May 3 Day 54

Ok,  Now I've set the precedence... someone has to name a puppy Waldo.. ha ha ha

The Vet appointment went very well.  She said Nickel looked great but that she could use a tiny bit more weight.  Ha ha ha.. can you believe it?  It made Nickel very happy :)  I've intentionally kept her on the leaner side so the puppies didn't get too big and so she wouldn't have problems with delivery.  Now is the ideal time to give her a little cushion.  She'll be using a lot of energy producing milk for the pups and a little more weight will help her keep up with the calories.  I'll also add raw meaty bones back to her diet.  Due to the need for massive amounts of calcium during delivery it's  important not to over supplement the mom's diet with calcium.  Sounds contrary, but what happens is the extra Ca++ floating around in the blood stream shuts down the parathyroid.  Once in labor, the mom needs the parathyroid to stimulate the release of Calcium from the bones and if it's shut down... well.. it can't do this.   All Nickel knows is that she's thrilled to be eating more and chewing on bones again!  

Ok Ok... what's the final guess?  How many puppies... I'll tell you what.  I'll show you the xray and You tell Me!! ;)

If you haven't seen this before, I'll give you a hint.  First look for little round outlines of the skulls and then count spines.  The spines can be misleading since sometimes you can see the ribs on either side and think it's two spines.  

Just to make you feel better... the vet said that Nickel wasn't cooperating and the pups are all jumbled up making it hard to see.  

Good news is that all the skulls look fairly similar in size... none are too big.  The puppies aren't ready to come out yet and you know this since they are all facing in different directions and haven't started moving caudally yet.  As a matter of fact (hint hint) there are some tucked under the rib cage still.  Another hint is that the black holes are just intestinal gas... hee hee.. don't tell Nickel I told you.

Give up?  Here are the pups that the Vet and I saw... 

The pink lines are what look like spines without the skulls visible.... this 'could mean more puppies' or could be artifact
Oh, by the way.... the Vet said she saw 9 puppies!  I can only see 8 skulls but there are certainly more spines to account for :)

Comparison xray

Here's Ico's xray with 5  puppies: