I honestly hope this never happens to anyone, or to their dog. The fact of the matter though, is that it does happen, and it actually is not as uncommon as one would think.
Our dog Lala gave birth a week ago to a still born. 3 days later, she
had yet another still born, and a few days following, she gave birth to
two healthy puppies. However something was amiss. The mommy dog had no
milk, and we knew that without emergency care, the pups would starve to
Due to an extremely long wait at our emergency vet, one puppy did in
fact die. I will not express my anger or take it out on them, as we were
treated in order of emergency.
I do wish however the morons would of at least given us something to allow us to feed the pups while waiting. I mean REALLY!?
One puppy though survived, but the first 24 hours of his life were
crucial. First off he weighed in at 2.5 ounce, secondly, feeding him by
hand raises potential risks of choking, and if not fed properly he could
end up with pneumonia.
We had no choice though. This 2.5 ounce lil rascal had the world
against him, but my mother and I were, and still are very determined in
keeping him alive.
The vet didn't give him much of a chance on life. They basically told
us he'd probably die within the first 24 hours, and not to blame
ourselves, blahbbity blah.... whatever. I watched her give birth to two
stillborns, and I watched as one baby died right before my eyes, in the
vets office. I'll be damned if I'm going to give on this 2.5 ounce
We were given a bottle of special formula designed with newborn
puppies who require bottle feeding. Esbilac was the name of the formula.
We were given a small can, which has a shelf life of only 72 hours
after opening. YOU HAVE TO THROW IT OUT after the time limit, or you
risk killing the puppy.
We were told though that it would be easier to buy Esbilac in powdered
form, that way we didn't have to waste so much of the formula, which is
about $10.00 for a small can.
Feeding The Puppy:
Feeding 2.5 (which is what we have been calling him) was difficult
with the syringe we were given. On the needless syringe there was a
small nursing nipple with a small hole cut into it. Slowly we were to
tap a bit of milk into his mouth as he sucked.
This stupid syringe was an ass idea in my opinion. We specifically
asked for the nursing bottle, and were denied. They told us to come back
the next day if we still wanted it. They truly did not want to waste a
bottle on us, thinking the puppy would die. The syringe didn't work well
because if you push too hard you could kill the puppy.
We went out and bought out own special nursing bottle that you can buy
at any PETCO. It came to only $4.99, and some kits in the same price
range come with a variety of fake rubber nipple toppers for the bottle.
Be sure to cut holes into the bottle. We put four pin holes in the smallest of rubber nipple toppers.
Before Giving It To The Puppy:
Whether or not you choose to use the canned form or the powdered form
of Esbilac, before you give it to your pup, make sure you allow the
bottle to sit in a container of hot water for about a minute, to heat up
the cold formula.
Once it is heated up, you can begin feeding the pup. The pup will most
likely dislike cold formula, and will not drink as much as needed. Cold
formula will also upset his tummy.
The Right Way To Feed The Pups:
The puppy was not quick to just latch on to the fake rubber nipple,
and the only way he would even latch on would be to squeeze some of the
formula out onto the nipple itself. This way he can smell/feel it. If he
still has trouble latching onto the bottle, hold the pup in your hand,
on his back, and insert the bottle into his mouth gently, once he
realizes it is milk, he will latch on and suck until he is full. Don't
leave him on his back though. Place him back into an upright position.
Or place him on his blanket (belly down) while he/she is feeding.
Ours did this at 2 days old, so it should not be an issue for you.
Although the vet told us to only feed him once or twice a day, we feed
him whenever is tummy looks like it has gone down. I don't give a crap
what a vet say, I know pups, they eat all day long... and for
them to tell us that only once or twice a day would be enough, is
insanity in my opinion. No wonder they didn't think he'd live long. I
could totally foresee him dying if he were fed so little.
FEED THE PUPPY TILL HIS TUMMY IS BIG, OR FEED THE PUPPY TILL HE STOPS DRINKING!
Vets can argue with me all they want, but I have a healthy happy pup,
and I plan on keeping him that way. I cannot see how feeding him only
once or twice a day would be enough. Not by a long shot.
How Much To Feed The Puppy?
Like I said, the vet tells us once or twice a day. But our pup has
been well and growing for a week now. We feed him about 6 times a day,
with him taking in nearly a total of 2 teaspoons of liquid. Keep in mind
though this is a baby yorkie pup. More Esbilac will be required for
larger breed dogs. Mainly though, I would still recommend 6 feedings a
day. Let the puppy eat till he let's go of the nipple. He/she will let
you know when they are full.
Mommy Still Plays A Role Too!
Although our mommy dog does not have any milk, she is still very much
needed to keep the pup warm, and to clean him. The pup will also find
comfort in latching onto one of her nipples even if the milk is dry or
Supplies You Will Need:
-Esbilac. You can find it online by googling it, or at your local pet store. I recommend the powdered formula.
-A nursing bottle. Click here to see a photo of the type you will need.
-Time and patience.
Taking care of a newborn puppy is a lot of work, and in this day and
age most people have full time jobs. If you need to go to work, your pup
will be okay being left alone for about 3-4 hours. However ask a family
member to feed the baby when you are not in, or if you will be gone for
a longer period of time. If you still cannot find someone to care for
the baby when you are gone, take him to your vet and tell them to care
for him while you are gone.
Do make sure you tell THEM, how to take care of YOUR puppy! Make sure
you tell them to feed your puppy at least 3 times during the day! Not once!
You will know how to take care of your puppy, and even though you have
faith in your vet, you should always go by what you personally know.
Tell them what the puppy likes, how much to feed him, and what not
to do. You are paying them, and I don't care how many times they tell
you he/she only needs to eat once...stress it that the pup needs at
least 3+ feedings during an 8-9 hour period. If the vet is stubborn, go
elsewhere. By now you should know what your puppy needs. So make sure
you tell them.
What You Are Up Against:
Although your puppy may seem to be healthy, there is still a risk of
death. Always make sure your pups nose is clear of any milk after
feedings. We usually hand the baby back to his mommy, and she takes care
of this by cleaning his face.
Also make sure the puppy is kept warm. Getting a cold could cause
serious problems, and death. Also make sure the pup is in an upright
position when feeding, if any formula were to get in his lungs, it could
Anyhow, I know it is quite a bit of work, but for all those reading
this, odds are you are taking care, or are about to take care of a puppy
that will require bottle feedings.
Good luck with everything. It's tough, and I wish you all the luck in the world. Sincerely.
Even with regular feedings and care, all is not fail proof. There is
still a chance that your puppy will pass (the first 24 hours are the
most crucial). Please don't blame yourself. You did everything you