Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Puppy update: luck would be good

Check this out:

Day 7

Take a careful look. Do you see that Boy 2, lying on top of Boy 1, is hardly more than half his brother’s size?

At birth, Boy 2 weighed 6 ounces. This morning, he weighs nearly nine. Boy 1 weighed 8 ounces at birth; this morning he tipped the scale at fifteen.

Last night, Boy 1 gained an ounce (just overnight). Boy 2 did not gain overnight. Girl, incidentally, like Boy 1, is no trouble whatsoever. I am actually using her to help me with Boy 2, since I can use her to get milk to let down from one teat, put her on a different teat, and try to get Boy 2 to take the one she started. Boy 1 is so big it is hard to let him nurse at the same time as Boy 2.

I was delaying posting about puppies until this situation with Boy 2 resolved, but it is drawing out and out and I thought I would go ahead and post about it. Share the tension! It is kind of an emotional roller coaster.

If this was some momentary weakness, I would have expected Boy 2 to turn around by now. It’s possible he has some kind of undiagnosable systemic infection. But on the other hand he does not seem nearly as sick as a puppy with an infection ought to seem. A puppy with an infection usually cries constantly. This boy is quiet, thank God, because I could not handle constant crying. There are other symptoms of infection he doesn’t have, either. So I don’t know.

Last night after talking Boy 2 over with another breeder, I got my vet to come in after hours and we started him on a tiny, tiny dose of Clavamox, 0.1 cc, which is one-tenth of one-fifth of a teaspoon, if you can visualize that. This might finally turn him around, it’s too early to say. It does mean that I hope he has an infection, because this might take care of that, and if not, then what?

Of course I am tube-feeding Boy 2 — every three hours around the clock, and yes this is painful, especially since I never actually get three hours of sleep in between feedings. I am guessing at the amount to give, using diluted formula to make it easier for him to handle if he does have an infection. I will say, Boy 2 did nurse this morning finally, at 1:00 AM and then again at 6:00 AM. To me, his vigor when nursing seems possibly improved — that could be the Clavamox. But he did not gain weight with nursing. But he did gain a bit yesterday. So it’s all very puzzling and worrying. All I can say right now is, he hasn’t died yet.

Also, I just put a drop of glucose solution on his tongue and then put him to nurse, and he is. So that’s a good sign. But who knows?

A note on size: This slooow start does not mean anything with regards to Boy 2’s eventual size (presuming he survives). If he makes it to weaning and is not sick or anything, he will catch up. His genetics will determine how big he gets.

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