One of the things that very often, unfortunately, happens is to run into an orphaned puppy. A puppy can be orphaned for several reasons; the mother with breast problems who cannot breastfeed, or the sudden death of the same during or after childbirth, a caesarean section that prevents the mother from taking care of the baby or even worse an abandonment. The puppies born at home or in the kennel will certainly have an advantage because the family will take care of them, for those abandoned it will certainly be more difficult given the difficulty in finding information.
Our first concern will be the intake of the colostrum that only a mother can give to their child and that stops being produced in the next 24 hours. Colostrum is rich in sugars, poor in proteins and lipids, but above all it is essential to “pass” passive immunity to newborns, which must be transmitted within a few hours of birth. Immunoglobulins, in fact, are large proteins and to be absorbed they must take advantage of the permeability of the puppies’ intestine, which lasts only 24 hours.
If we learn that the puppy has taken colostrum we will know that they have acquired a first immunity against the first bacteriological attacks and against the viral diseases for which the mother was vaccinated. After that, if the milk is given correctly, the path will be downhill.
First fundamental rules to follow on an orphaned puppy
It should be noted that these rules are to be used with both puppies and kittens, the principles are the same.
• The first thing we will do is take the temperature. A hypothermic puppy will not have the energy to take milk or to breathe. Let’s measure it right away with a human baby thermometer. The normal rectal temperature for a newborn puppy ranges from 35 to 37.2 degrees: in the second week it goes to 36-37.7, while in the fourth week it should reach the normal temperature of an adult dog (38 to 38.8 degrees). If it is below these limits, the puppy is hypothermic and needs to be rewarmed. Remember that a dog, especially a puppy, is unable to regulate its body temperature and that it burns much faster than an adult dog due to this need for the presence of the mother of special red light lamps (but risky and above all expensive) or better still of a hot water bottle at the base of the kennel.
• Remember to rehydrate the puppy because a hypothermic and dehydrated puppy is a dead puppy. To understand if a puppy suffers from dehydration problems it will be necessary to touch the mucous membranes of the gums which must appear moist and pink and the nose (nose) must be moist. A trick will be to lift the skin around the scruff with two fingers and then release it: if it is elastic and quickly returns to its place, everything is fine, while if it remains raised there is dehydration. In this case it is good to run to the veterinarian who will rehydrate through a drip.
• We measure blood sugar immediately if we have the machine. If the puppy moves little or has involuntary muscle spasms and does not seem very vital or appears lacking in strength it is certainly hypoglycemic. We immediately take some honey and with the little finger put a few drops on the tongue and on the palate, until it recovers, it will be necessary to do it up to at least 3-4 times. In the absence of honey, fructose or sugar well dissolved in a little warm water will do fine. The sugar must be enough but well dissolved. If we were to have a bowl of pure glucose, that will be fine too, the important thing is to give it in small and constant doses, keeping the temperature warm.
How to proceed next
Overcome and averted the worst, we prepare their bed. If it is a newborn baby then born recently it is advisable to carry a carrier with a hot water bottle inside, a sleeper on top to collect urine and feces and warm woolen blankets or fleece in the case. which is summer or spring. Remember that puppies do not know how to regulate their temperature neither in winter nor in summer. Remember to keep the pet carrier clean from any excrement and regurgitation. Cleanliness is the first rule for a healthy puppy. After that, always keep the temperature of the hot water bottle constant. On the market there are electric hand-foot warmers that attach to the power outlet and are convenient to take anywhere.
• Nutrition is the fundamental part of raising an orphaned puppy. First, let’s go to the pharmacy or pet shops and buy the late powder for dog puppies, or in the case of a cat of a cat. There are various types of milk that are good for both species. Many prefer to use goat milk, both for the convenience of administration and for the protein content, while others prefer the powder one for convenience since it does not need to be kept in the fridge like that of goat. The various types of milk on the market are the following and vary according to the tolerability of the dog’s intestine. We will report the list for your convenience.We should feed the puppy every two hours for the first two weeks of life, and every 3 hours at night. Then it decreases day by day from the third week onwards. We will adjust when the puppy wakes up and looks for milk.
- Personal Trainer milk for kittens and dogs, baby milk, is usually sold in sachets of 100 gr
- Bayer’s first puppy milk, sold in 250 gr
- Royal Canin baby dog milk 400 gr
- Lactol of the Bephar of 250 gr
How milk is given to an orphaned puppy
The milk must be diluted with hot water, obviously kept in the refrigerator once used and used for a maximum of 24 hours, after which it will be redone. This is why we recommend doing it a little at a time. Obviously we will always have to warm it up before giving it to the puppy, or in the microwave or in a bain-marie in a glass of boiling water, put the bottle back so it can warm up. The dosages are explained on the back of the package, but normally they are approximately 6 measuring spoons, which will be found in the package, in 60ml of hot water. Or better yet, 30 g of powder in 90 ml of hot water.
As for the quantity of milk to be administered, the rule is 20 ml per 100 grams of weight, which can become 25 after the first 20 days of life; the weight must be precisely calculated every day with the food scale. Although a puppy will usually dodge itself from the teat as soon as it feels full. If we are doing everything right, day by day the little dog will weigh 15% more than the previous day, indicating healthy and problem-free growth.
“Let’s take an example: if the puppy weighs 500 grams, we will have to administer 100 ml of food per day. If we divide it into 10 meals (23-3-7-9-11-13-15-17-19-21) that’s 10 ml that we will have to give at each meal. If we did right, the next day when we weigh the dog again it should weigh about 575 grams. The following day he will then have to administer no more 100 ml total, but 115 ml”
The perfect position to breastfeed a puppy will surely be lying on their stomach, let’s lean on a table with a cloth under the puppy so as not to make them feel cold. We will be able to help each other with a stuffed animal that we will use every time we want to breastfeed it. We must be absolutely careful not to let the puppy swallow too much milk during the feed because the risk of suffocation is high. You risk adbingestis pneumonia, milk in the lungs. For this it will be necessary to make a micro hole in the teat, helping us with a needle or the tip of the scissors to create a cross hole. We check if milk flows from the teat or only if it comes out in drops when pressed. The ideal solution would be that milk comes out only if we press the bottle.
In the unfortunate case that the puppy does not like milk, let’s be patient and use a syringe without a needle, the small ones for insulin, and pour drop drop into the side of the puppy’s mouth, so that it will be forced to swallow without choking.
How are we going to get the puppy done
Let us have a plastic container with hot, not boiling water, cotton wool or toilet paper. We put the puppy on a sleeper and begin to make small and light massages with the wet wadding on the puppy’s private parts; both the genitals and the anal orifice, until it will pee and feces. Usually they don’t make feces with every meal, while they always pee. In case we find ourselves in front of a constipated puppy, we will buy some vaseline oil or liquid glycerin and we will make homemade enemas, with chamomile or hot (not boiling) water. If petroleum jelly is not available, seed oil will do. In a coffee glass, pour a tablespoon of glycerin and 2 tablespoons of water, take it all with a 2.5 ml syringe and blow slowly into the hole of the anal orifice little by little, and massage with damp cotton wool.
Maximum of the enema in a newborn will be 2 ml. In the pharmacy they also sell baby enema, even those will be poured into a syringe and dosed a little at a time. Surely the puppy will return to defecate. Never repeat the operation for more than 5 days or the puppy will become chronic constipated. We usually resolve by changing brand of milk or adding a teaspoon of cow’s milk to its milk. If, on the contrary, we find a puppy with diarrhea, in addition to contacting our veterinarian, we could start giving them the enzymes as enterofilus suitable for newborns. If we have irritated the puppy’s anal orifice, we can apply a soothing zinc-based ointment, such as fissan paste for children.
We continue with this trend up to 25-30 days, in which the puppy will have started to open its eyes, ears and move around the environment. It will always be good to keep the puppy away from cold sources, maybe we use a large box to make them walk and move. We give them the right cognitive stimuli.
How do we proceed for weaning
At about twenty-five days, weaning can begin, we will mix a little baby food for puppies with the usual milk, or alternatively that for children will be fine. If it does not come out of the bottle through the hole that is too small, pour the contents into a small bowl or saucer a little at a time and place the puppy on top. Around 30 days we will begin to soak the croquettes in milk waiting for them to become soft porridge and we will give it to them in a saucer so that it can start lapping the food. We will soften the croquettes with less and less milk, which in turn will be diluted more and more. (one part of powder and two parts of water). When the puppy begins to eat solid food it is ready for puppy doses! Remember, however, that in addition to feeding them we will also have to start playing with them, interacting, teaching them the first rules.