One Day Old!

Everybody did well overnight, I was up every couple of hours to check on them and rescue anyone who was stuck behind Alice (the puppy room is our guest room right off our family room and I sleep right beside the whelping box). When I weighed the little Orange girl yesterday afternoon she’d lost more weight than I was comfortable with (you expect some weight loss in the first day, but she was already so tiny and looked really scrawny even for a neonate), so I decided to supplement her a bit with tube feeding.

Tube feeding is an invaluable skill for a breeder. I learned how when I was helping Popcorn in the C litter get over a difficult birth. Often tiny puppies like Popcorn and Mouse the Orange puppy end up burning more calories net than they take in because nursing burns calories and sometimes the teeny ones have to work harder to get the milk to let down. Tube feeding is a relatively simple procedure once you get over the initial anxiety of doing it, and it gets calories directly into the puppy without any need for the puppy to expend energy getting them.

This is one of those things that breeders can disagree vehemently about. Some say you should let nature take its course and truthfully MOST puppies who are tiny and lose weight early WILL come back around and be OK eventually. But for me, it’s relatively trivial to take out some insurance and get the extra calories in to help them stay on top of things rather than letting them catch up, as Dr Marty Greer says: “nobody starves to death in my house”. Mouse already looks plumper and less scrawny, and she actually gained a tiny bit overnight. I also supplemented the Yellow puppy since she lost a bit and I was doing it anyway for Mouse.

I use Myra’s Formula for tube feeding, it’s a very calorie dense and balanced formula and is easy to make at home.

Alice is an excellent mother just as she was last time. I gave her a quick rear end bath this morning since her hind end was a nightmare after whelping and the normal lochia she is passing. She is eating very well, basically she’s on Hobbit rations now: breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses… Actually she’s eating four meals a day of her usual Pro Plan Sport food, plus some i/d canned food to help her stomach recover from the inevitable post-whelping diarrhea, plus some Mother’s Porridge (steel cut oats, egg, whole milk, yoghurt, karo syrup), which helps support lactation. She also gets one sunflower lecithin capsule twice a day to help prevent mastitis, one Oxy Momma tablet, and a calcium supplement to ward off eclampsia and support lactation.

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