Puppies too large for bitch to feed (I think) Advice please??(17 Posts)
Our dog (a very small terrier cross type thing) had 3 puppies 6 days ago, they're huge, think the father may be a labrador that was lurking about at what I'd assume was the time of conception. Not sure if she's managing to feed them all, well, she has been so far but they are growning very quickly and I don't think she can sustain the feeding much longer. Earlier this afternoon a friend went in to check on her while I was out and said that he thought she was shaking a bit. Went to her when I got home just now and put the water bowl under her nose, she drank quite a bit then started to shake a bit. I decided that the (rather greedy) pups should give her a break, so I took them all off feeding and put them the other side of the dog bed for a bit (they are constantly feeding) and she lay there and ate a whole tin in one go. She was shaking quite a bit at this point. Am thinking of going to buy some puppy milk and a syringe or something to help her with feeding the pups they are really massive in comparisson to their mother (our old dog had a couple of litters so I've something to compare it to I don't think I'm being dramatic, I think if it was left alone, either the pups or the mum will die). The mum (at a guess) is about 15" long,(without including her tail) and quite short, pups are between 6/7" long allready and are very wide (but not fat). . . . . . anyone? Help!
she's stopped shaking now, worried she's getting some kind of feever, do dogs get feevers?
You need to see a vet. NOW. As in right now. Pick up the phone and dial now. There could be any number of reasons why she is shaking, including dead puppies being trapped inside her or infection. I very much doubt it's that she is unable to feed them.
This is the reason why I hate and destest backyard breeders. Poor bitch. Poor puppies.
As Dooin says it sounds like she has hypocalcaemia which can happen with any size puppies as the milk comes in. With the correct treatment she should be able to feed her babies fine. Haven't seen you post before so just to add I am a vet and I would be seeing your dog NOW.
Dooin, believe it or not I agree with you regarding the bloody irresponsible dog breeding, she is also (IMO) too young to have them (she's not 2 yet).
Thanks, liz , I think I have heard about this before, it's where the body calcifies inside the mother?
And yes I will get her to a vet today.
Everything that Dooin said, especially the last bit, though I've no doubt some idiot will come along and tell me that I'm bullying and flame me for agreeing with Dooin's comment.
FFS OP, or rather for the sake of your poor dog, PLEASE GET HER SPAYED AT THE EARLIEST MEDICALLY SAFE OPPORTUNITY.
And please also tell us how she's doing - there may not be anything we can do other than offer the advice we have, but I'm sure that other Doghouse posters will agree with me that we worry all the same.
well you have had a light grilling, so no need for me to cover that angle.
How is the dog now OP? and the pups? Did you manage to get an appt with the vet?
For what its worth when my friend breeds she always does a night feed with the puppies, wont do them any harm and will give the mum a break.
Hopefully she's seena vet by now. It's a really good idea for a bitch and litter to be seen by a vet soon after the birth anyway, to rule out any stuck puppies, cleft palates etc.
If she is healthy and well fed she should be able to feed her pups, regardless of size. Kibble will be more calorie dense than tinned food though and pupy kibble is better because is it even more calorie dense. A lactating bitch needs many small meals a day and plenty of water to drink.
It's not a great idea to leave a newly whelped bitch and puppies alone, I personally prefer 24/7 supervision for at least 2-3 weeks, preferably until the puppies are weaned.
For future information, if a bitch has an unwanted mating, you can get her injected at the vet up to 6 weeks post mating to prevent a pregnancy. Much better idea than an accidental litter. Strict supervision during seasons is also a really good idea.
Oh, and I wouldn't feed or top up the puppies, a bitches milk works on exactly the same principle of human milk, supply and demand, the more her puppies nurse, the more milk she'll have. If you supplement, or the more you supplement, the less likely she is to be able to feed her puppies.
Keep an eye on their weight gain with daily weighing and make sure any slower gainers get plenty of access to the back, more productive, teats.
Thanks, she seems much better now...not great, she still looks exhausted.
Managed to pop into vets before it closed earlier, she had a look at the dog and said it looks like milk fever so she's been given some calcuim supplements and I'm keeping a close eye on 'er tonight, unfortunatly I have to work but it's always short shifts so she won't be alone more than a couple of hours. I also gave her a little bit of dextrose (apparently this is fine, yes?)
korma well, this black labrador started bringing her flowers, chocolates, wined&dined her a little, next thing you know, marvin gaye's on the stereo... no, that's not even funny ..I've been so worried about her today. She was left outside unsupervised (chain in the back of garden) while in season, I kept bloody saying this would happen , no she is not mine, she belongs to a relative (who doesn't live with me) but relative is away so she's my responsibility atm. (hope I'm not making relative sound like a monster, pooch is very well cared for otherwise)
crosshair thanks, so do I!
vallhala I'm just going to assume you didn't read my second post/realise it was me who wrote that. Yes, I agree with the splay, will be reccomending it gets done when she's recovered etc.
witches the pups are doing brilliantly. No properly opened eyes as yet, but accidental though they where they are gorgeous!
midori I've been out earlier and bought her some puppy food, I'd bought wet food though thinking it would be better nutitionally, but no? Any brand in particular you'd reccomend? 'cause I only got 6 tins...
Thanks for your replies everyone.
Am off to bed, will update if any news.
Cheers for the update, Glad you made it to the vet and she's getting better.
dried food is better as it is concentrated in calories/gram ratio. Just buy a decent brand of puppy food, not bakers as it is full of colourings.
Glad the mum and pups are doing well.
The dog seems much, much better today she was by the door waiting with her tail wagging when i got there, she had a little run about the garden, scoffed her food then went back to the pups
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