Joined: Sep 2007
This all sounds perfectly normal to me.
Firstly check the upper part of the mouths of all the puppies for cleft palates to make sure they can all feed.
Bitches normally eat the placentas as this clears up all the mess and provides good nutrition to help her milk supply.
If a placenta has been retained it is likely that the bitch is running a temperature so get a thermometer and check.
An Oxytocin injection would normally expel anything left behind.
After eating placentas and cleaning up puppies, bitches are usually quite loose for a while so this is normal. Also normal is a dark coloured discharge which lessens over the next 2-3 weeks.
It is also normal for the bitch to clean up her belly area as well as the puppies - to show the puppies that as it smells the same as they do, it is OK to feed. You may have to encourage the little one to feed by putting it on a more productive teat.
I weigh my puppies every day for the first 2 weeks - they should double in weigh in the first 7 days.
They and their mum then need worming at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks. Make sure you continue to weigh them for 2 days after worming in case of adverse reaction.
Give mum as much as she will eat, ours like mashed potato with butter and milk, meat mince in gravy and scrambled eggs. She must also get plenty of fresh clean water. I dont give milk as it gives them diarhorrea.
They need a quiet calm place - a high sided box and you need to keep an eye on them in case mum lies on the puppies and squashes them.
I'm sure everything will be OK. Good luck
and I hope you enjoy your 'surprise'