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Rearing puppies From Birth to 8 weeks


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  #1  
Old 20th October 2007, 08:24 PM
mark22's Avatar
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Help!?! 3-week-old puppies with no mother!

This is a sad story, but I thank you ahead of time for read it.

About 4 or 5 weeks ago, a very pregnant and very malnourished stray started coming around. She needed help, so we started feeding her. She had her puppies in a drain culvert under the road near our house three weeks ago this weekend. We left the puppies there with her for two weeks, then one day last week my wife walked up there and saw that one of them was poking its head out. We were afraid that they would wander into the road, so we moved the five puppies and mama into our barn. We lined a crate with a blanket and the floor is covered with hay. They've been living there for over a week now with mom coming and going. Tonight, mom got hit by a car.

She was a good mama. The puppies are fat and healthy. They play well together and are walking around getting into everything. As of about an hour ago, they live with their crate and blanket in my bathroom. Our boxer is spade and we've never raised puppies this young. I read online to get milk replacer and feed them puppy food mixed with water and blended to the consistency of oatmeal, so I'll be at Petsmart when they unlock tomorrow morning. We're willing to do whatever we need to do to make sure the puppies are healthy and cared for. I guess I just really want some advice from people who have done this before. What should I be looking for? What else should we be thinking about? How about vet visits? Flea control? I don't know anything about this stuff.

Our boxer is about 4 years old now. She was 9 weeks when we bought her from a breeder and I read so many good posts and pieces of advice on this forum when we were just starting out, so I know you are good people who care about their dogs. Any advice you have for me is very welcomed. Thanks for your time.
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  #2  
Old 21st October 2007, 08:45 AM
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I believe around 3 weeks old is when the mother usually weans the pups off milk, so probably just feeding a puppy food mixed with warm water would be okay. Maybe add a nutrient supplement as well like Missing Link? I don't know too much either about pups this age, but surely a call to your vet, or any vet for that matter, could help you figure out what the next course of action should be. As for flea control, I don't think there is any kind of topical formula that can be used on pups that young. Do they have fleas now? About everything I've ever seen says over 7 weeks. There is Revolution, which acts as a flea/tick control as well as heartworm preventative, but I think that even starts around 6 weeks... As I said, please give a vet a call, or even ask at Banfield when you go to Petsmart.
With their mother gone, you should allow your Boxer to step in and help to fill the role. These pups need someone to help teach them bite inhibition, healthy play, and other things their mother would have taught them.
You truly are an angel for stepping in to help these pups when they need it most! Thank you for caring!
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  #3  
Old 21st October 2007, 02:34 PM
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Ah, what a sad story but thank goodness you are there to take care of her babies. Thank you for being so kind. I would think that you can get what is needed for them at Petsmart. I hand raised a squirrel that the cat brought in. I got everything that I needed at the pet store. It had to be feed with a springe and I spent many nights up feeding it and keeping it real warm with a hot water bottle. It survived and I found a lady who rehabitated wild animals before they got released into the wild. I was so sad to let it go. These puppies are 3 weeks and should be able to eat a tiny pit of food soaked in water or milk. They are much too young for flea control but you could bathe them in warm water with a mild baby soap to get rid of any infestation of fleas. I did that with a little kitten I had and it worked great. They will need water bottles to keep them warm as they will miss the mother's body heat. At this age they have a good chance of survival but a lot of work for you. Your boxer will probaby take over and be the real mother. They certainly will learn from her. Hope everything works out for you. Good luck. Pls. keep us posted.
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  #4  
Old 26th October 2007, 12:08 PM
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Thank you for helping these poor orphans. Might want to give the vet a call just to find out if they need anything special.
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  #5  
Old 27th October 2007, 02:55 PM
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we had show dogs when I was little and my mom always did goats milk warmed with hot water, baby rice cereal and kibble mushed up,that was what she weaned with till they were ready for kibble on it's own .worked great.
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  #6  
Old 27th October 2007, 03:58 PM
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If the pups are up and walking around, you can start them on real food. But, you will want to give them a bottle until you are sure they are drinking water. I use goats milk for all of my pups. A regular human baby bottle will also work fine, although you may have to poke a few more holes in the nipple.

As for the food you can get a quality kibble and either soak or use a blender and make it very soupy for the first few days. I use the goat milk for the first few weeks of weaning and since these babies are so young, you will need to plan on 2-3 weeks. Slowly make the food less soupy. It will be gradual.

For water, I use a rabbit or guinea pig bottle hung where the pups can get to it. They really catch on quickly and get their water without spilling or stomping through a bowl.
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