of the competition from their litter mates. 

Weaning

Under normal conditions, weaning naturally occurs around 5-6 weeks after birth.  It is during these weeks that the pups  become more independent and begin to  learn from their mom.  Becoming more independent, mom does not hesitate  to correct them when necessary.  It is interesting to see mom offer that correction!  We can learn much from the way mom does that in teaching us how to become “alpha” and correcting them as they continue to grow.  When each pup goes to their new home, they go with a puppy pak that includes Nutro Natural Choice Lamb and Rice Puppy Food and other information.