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Thread: Force feeding puppy

  1. #1

    Default Force feeding puppy

    Guys,

    I recently got a baby pomeranian about 3 weeks ago. She was 540grams when she came at 7 weeks old. Around 9 weeks or so, she started to get real sick, wouldnt eat her food, slept all day and started losing alot of weight. She couldnt even stand up herself. We brought her to the vet, and she weigh 520grams at 9 and half weeks old. Vet did a urine scan, found nothing and wanted to do a blood test on the poor baby. As she was so skinny already, I told the vet not to. Vet insisted on doing a blood test and suspected it was a failing liver or kidney and would definitely die if not tested and surgery carried out. I got angry and told the vet to piss off as i think the vet was only after money. Plus, $180 for the blood test and a possible few thousand if surgery is needed. In the end, i told the vet i wouldnt want her to suffer through all the surgery and medication. I got a few syringes when i went home.

    That night, i started force feeding her. Started pumping milk and blended soft chicken food into her every few hours. I have been doing this for 4 days now over the weekend, and her energy levels has increased. Started to run around, barking, playing since Sunday last week. She was abit reluctant when i first started force feeding by wriggling, scratching, etc. But now she seems ok. Last night, she started eating cooked breast chicken meat after i forced it in her little mouth and got her to have a taste of it. However, her appetite still doesnt seem to have fully come back yet.

    Every morning i pump about 5 syringes of 3.5ml food/milk into her to last her the day. Do you guys think this is too much? Also is force feeding her this way gonna spoil her from eating food herself? The way i force feed is hold her tight by her head so she cant wriggle away, put the tip of syringe behind her fang tooth on one side, and pump it in bit by bit till she swallows it all trying not to choke her. I have heard force feeding could end up with food going to the lungs, but how else would i have saved her? I force feed her every few hours when I'm at home so try to put some weight back into her. Any other food you guys can recommend to speed up recovery? And also put on some weight? For a 10 week old pomeranian puppy, she weighs only 525grams last night.

  2. #2
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    I am not sure where you got her at 7 weeks old, are you sure she was that old? It really is very young, issues could well relate to her short sad personal history. I would find another vet.

  3. #3
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    I second finding another vet. You really need to find out whats going on. Is it possible that that you took her out before all of her vaccinations? Many of the illnesses that they can catch will cause this. But again, in my experience there are lots of reasons a dog wont eat. One of my dog has always been a bad eater, only eating in the dark when no one is around.

    I know from previous experience, whatever you start feeding a pup when it is young, or how you feed them is what they will expect you to do for the rest of their live. But in your case if this is the only way you can get her to eat then you dont have much choice.

    I hope it works out poor little thing...but definitely find another vet.

  4. #4

    Default

    i took a chance when i bought her because she was a present for the wife. Got her around 7 weeks and brought her for her checkup and vacinnation myself when she was 8 weeks. She was fine and healthy then at 8 weeks. She didnt really start getting sick till Friday last week which would be 9 and half weeks old. Could this be parvo virus as puppies dont get parvo injections till they are 10 weeks old?

    Anyway i am going to change vets and get a 2nd opinion on her. Gonna prove to the other vet that she isnt gonna die. She seems to be like any normal puppy now, just still having trouble eating. Not sleeping as much as well as when she was sick. Then again, i have read that small dogs are more picky then big dogs with their food too. She was chewing on pigs ears when i got home yesterday but not willing to touch the kibble so not sure if just picky or no appetite.

  5. #5
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    urecia

    I am very concerned that you got a puppy at 7 weeks old. Ethical breeders will not let a puppy leave its mum and litter mates before 8 weeks old because this is ideal for immunity building and for learning socialisation skills with other dogs. 7 weeks is too young to get a puppy microchipped too and it's illegal (as best I can tell) in QLD to sell or rehome a puppy without a microchip.

    So you have a puppy that was taken away from its mum way too young (did you get it from the breeder or a pet shop - how long did the pet shop have it - was it really taken from the mum at 5 or 6 weeks?).

    And you take it to the vet - given you have several other dogs - this would be your regular vet? And then you get mad at the vet for giving you their advice and suggesting you spend some money on finding out what the problem is.

    What kind of milk are you force feeding this puppy? Did you know that puppies do not always digest cows milk ok - same as human babies do not - especially when their gut is not fully developed and you could actually be making the puppy worse with the diet you are feeding, not to mention risking choking it to death by force feeding?

    Cooked chicken and milk is not a balanced diet for a growing puppy. There is going to be some malnutrition and poor development with a diet like that.

    There are lots of reasons why a puppy might not feed properly. There could also be something wrong with its mouth structure. And given it probably came from a puppy mill and what you've been feeding it since you got it - it may have a compromised immune system and be starving. Force feeding it the wrong food is not going to stop it starving to death or dying because it was never strong to begin with.

    You don't have to spend thousands on surgery - I think that is a bad idea on a sick puppy too (unless it fixes something structural), you could have it PTS instead. And I would not get another puppy from the place you got this one, and I'd consider reporting them to your local department of primary industries or consumer affairs and the RSPCA.

  6. #6
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    So you dont want a dog to suffer through medical treatment but you're willing to pin it down and force feed it not knowing what exactly is wrong with it?

    Puppies can get parvo BEFORE 10 weeks too, there's no age limit to it. Your puppy would be dead by now if it did have parvo so in all probability unless it's pooing and vomiting like crazy it doesn't have it.

    You got a toy breed 3-5 weeks too young to have left it's breeder. Good breeders wait until toy breed pups are eating properly and are healthy before selling, so just because a dog is eating and breathing doesn't mean it's ready to be sold.

    Find yourself a new veterinarian that can provide you with a proper diet for syringe feeding before it ends up with growth problems. Also go get it properly tested with a blood test and I would have a good look at it's mouth, throat and stomach, and personally I would get a poo sample in case it's carrying a parasite. Dogs are expensive because there is no medicare for animals. That doesn't mean you take it upon yourself with no veterinary knowledge to do what you will with the pup.
    Last edited by Nekhbet; 03-26-2013 at 05:18 PM.

  7. #7
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    Parvo takes about a week after infection to show up, so like Nekhbet suggested unless she has really runny poo and is vomiting its probably not it...but if she has been around unvaccinated dogs or in lots of public areas its possible.

    I know that your doing what you think is the best thing for your pup, you seem dedicated and are really trying to save her life. Unfortunately as the others have said, this pup probably wont survive without proper veterinary care so you really need to find a vet you are comfortable with and get a second opinion.

  8. #8
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    I reckon the most likely places for a pup like this to pick up parvo would be the breeder and then the pet shop. And to a lesser extent the vet. But you'd hope the vet would be contacting you if they'd had a parvo case in there and if you'd booked they would not let you come in with a puppy if they suspected they'd had a parvo case in.

    But like the others said - parvo unlikely. Slow starvation from incorrect diet, and maybe malformation of mouth and gut bits is more likely.

    I'm really worried for this puppy. Get some professional vet advice and a management plan you are prepared to follow or hand the puppy over to someone who will look after it properly.

  9. #9
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    by the way look up aspirational pneumonia. Quickest way to kill a pup and you wont even know you've done it. Its why feeding tubes were invented.

  10. #10

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    I bought it off a breeder not a pet shop. She told me the puppy was young but it was probably my mistake to take it at 7 weeks. I got her at exactly 7 weeks 2 days. Like what you guys are telling me, i am sure it is not parvo then. Her poo is nice straight and hard, not runny. And she hasnt been puking.

    I am still force feeding her, puppy milk, blended chicken, and blended kibble. I know about cows milk as i have 2 other dogs. She is more acceptable with me force feeding her now, doesnt struggle as much, and swallows every time i pump abit into her mouth. Last night was her worming night, and it took quite abit of getting the pill in her mouth as she would spit it out everytime i put it in her mouth. Mixing it with other food wouldnt work as she would spit it back out. In the end, i diluted it in a syringe of milk and pumped it into her. Also, she seems to be eating quite abit of cooked chicken now by herself. I have been weighing her everyday. Her weight seems to have gone up abit to 535grams from 520 when she was really sick.

    As i have 2 other dogs, i bring them all to the same vet. However recently the clinic have changed vets. Used to be an elderly man, and an indian man sometimes, however recently a female vet seems to have taken their place. Its the female vet whom i'm not really pleased about.

    Anyway i've put a picture of her hanging with the other dogs this morning.

    IMG-20130327-WA0000.jpg

    IMG-20130327-WA0001.jpg

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