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Thread: Should I be concerned about this puppy?

  1. #1
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    Default Should I be concerned about this puppy?

    We have a litter of 5 puppies, born 2/13. Everyone was doing fine and gaining weight after the first day except for one blenheim girl. Here is the girl's daily weight (ounces) every day at about 5 p.m. and when we started and stopped tubing:

    6.4 oz(birth); 6.1, 6.0; 5.9 (started tubing); 6.1; 6.5; (stopped tubing); 7.2; 7.8; 8.7; 9.2; 10.1; 10.2 (started tubing after weight loss overnight); 10.4 (today)

    We are tubing her with canned Goat's Milk Esbilac, 6 cc. every three hours. The first time we were tubing her, we held her on a nipple by herself about an hour prior for 20 minutes and she nursed....or at least went through the motions. When I saw another somewhat significant weight loss yesterday morning, I started tubing her again. What's different this time is that she isn't interested in nursing and that worries me a bit. I pee and poop her about 1/2 hour before tubing and she is peeing and pooping normally and does not appear lethargic; She also seems to have a well-rounded tummy.

    Should I be concerned? Anything I should be doing differently?
    Bruce H
    MysticKnight Cavaliers
    AKC Breeder of Merit

  2. #2

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    Question 1: Did the pup nurse from the mother to get the colostrum?

    Question 2: why are you feeding goat's milk? Is puppy formula not available where you are? While goats' milk is better than cows', it still lacks quite a lot of the nutrients that a puppy needs. An old fashioned food that worked was to add a couple of egg yolks (from a safe source and not likely to be contaminated with salmonella) to about 200 cl evaporated or unsweetened condensed milk - that was cows' milk; there's no equivalent in goats' milk.

    Question 3: was the mother vaccinated against canine herpes virus? It's a possibilty, if rare, and has been linked to fading puppies, but usually all the pups in a litter would be affected.

    Question 4: why are you tubing her? At 12 days most will suck from a bottle - or is that the problem, that she won't suck and won't suckle her mother?

    Question 5 : What is the mother's attitude to this puppy? If you are cleaning her, does this mean that the mother isn't? If the mother isn't willing to I'd be concerned that Mother Nature was telling you something. I once had a pup that the mother deliberately threw out of the nest three times so had to accept that she knew something I didn't.

    Question 6: have you wormed her? A well rounded stomach, evacuating normally and not feeding well is not quite normal and could possibly indicate a heavy burden of worms, although she's a bit young. I'm sure you're aware of panacur paste and there are other anthelmintics that come in paste or liquid form and can be used on very young puppies.

    I'd also be concerned that if a pup loses the will to suckle there might be something quite "wrong" with it.

    Are the eyes beginning to open?

    The smallest puppy in my current litter weighed about the same at the same age, but she was smaller at birth, about 5.7 ounces, (I use grams so my conversions might not be exact!) had a slight weight loss the first day, picked up on day 2 and has been gaining steadily since. I do graphs. In percentage terms, she has gained a bigger percentage of her birth weight than the boy, who is the biggest of the litter. I know from experience that that is not at all significant! A puppy who weighed 11 1/4 ounces at birth, 6 lbs 6 1/4 ounces at eight weeks, was a nice size when adult, 16 lbs.

    One who weighed 6 ounces at birth was even bigger at eight weeks, 6 lbs 12 oz, but he too ended up a decent size while another, 8 oz at birth, 5 1/2 lbs at eight weeks, grew huge........... someone called him a Cavalier going on Rottweiler.

    Good luck!

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 02-26-2016 at 08:33 AM.

  3. #3

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    Jane, Esbilac is a puppy milk formula food, and Bruce seems as far as I can see to be topping her up when he gets concerned about her weight? She's what, 12, 13 days old? doesn't fading puppy or herpes kick in before that? Perhaps she's just not as hungry if she's the only one you're tubing, and if she's evacuating normally with nothing unusual, it might be just a phase? Having said that, I do know that things can develop quite rapidly in young whelps, so hopefully she's still fine today. Let us know ...
    Sheena Stevens

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the response Jane. I'll respond as best I can, as my wife (the real expert) is not here for a few days.

    1. The puppy nursed vigorously from minutes after birth up until yesterday. We had the same concern about colostrum, but she did nurse vigorously at the start, just didn't gain any weight.
    2. Goats Milk Esbilac was always something vets around here have recommended because it seems easier on their system than cows milk.
    3. Canine herpes is not something we typically vaccinate for here, so we did not. The other 4 puppies are doing very well.
    4. We have almost always tubed puppies. We and a lot of vets feel it's safer than a bottle because there's no chance of getting milk in the lungs. Although, as of yesterday, she would not nurse on mom.
    5. Mom is taking care of her just fine. It's just become habit for us to pee and poop a puppy before feeding; don't remember where we learned to do that. It's just once in a while that we get anything from the puppy.
    6. I'm not sure if my wife has wormed the litter; I just put a call in to her to find out.

    Not wanting to nurse is a huge red flag for me. Eyes are just starting to open; I can just see a glint of "light", so that's pretty much on time. Two of the other four have opened their eyes. I've decided to call the reproduction vet when they open at 7 a.m. (5:30 a.m. now) to see if they can look at the pup. I always hesitate to bring a very young puppy to a vet.

    A bit over a year ago we had a similar problem and had to tube feed a puppy until it was 3 weeks old. That boy is now 14 months old and doing fine, although he is quite small at 10-1/2 pounds. Something that occurred to me is that both that dog and this one had the same sire. I can't imagine that would have anything to do with it, would it?
    Bruce H
    MysticKnight Cavaliers
    AKC Breeder of Merit

  5. #5
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    Update on the little girl: I took her into the reproduction vet yesterday morning. The little girl was slightly dehydrated, had a slightly elevated temperature and had diarrhea. The vet kept her for the day, continued tube feeding her and gave her some subQ fluids. I am continuing to tube her, but giving her 10 ml rather than 6 ml of the Goats Milk Esbilac that I was giving her. I am also giving her some probiotic once a day. That little girl is really doing well so far. She has gained on ounce of weight in the last 24 hours I have had her home and is nursing like a mad-woman in between the tubings. Crossing my fingers that this continues. Thank you for taking the time to respond; it gave me something to talk to the vet about.

    Here is a picture of the five puppies in a puppy pile. We don't think there are any future champions here, but they will make five people very happy!

    Puppy pile 022216.jpg
    Bruce H
    MysticKnight Cavaliers
    AKC Breeder of Merit

  6. #6

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    Hi Bruce, and Sheena,

    Sorry - didn't recognise the name Esbilac! Should have done a Google search before I replied..... the principal puppy milk brands in France are Royal Canin Babydog milk, which doesn't have any feculants and almost no lactose, Happy Dog Supreme Baby Milk Probiotic, also low in lactose and with added intestinal bacteria, and Meradog lait pour chiot. Interesting the first two are in English!

    I don't really know when canine herpes virus kicks in: I've only read a bit and can't remember much except that it was the probable cause of fading puppy syndrome and understand that quite a few people now vaccinate just in case.......

    It sounds as if the puppy is on the road to recovery: if she is now nursing well that is a very good sign.

    I've only once bottle fed a puppy. I'd whelped the litter for a friend who was in hospital. This pup was very much smaller than the others, and suckled well when she could get latched on to a nipple but got pushed off. About five or six times a day I held her on a nipple and kept the others away as she was so much smaller, but unfortunately the mother got stressed that the other pups weren't there so didn't seem to let her milk down. I started bottle feeding at about day four, and she gained weight quite well. I had a puppy bottle and the teat had three tiny pinpricks in it so that it was difficult to get a lot of milk out at a time. The friend came out of hospital and decided to take the puppies home, at two weeks of age. I was unhappy for several reasons, one that it's stressful for them to be moved. The puppy died about four days later

    Tom regretted that we weren't more forceful and said that as she was only just out of hospital (knee replacement!) she wasn't really up to looking after a litter of puppies. She had her own recovery to take care of - and a sick husband. The reason I took the pregnant bitch was that her husband was taken into hospital a few days after she was: he was found wandering in his shirtsleeves in the pouring rain, apparently lost, about half a mile from their house. It was found he had a brain tumour, and he died later in the year. He was in and out of hospital and so she had him to think about as well so it really would have been better for mum and pups to have stayed with us. Hey ho. I've bottle fed orphan lambs and piglets and Dad told me always to keep them on their stomachs with their heads up as they suckled: a friend tube fed lambs only if they were very weak and unabel to suckle - but they are a different animal!

    If the puppy had a temperature and diaorrhea it rather indicates an infection, so is probably coincidence that another puppy with the same father had something similar, unless it's a genetic tendency to pick up infection.

    The pups look pretty even in size: I love the tricolour with the blenheim spot in black! My very first Cavalier was black and tan but under the hair on the top of her head was a chestnut lozenge in very short hair; the perfect Blenheim spot! Sadly she didn't pass that down to any of her descendants. You could only see it by brushing the hair back, and I don't know why I never took a photo.

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 02-28-2016 at 09:29 AM.

  7. #7
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    Jane, we tend to see the black blenheim spot a lot in our tricolor puppies. I would venture to say there's at least one in every litter. I love it, but for whatever reason, black doesn't seem to like being an island. What we typically see happen is that the black eventually becomes a bridge.
    Bruce H
    MysticKnight Cavaliers
    AKC Breeder of Merit

  8. #8

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    Pleased to hear she's picked up and is nursing well! lovely bunch of pups.
    Sheena Stevens

  9. #9

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    I'd love to know more about the genetics of particolour markings: I've never seen the black spot before but then, as you say it will close up so the dogs wouldn't be shown. Woudn't it be great if you could breed for that particular mark in blenheim......... off on a flight of fancy...

    Hope the little girl continues to do well

    Jane
    Last edited by Janelise; 02-29-2016 at 07:58 AM.

  10. #10
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    Our little girl is continuing to do very well. The vet wanted us to keep tubing her over the weekend, but I have been cutting back a little on amount and increasing the time between tubings when I see her nursing. I'll see what the vet says when I update her in a few hours. That little chunk who was 10.4 ounces when I brought her in is now 13.4 ounces; and is she ever strong now! So I think all is well.

    If my wife was here I might be able to get a little bit more into the genetics; she's heading home today from an Old Club show that was in Dallas. We tend to see the black spot when we are on the side of our tricolor lines that goes back to Ch. Laughing Lazer. We will be forever grateful to Barbara Garnett-Wilson for placing with us our first male puppy when we were a virtual unknown, just getting started in the show world. Lazer was a beautiful boy that we championed at 1-1/2 years old. Sadly, he only made it to 12 years old when MVD took him. I really loved that big-headed boy!
    Bruce H
    MysticKnight Cavaliers
    AKC Breeder of Merit

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