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  #1  
Old 02-13-2010, 08:55 PM
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Default How do I know when to be worried?

One of Eleanor's pups is starting to concern me. He's definitely the little guy in the bunch, but I know he wasn't the last one born (is the "runt" actually defined by being the last one? Or just the tiniest..??)

He always seems to be the last to get a nipple, though I know I've seen him latch on. Mom is VERY protective and I don't want to stress her out by putting my hands in there to 'help' guide him- she's fine with us petting her but I just don't want to get her worked up.

Is there anything I should/can be doing for the little guy? At what point would I know I need to step in and separate him and use some kind of puppy formula? I know mom's milk is best so I really hope it wouldn't come to that... but I also don't want to lose the little guy. =(

Something about him just doesn't seem right.. =/ (He's Mickey, the one with the most spots at the very top. He just seems to look.. 'spiney.' =( My vet (the one I work for) isn't open today, our nearest emergency clinic is an hour away but I've got their number just in case. I just don't want to overreact, this is the first time I've had to have a litter of pups..

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:57 PM
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Runt is usually the smallest puppy. If she doesnt want help with out being stressed by it & shes had puppies before i would keep a close eye on her but i think she would know what shes doing everyone to them selves though, Im sure theey'll all be fine
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:28 PM
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So you have not been able to weigh them every day? Because if he lost a little but then now is gaining I wouldn't worry to much. Does he move around ok?
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Old 02-13-2010, 09:34 PM
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People use the term runt for whatever puppy is smallest, but there is always a largest and smallest in a litter. Its only a runt when it is significantly smaller, and normally lacking in general hardiness. Sometimes runts are too far gone to make it and sometimes they end up strong and feisty as any other pup. I wouldn't separate him at all since he is latching on, unless the mother is neglecting him which it doesn't sound like she is, but if you want to supplement feeding him with formula to help him out that couldn't hurt I imagine. But you've to to be really careful feeding them to make sure they don't aspirate milk into their lungs. Also I think if you see him struggling guiding him to the nipple would be ok.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:25 PM
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Some one here was intervening..allowing the smallest a bit more time to feed than the others...Oh I can't think of it..maybe it was Emma...hope someone with a recent litter come and sees this post.

It sounds good that he is latching and not being completely shut out by the bigger pups.

I would worry too if one looked so different than the others...
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:49 PM
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Yes he does look very tiny and also "ribby" as you pointed out. The others are bigger and more filled out than he is. Can you make sure that he gets plugged into a nipple good before the others? Surely the mom won't mind that? Make sure he gets his fill and then let the others crowd in. He looks like he needs some extra help.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:56 AM
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No I haven't been weighing them. I never thought to. I can go get a scale if it's necessary. Keep in mind I'm not a breeder and fully admit I wasn't at all prepared for this.. lol.
We've been watching him all day and noticing he's not nursing today.. moms getting good with us lending a guiding hand but he wont latch on now.. though oddly he'll nurse out of the bottle we bought with puppy formula. We're trying intervals now of letting him nurse from the bottle and encouraging him to drink from mom but at this point mom just keeps licking him when he gets close enough; I think to actually lick the formula that she smells on his mouth/whiskers.
Is it strange that he won't nurse from her now but that he'll nurse from the bottle? =S
Is there anything else we can be doing?
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:22 AM
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Is she licking his face or his lower body? Pups have to be stimulated to have their bowel movements, are you sure she's not just trying to do that? If all he'll take is the formula it's better than nothing! Hopefully he'll get his strength up and decide to nurse from mom again. I think getting a small scale would be a good idea. Tracking their weights can help tell you how they are doing.
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