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Bilbo Baggins

Swimmer Pups

55 posts in this topic

Parkeyre   

Thanks for posting your experience with Swimmer Pups Bilbo Baggins.

A very interesting read. I will go now and google more about it out of interest.

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Hastings   
Most of these sites stated that swimmer pups were hereditary.

I mentioned this to my breeder friend and his comment was not hereditary but enviromental.

I think paper in a whelping box is part of the trouble that starts swimmer puppies off.

No grip, they just slip and slide everywhere.

Giant breeds most breeders use, carpet or something heavy with plenty of grip.

Exactly. NEVER just have paper in a whelping box. I use drYbed always , the pups have to have grip or the legs go everywhere. Much nicer for the Mum too

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Just wanted to say a big thanks for this topic being posted.

We had one boy in our current litter who from day dot slept flat on his chest with his front legs legs down either side of his body. I was not and am not sure if he was what would be diagnosed a swimmer (our vet wasn't concerned !) but having read this topic made me fully aware of his physical behaviour. His chest was very broad and a little flat though still slightly curved.

We use dry bed and the box wasn't too hot - things that came to mind straight away. So I did a little more searching and read about moving them onto their sides to sleep and also 'shaping' the chest - this is done by stretching the legs forward and putting slight pressure on the ribcage to help it form properly. I also read about Vit E helping to correct this, so I gave additional Vit E to his dam, did the physical pressure and kept moving him onto his side and holding him until he was asleep again.

He is now sleeping normally and moving normally (actually he is probably up on his feet more than any of the others), also the shape of his chest is not slightly flat. As I said I am not sure he would be technically a swimmer but thanks to reading this topic it was probably more obvious to me.

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SwaY   

A swimmer puppy pillowcase/sling.

Turn the pillow case inside out. The part that you fold over to hold the pillow in, goes over the back of the chair to hang it.

(A bit like a children's chair bag like they have at school)

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AdoubleJ   

My OH made a 'channel' just wide enough for pup to stand up in and walk up and down in. We made a game of it and within a week you would never have known he was any different.

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Thanks to everyone who posted in here - I hope that any breeder who has a "swimmer" will look at this thread first, rather than seeking advice elsewhere (I was told emphatically on another forum that "swimmers" NEVER develop properly & it would be kinder to have him PTS)

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Mjosa   

This is a great thread, and I think all potential breeders and those that have been breeders of long standing should read through this.

When I have new born puppies here, the whelping box is setup first with eggshell foam with the grooves upwards, and vet bed or dry bed over the top, so that when the babies are starting to move around the humps in the foam make them get up on their feet and vet/dry bed helps with the grip.

Having Frenchies they can be chunky babies by the time it is time to walk around and I know that this has prevented swimmer puppies.

The eggshell foam is the underlay for our beds and so I can get two pieces from single mattress size, or it can be obtained from a rubber/foam shop, we have Clarke Rubber here.

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This is a great thread, and I think all potential breeders and those that have been breeders of long standing should read through this.

When I have new born puppies here, the whelping box is setup first with eggshell foam with the grooves upwards, and vet bed or dry bed over the top, so that when the babies are starting to move around the humps in the foam make them get up on their feet and vet/dry bed helps with the grip.

Having Frenchies they can be chunky babies by the time it is time to walk around and I know that this has prevented swimmer puppies.

The eggshell foam is the underlay for our beds and so I can get two pieces from single mattress size, or it can be obtained from a rubber/foam shop, we have Clarke Rubber here.

That eggshell foam sounds great - must remember it. I usually used newspaper, but also put towels over it so the puppies have something to grip. (Plus the towels are easily washed & replaced)

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Those that use it - how do you get around the fact that a lot of bitches dig up the bed and will quite happily rip/destroy EAT foam rubber. Nothing foam rubber ever goes anywhere near any of mine!

Rolled up towels under drybed works well to get pups up on their feet. Never on newspaper alone :D

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Gosh - this brings back memories of a HUGE singleton lab puppy .. a swimmer. She was outfitted with a loose figure-of eight set of 'pawcuffs' for the front legs ... LOTS of rolling around, and restricted feeding time. She did survive ... but it was hard work .

I remember all our working dogs whelping in sand 'caves'.. hemispherical nests..so puppies wandering would always roll back to the middle ..and they got a lot of exercise moving over the sandy surface.

A bed with good grip is vital for pups' development .... newspaper is just too slippery ... and even sheets stretched out are often stable or rough enough.

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Leema   

Thanks for this thread. A lot more positively focussed than some other material I've read about swimmers on the internet.

One of the boys in my current litter is a bit swimmer. I've always had towels down, but mum is a bit of a mad-nester so often the puppies end up on the newspaper... Though they complain loudly about this, and I come and rectify the situation. (They prefer to be on bedding than newspaper.

My puppies are 3 weeks old, and the difference has become obvious as two puppies are standing confidently, and walking well enough. Swimmer boy doesn't.

I've added egg carton underneath their bedding so he has to use his legs more.

He does use his hind legs a lot (he doesn't drag them behind him, and he actually powers off them quite well) - he just sticks his front legs off to the side.

Will it be much use having him in a sling at this age? I've put him in one today and he actually didn't object!

Do you think if I let him go with the mountainous terrain and the inspiration of his siblings play, this will be enough to get him walking?

I've attached a picture of him (the darker dog on the left) playing with his brother (the redder dog on the right). You can see he does pick himself up off the ground a little bit.

post-3433-1293850995_thumb.jpg

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Leema   

And here's a picture of him to show his legs.

post-3433-1293851198_thumb.jpg

Edited by Leema

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Jed   
Those that use it - how do you get around the fact that a lot of bitches dig up the bed and will quite happily rip/destroy EAT foam rubber. Nothing foam rubber ever goes anywhere near any of mine!

Rolled up towels under drybed works well to get pups up on their feet. Never on newspaper alone :)

For rippers and diggers, you can use that strong cardboard from the bottom of fruit boxes - the shaped cardboard to hold individual fruits in place. Lots of hills and valleys.

You can usually find it at the fruiterers - but you may have to dig through the discarded cartons to find it. Put blankets or whatever on top of it, and tuck on or safety pin well, depending on what your set up is --- it's easy enough to obtain, and free, so you can throw it out.

For really determined diggers you can sometimes find those rolled up material snake things people put under the bottom of doors - strategically place them either under, or on top of the bedding. Don't get the ones filled with sand though :)

I don't think it is heredity either. Who does decide whether things are hereditary or not? They are often wrong, imh!

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Thanks for this thread. A lot more positively focussed than some other material I've read about swimmers on the internet.

One of the boys in my current litter is a bit swimmer. I've always had towels down, but mum is a bit of a mad-nester so often the puppies end up on the newspaper... Though they complain loudly about this, and I come and rectify the situation. (They prefer to be on bedding than newspaper.

My puppies are 3 weeks old, and the difference has become obvious as two puppies are standing confidently, and walking well enough. Swimmer boy doesn't.

I've added egg carton underneath their bedding so he has to use his legs more.

He does use his hind legs a lot (he doesn't drag them behind him, and he actually powers off them quite well) - he just sticks his front legs off to the side.

Will it be much use having him in a sling at this age? I've put him in one today and he actually didn't object!

Do you think if I let him go with the mountainous terrain and the inspiration of his siblings play, this will be enough to get him walking?

I've attached a picture of him (the darker dog on the left) playing with his brother (the redder dog on the right). You can see he does pick himself up off the ground a little bit.

I would be inclined to start "massaging" his front legs - work gently on the shoulder joint & move them in the right direction for walking. As long as you are gentle, it won't do any harm & the pup will not object. I used to do this to "Thorpie" several times a day.

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Leema   

Thanks, poodlemum, but the boy is walking now!

This boy didn't object to being put into a pillow case, so we did that. He also didn't object to being hobbled, so we did that (first with his front legs, then they seemed to come good and his back legs were a problem).

He's still very loose and uncoordinated, but he has the best little attitude and probably thinks it is fun to do face plants.

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We have found when we use part of an old mattress cover, piece of chenille bedspread etc., something to give the pups a bit of traction we get fewer swimmers than with a slippery surface under them. We still use many layers of newspaper underneath then a covering. It does make more washing but worth it imho.

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