I’m sorry to have to tell you all that Boy 2 died yesterday.
I was becoming more and more uncomfortable with how quiet Boy 2 was compared to his littermates. A normal puppy, if you disturb it a couple of hours after nursing, will immediately turn right side up and creep vigorously forward, cheeping and swinging its head from side to side until it finds mom. Boy 2 would stretch and yawn and go back to sleep. I believe he was becoming less active, not more active, even though he was gaining weight well and should have been strong enough to act like a normal puppy.
I was also disturbed by Boy 2’s decreasing rate of twitching. A normal puppy twitches randomly several times a minute while sleeping, which is how tiny puppies develop muscle tone. My initial impression was that Boy 2 was twitching at something like half the normal rate. On Sunday, I calculated his actual rate of twitching and found it was about one-seventh the rate of his siblings.
So on Monday, when Boy 2 sudden regurgitated milk for no reason and aspirated and started gasping — essentially always a prelude to pneumonia — I decided not to try to get him over the pneumonia. A puppy that was clearly normal would have been a different story. But I did not think there was enough of a chance that Boy 2 was normal to make it reasonable to let him suffer through that. So I had him euthanized.
Yes, that was hard.
Boy 1 and Girl are just fine, of course. There is no reason they shouldn’t continue to be fine, but I’m still hovering pretty close, if only because I’m upset at losing Boy 2.