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eye, so that it is necessary to take this into consideration in making the selection; but fat is a sign of strength, both actual and constitutional, when it is remarkably permanent in one or two among a litter, for it can only be obtained either by depriving the others of their share of milk by main force, or through such constitutional vigour as to thrive better on the same share of aliment. The navel should be examined to ascertain if there is any rupture, and this alone is a reason for deferring the choice till nearly the end of the first week, up to which time there is no means of judging as to its existence. Indeed, if possible, it is always better to rear nearly all till after weaning, either on the dam herself or on a fosternurse, as at that time the future shape is very manifest, and the consequences of weaning are shown, either in a wasting away of the whole body, or in a recovery from its effects in a short time. . Sometimes, however, there are not conveniences for either, and then recourse must be had to an early choice on the principles indicated above.
Need not be of the same breed as the puppies which she is to suckle, and at all times a smooth-skinned bitch is superior for the purpose to one with a rough coat, which is apt to harbour fleas, and in other ways conduces to the increase of dirt. For all large breeds the bull-terrier (which is the most commonly kept among the class who alone are likely to sell the services of a nurse) answers as well as any other, and her milk is generally plentiful and good. For small breeds any little house dog will suffice, taking care that the skin is healthy, and that the constitution is not impaired by confinement or gross feeding. Greyhound puppies are very commonly reared by bull-bitches without any disadvantage, clearly proving the propriety of the plan. It may generally be reckoned, in fixing the number which a bitch can suckle with advantage, that, of greyhound or pointer puppies, for every seven pounds in her own weight the bitch can do one well; so that an average bull-terrier will rear three, her weight being about twenty-one pounds, and smaller dogs in proportion. When the substitution is to be made, the plan is to proceed as follows:-Get a warm basket, put in it some of the litter in which the bitch and her whelps have been lying, then take away all her own progeny, and, together with the whelps to be fostered, put all in the basket, mixing them so that the skins of the fresh ones shall be in contact with the bitch's own pups and also with the litter. Let them remain in this way for three hours, during which time the bitch should be taken out for an hour's walk, and her teats will have become painfully distended with milk. Then put all the pups in her nest, and, carefully watching her, let her go back to them. In ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, she will at once allow them all to suck quietly, and if she licks all alike, she may be left with them safely enough ; but if she passes the fresh ones over, pushing them on one side, she should be muzzled for twelve hours, leaving all with her, and keeping the muzzle on excepting while she is fed, or watched till she is observed to lick all alike. On the next day, all but one of her own puppies may be withdrawn, with an interval of one hour or two between each two, and taking care that she does not see what is done. After two days the last may also be taken away, and then she acts to her foster-puppies in every way the same as to her own. Some people squeeze a little of the bitch's milk out of her teats, and rub this over the puppies, but I have never seen any advantage in the plan, and, as I have never had any difficulty in getting puppies adopted, I do not recommend any other than that I have described. In most cases the fosterbitch is strange to those about her, having been brought from her own home, and in that case a muzzle is often required for the safety of the servants watching her as well as for the whelps; but if she seems quiet and good-tempered, it may be dispensed with even here.
FEEDING BEFORE WEANING.
The food of whelps before reaning should be confined at first to cow's milk, or, if this is very rich, reduced with a little water. It is better to boil it, and it should be sweetened with fine sugar, as for the human palate. As much of this as the whelps will take may be given them three times a day, or every four hours if they are a large litter. In the fourth week get a sheep's head, boil it in a quart of water till the meat comes completely to pieces, then carefully take away every particle of bone, and break up
the meat into fragments no larger than a small horse-bean; mix all up with the broth, thicken this to the consistence of cream with fine wheat flour, boil for a quarter of an hour, then cool and give alternately with the milk. At this time the milk may also be thickened with flour; and as the puppies grow, and the milk of the bitch decreases in quantity, the amount of milk and thickened broth must be increased each day, as well as more frequently given. Some art, founded on experience, is required not to satiate the puppies ; but, by carefully increasing the quantity whenever the pups have finished it greedily the last time or two, they will not be overdone. In no case should the pan containing the food be left in the intervals with the puppies, if they have not cleared it out, as they only become disgusted with it, and next time refuse to feed. A sheep's head will serve a litter of largesized puppies two days up to weaning, more or less according to nuinbers and age.
CHOICE OF PLACE FOR WHELPING.
The whelping-place, up to the third week, may be confined to a square yard or two, floored with board as already described. After the third week, when the puppies begin to run about, access should be given them to a larger run, and an inclined plane should be arranged for them to get up and down from their boarded stage. If the weather is cold, the best place for a bitch to whelp is in a saddle-room warmed by a stove; or an empty stall, with a two-foot board placed across the bottom, opposite the stall-post, so as to prevent the puppies getting among the horses. In either case there is an amount of artificial heat, which conduces to the growth of the puppies, and allows them to be reared sufficiently strong to bear any cold afterwards with impunity. If the weather is not cold, an ordinary horse-box is the best place which can be chosen, fixing the boarded stage at a distance from the door, and either sanding or slightly littering the brick floor, according to the weather; but the latter is to be preferred, excepting in a very hot summer. In these boxes puppies take a vast amount of exercise, which they require for health, and to give that appetite without which sufficient food for growth is not taken.
REMOVAL OF DEW-CLAWS, ETC.
Before weaning, any cropping which is intended, whether of the dew-claw or tail, should be practised, but the ears should be left alone till the third or fourth month, as they are not sufficiently developed before. If, however, the operator does not understand his business thoroughly, it is better to leave the latter organs alone, till a later period, as otherwise the proper quantity may not be cropped or rounded, as the case may be. Indeed, even the most skilful hand will hardly ever manage either the one or the other well before the fifth month; and in hounds it is usual to defer it till they are nearly full grown, as they often lose a considerable quantity of blood, which interferes with their