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  #1  
Old 02/05/08, 08:52 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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My GP is ignoring her pups

Does anyone know how often a dog should nurse her pups? They are fat and healthy at 3 and 1/2 weeks. Latley though I have to force mom into the box to nurse them. She hears their cries, checks on them, and lays back on the floor outside of the box. This morning she was engourged and they were crying. In typical pyre fashion she didn't seem to want to get up. I have been putting her in with them about 5 times a day. How many times should she nurse them?

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  #2  
Old 02/05/08, 10:04 AM
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if they are fat and thriving, i wouldn't worry about it. i'd leave it to her instincts to decide when they need to eat. many animals only feed their young twice a day when they get some size on them.

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  #3  
Old 02/05/08, 10:07 AM
 
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Location: Alaska
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They're probably starting to get teeth. Many moms aren't too interested in the torture at this point. This is the time to start them on other food. In another week it will be even harder to get mom in there. Make sure she gets in there at least 3x/day AFTER you've fed them their slop.

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  #4  
Old 02/05/08, 10:30 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wyoming & building a homestead in Kentucky
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LSF - you beat me to it. I too have large breed puppies that are about 3.5 weeks old. Mine all have a few teeth and are getting more everyday. Start feeding them a pan of watered down (softened) high quality puppy food - they will love you forever.

Anne

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  #5  
Old 02/05/08, 12:11 PM
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Location: Georgia
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She may simply be telling you that she is ready to wean them but just in case, check the dam's teats. Mastitis is an infection within the teats and some signs include hot, painful teats generally accompanied by excessive fullness or hard areas. (Puppies tend to avoid the teats with "sour milk" and thus those teats tend to engorge abnormally.) The dam may act depressed or weak and show disinterest in her pups. I had one bitch that developed mastitis with all three of her litters. I had to hold her on my lap several times a day and use warm compresses on her teats to "soften" them. Then I gently expressed milk from the most engorged teats to relieve some of her discomfort before putting her in with her puppies. I stayed with her to make sure the pups did not nurse on the infected teats. I started weaing the pups much younger than usual and then gave her antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Another thing to look out for, especially when a large litter is concerned, is eclampsia. Eclampsia normally starts to appear 2-4 weeks after whelping. The puppies literally drain the vitamins and minerals out of the dam. Signs may include restlessness, panting, disorientation, tremors, and fever. When the bitch's calcium levels reach a certain point, seizures may occur. If caught early, a good veterinarian can reverse the condition. If left untreated, death or brain damage may occur.

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  #6  
Old 02/05/08, 01:40 PM
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First try trimming thier nails (those puppy nails are sharp!). It is easy to forget to trim those nails...they should be checked daily. Check her teats and see if there is scratches. If so use bag balm to soothe them and help them heal. If after a few days she is still not agreeable to nurse at least a few times a day, then she is trying to tell you they are ready to start weaning. If your weaning to raw- then start offering the puppies some breakfast, lunch and dinner of ground turkey or beef. If feeding kibble then grind the kibble in a blender and add formula or goats milk to moisten it.

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  #7  
Old 02/07/08, 09:04 PM
 
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They are soooo loving the puppy chow/milk mixture. After I feed them I put mom in the box. I am going to trim nails tonight and just keep up the feed then nurse thing 3x a day for at least another week. I was hoping she would nurse them at least 5 weeks. Is early weaning a problem?

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  #8  
Old 02/07/08, 10:09 PM
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Its not a problem to START weaning early. You do not want to wean them too quickly (mom will suffer as well as them) but you can start giving them some ground meat before thier meals with mom so they are not quite as voracious

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  #9  
Old 02/07/08, 10:20 PM
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I worried with both litters, but all the pups thrived. They obviously don't need as much attention as we humans think they do. When she started leaving them alone for longer periods of time I started putting out dog food for them. I wanted them to have warm food so I filled a bowl with dry food, then added hot water to it. When the water cooled to luke warm the food was soft enough for the pups to eat it. They were almost totally weaned by 4 weeks. I thought that was too young, but they thrived.

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  #10  
Old 02/08/08, 06:59 AM
 
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I probably worry too much because I'm used to my own baby who never stops nursing.

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  #11  
Old 02/09/08, 05:38 PM
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If we human moms had it as easy as the dog ones!!! Only 2 months prego - and out of the house in 8 weeks - downfall - cleaning up after them!!! We just had a little of cockers and mom started losing interest at the same age as yours. We gave the slop and even now at 7 weeks she still fills up and I will put her with them every other day at this point to give her some relief - she wants to play with them and all they see is "food bag."

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  #12  
Old 02/10/08, 06:13 PM
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Give her about a week to dry up a little North 2; mine are now 10 wks old and as of the last 2 wks she literally put her foot down and disciplined them when they would attempt to nurse. Now the puppies are shadowing her and learning very important lessons in manners, submission, ect it's fabulous!

Watching the pups interact with mum, and the other dogs makes me think even the traditional 8 wks is almost too early for them to leave home!

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