Leigh: This is just a short update on Magic's pregnancy as we are expecting her to be ready to give birth around this coming weekend. We are now on day 59 from mating and 60-63 days are average. She is still growing although she manages to go on slow walks still and can even sometimes jump on the sofa although she has taken to sleeping stretched out in one of the ground level beds more often:
As you can see she still falls out - this is not unusual for her :-)
Some people have asked if we know how many pups she is expecting but we decided not to have a scan done which would have given some indication so we'll just wait and see. I would expect 4 - 6 puppies as being the average size litter for miniature schnauzers and although she seems large she's not so enormous that I would think she has an unusual number. The record as far as I know is actually 11 puppies from a UK breeder many years ago. It's hard to believe such a small dog could have so many puppies!
This is a photo of Magic when she came to live with us 2 years ago - it's hard to believe she may now be about to have pups of her own. If they are like her they will be very sweet :-)
She seems very fit and well and still eating! In terms of health she comes from a strong pedigree with no health issues and has been eye tested by a BVA eye specialist vet. Miniature schnauzers as a breed have been known to suffer hereditary problems with cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy which can lead to complete blindness. The Kennel Club in the UK recommends that all miniature schnauzers - most especially those being used for breeding - are eye tested annually to ensure they are clear of the condition. Both Magic and her parents and Luke (her mate) and his parents are clear and there is no history as far as we know on either pedigree of these conditions. Puppies can be tested before they leave to go to their new home for cataract problems but the PRA test cannot be done until they are a year old. Another issue with pedigree dogs generally is in-breeding which can also lead to hereditary problems and a limited gene pool for breeding. The UK Kennel Club now runs a Mate Select service on-line which can not only give the inbreeding coefficient for an individual registered dog but also tell you what it would be for their offspring. The wonders of modern technology!
For Miniature Schnauzers the average in-breeding is only 6% but for Magic and Luke their offspring would be just 0.9% which is excellent in terms of the diversity of their genetic make-up. We have done all we can to ensure that Magic's puppies will be as healthy and fit as can be so we are just keeping fingers crossed that all goes well over the next week and Magic is soon a mum of some happy little minis :-)