We have three puppies now. Darby improved enough to come back on Friday. She was still being tube fed, but showed interest in sucking again, so I first tried her on a bottle, and it took a bit of coaxing but she eventually got the hang of it and downed 2 ounces. The next feeding, I prepared 2 ounces for her again, and she was sad that there wasn’t more.
I’m using this to a large extent to keep track of things for myself, so it will go on and on and on. Also, there will be a ton of TMI, so you might want to just scan down for photos and skip all the words.
The next feeding I gave her 3 ounces, which she sucked down, but she wasn’t able to keep it down. So, now she is getting 2 ounces per feeding but being fed more often.
Now we are two days in to having 3 puppies, and I am a bit tired. They need to be fed every 4 hours, or so, and there are three puppies and one of them isn’t a good eater, so it takes a while to get the feeding done. Plus, there are lots of little tweaks that need to happen to the formula, as we try to get the puppies to stop having diarrhea.
That’s really the main source of the tired. There is A LOT of it, and it is messy and hideous and it smells SO AWFUL. Like hit you in the face, wow, WTF? awful. Plus, it has to be cleaned IMMEDIATELY or the puppies step in it or fall in it or just generally cause even more mess and then there needs to be baths and more laundry.
If only there was a market for selling puppy diarrhea, I could make a fortune. We keep making little adjustments, and trying different things to settle their stomach, but I have not discovered the key. The vet was over again tonight and brought some more stuff to try on the puppies to make their poo be normal.
So far, it has not worked.
Look, we’re not just talking about slimy kind of runny poo, we are talking projectile liquid shooting out of tiny furry butts, with sound effects and, don’t forget about the SMELL. It isn’t good.
They cannot help it. Their life has been difficult. It was going along just fine, and then their mom was hit by a car and quit feeding them, and then it was 4 days before they got to us and were offered appropriate puppy formula. Their little digestive systems had lost the digestive groove, and formula isn’t as good as mom’s milk anyway. Still, it stinks, and happens too often and it means that there is very little rest and sleep. I’ve been told that I cannot just duct tape their butts shut, so instead I must try more probiotics, adjustments to formula, medicine, and generic Pedialyte stuff. I hope tomorrow is the day that it stops, or at least slows way down.
Really, the puppies are amazing. They are changing so fast, and just becoming more aware of their surroundings and developing slowly from squirmy, fuzzy, wobbly lumps, into small dogs.
Webster is a total chowhound. He eats voraciously, and is happy to eat as much as we’ll let him. He sucks from the bottle efficiently and enthusiastically. He laps yogurt and formula from bowls enthusiastically, but far less efficiently. He weighed in at 2.85 lbs today (up from two). Yesterday he reached the stage of development where the idea of play entered his little puppy brain. His sisters were baffled. He tried to bound a little, but he cannot even walk properly yet, so he just sort of gives one pounce and falls over, but it is adorable. He is totally becoming aware of the world around him, and notices us now. He even wags in response to us sometimes. He “sings” when he eats. So cute.
Darby is a very enthusiastic eater, but I’ve found that she pretty consistently spits up her whole meal if she gets to eat as much as she’d like to. I am keeping her to no more than 2 ounces at a time, but feeding her more often. This seems to be working, but she is frustrated to be stopped at two ounces. She is at 2.05 lbs (up from 1.6). Today she started becoming noticeably more aware of her surroundings and is showing some interest in playing with Webster. It is beyond adorable. She also sometimes wags in response to people.
Mindy is troublesome still. I ended up having to use the feeding tube on her again, and it is kind of up and down on the feeding. Even when she does suck on the bottle, she just isn’t very efficient. She often gets tired before she has eaten enough. She refuses to even try unless I set her up with the bottle and a stuffed animal kind of hiding the bottle. She’d rather just suck on the stuffed animal getting no food, than suck on the bottle alone. Poor orphan puppy. I feel so bad when she is clearly hungry, but she just doesn’t want what I have to offer. I keep trying different techniques, and today we’ve made some progress, so it was an all bottle day, no feeding tubes. She only weighs 2 lbs (up from 1.7). I am hoping to get more significant gains soon, especially once the diarrhea can be brought under control. Tonight she finally caught on to the thought that her siblings might be interesting for something other than body heat.
I’m so looking forward to getting to know them better, and watching their personalities emerge. Curious about puppy development stages? This site has a decent overview. You can see how the events of last week were quite traumatic for these little ones. It is now my job to make up for it and prepare them to be terrific family pets.