I just killed one of my 2.5 week old puppies by putting milk in his lungs trying to tube feed this morning. This is the second puppy this year I have killed doing this.
I have been shown by the vet several times. I didn't want to tube feed after the last incident, but my friends and vet told me I should with really large litters. I am good 99% of the time, but that really sucks the 1 time you drowned a puppy. I don't care how skinny my puppies get, it will be the bottle or mom. I will never do this again!!!! He wasn't fat, but he wasn't dead before I did this to him:(
I am so sad. I have been caring for these guys every few hours since they were born. I can't even believe it.
I'm so sorry to hear what happen. for you to come on here and tell what you did was very brave.Don't blame yourself for what happen we all makes mistake sometime 4& 5 times ok,It was nice of you to give out the info/ so other members won't make the same mistake .I know it hurts but you will be ok, you didn't mean to. If you did you would'nt be on here talking about it so take care bye!
It WAS a litter of 11 boxers. There were 6 that weren't doing very well (ironically, I killed a larger one that really didn't HAVE to have it). Mom also has strange shaped nipples, 2 too huge to nurse, 1 inverted so really there are only 3 good nipples to each side. I rotate as much as I can, but it is 'quick' to just tube feed, then you know exactly how much they are getting. It isn't worth it though, because even if they were smaller/thin they still have a lot of energy. My idea was a lot of rotating and then if they get dehydrated to either bottle feed or really I would rather do the lactated ringers underneath the neck skin for hydration. I am SO upset.... I guess it could be worse, he was one of the 4 that still wasn't spoken for.... that would be even worse to have to call someone who put a deposit on a puppy and say...sorry I killed your puppy today. I guess I can say he didn't die in vain because I will only bottle feed from now on. I don't mind taking the extra time, it is worth it.
Oh sweetie, my heart goes out to you. Dont use such harsh words on yourself saying you killed it. You did what you could and the only way to learn is to keep trying. I know how your feel having lost a whole litter one time. I felt useless... time will heal your pain. I am scared to death of tube feeding but I know alot of people can do it. So dont beat yourself..it will be ok. It was meant for your puppy to cross over the bridge.
Please stop hitting yourself on the head....When I was 4 my dad has a prized toy poodle that he studded out. One day I was playing with him and I picked him up by his front leg, much in the style one would grasp a toddler's arm. Yep..straight up and of course it snapped his leg and broke it. I was sceaming and crying and inconsolable, because no matter how many times my dad said it was an accident, I thought it wasn't, cause I meant to hold his front leg (of course I didn't mean to snap it, just wanted to take my "baby" for a walk.) So I know the guilt you feel, cause you meant only to help your baby, and I only meant to take Mickey for a walk. That was 43 years ago, and I still feel bad, even though it truly was an accident. Bottle feeding takes more time, but there is a satisfaction watching your efforts flourish. ps....Mickey was ok and lived a long life, and I NEVER EVER attempted to walk a dog on it's hind legs again.
I am sorry that this happened to you. I can imagine that you feel bad. You did what you thought was the best thing to do, it is always easier with hindsight but you did not do it deliberately. Try to forgive yourself, i am sure it won't happen again.
I know how you feel, but donít let one mistake stop you from trying to save your pups. Bottle feeding isnít always an option.
I had a litter of 14 pups a couple of months ago. The mom wasnít able to handle them all and with in few days 6 pups were noticeably smaller then the rest and getting smaller everyday. I tried to bottle feed them with out much success so I tube feed the six small ones and accidentally killed one of them the same way. It is unfortunate, but with out tube feeding, I would have probably lost all six.
Next time try using a thicker tube that hopefully will be too big to enter the lungs. I used size 8 French tube. I guess that was too small. I now got several larger sizes ready to try next time. Live and learn I guess.
Well thank you everyone who responded. I just have been so intenstly caring for these guys. My dogs are my life and to lose one after bonding with it for weeks really hurts. I think of myself as their second mom. It is disappointing, but not as emotionally harmful if they die at birth or shortly after.
I talked it over with my husband and I guess the only time I should be tube feeding is if they are truely 'going to die otherwise'. It is just kind of a waste in this case, that baby was doing really well and I was just supplimenting. I may have lost 3-4 if I hadn't tube fed in the first place. I guess I will never treat it as 'routine' and just do it life or death.
alicat my heart goes out to you. I know how rough it is to lose a puppy - and even harder when you feel like you could have prevented it.
I've never been able to bring myself to tube feed. I know one day I'll have to, but until that time I do just about everything I can not to. I have a Sheltie Mom that likes to have 8 puppies a litter and I'm lucky that she can count (I'm not kidding you) because she helps me make sure everyone is getting enough. She'll actually knock a larger puppy off a nipple if a smaller one wants to eat. She's one of our smaller girls and she has BIG puppies at birth (always 2-4 ounces larger than the average birth weight).
I just got done bottle feeding a puppy that was getting pushed out by her litter mates. The first 3-4 days she was holding her own and then she stopped gaining weight (we have a digital scale that measures to the tenth of the ounce) and started getting too weak to nurse. I've only saved a couple of weak puppies in the past (I tend to lose them more than save them if they have problems)so it's always hard to force myself to try and give them the best chance I can. This little girl we bottle fed every 2 hours, round the clock for a week and then one day I went to feed her and she was nursing all on her own. She's been going great guns since. She's still 1/2 a lb smaller than the next smallest puppy in the litter, but she's doing great and her eyes just opened a couple of days ago.
Don't beat yourself up. The most important thing is to be able to look at the situation and find what you aren't going to do again. And if the rest of the litter is okay and Mom is okay then you've got a lot to be greatful for.
That is a big litter of pups too. The only thing I think I would do is continue to rotate the litter so that they have split time with Mom. At 2 1/2 weeks they can be away from her for short periods, so you could possibly set up a second whelping box that you can put half in with Mom and half in with maybe a couple of toys.
I actually have the opposite problem right now. I have a litter that I lost 2 of the 3 puppies (they just didn't thrive) and have a single puppy litter. I think I'm over compensating for him not having siblings and this little guy is SUPER spoiled.
My sympathies go out to you. I also have killed a puppy before thru tube feeding. Actually, it has happened twice. The guilt I felt was horrible and overwhelming. Both times I swore that I would never do it again. But when faced with a puppy that definately was not going to make it, I would take a deep swallow and know that I had to do it. I use the largest size tube that was possible. I re-measure the tube every 3 days. Tube feeding a 2.5 week old puppy can be difficult. They tend to move a lot and fight you. If the puppy puts up a stuggle, I remove the tube and reinsert it. If the puppy tends to fight you this makes it even more dangerous. You have to really watch that tube and make sure it hasn't come out a little bit during the stuggling. A struggling pup makes it a 2 person job. One to hold the pup, one to do the tubing. As much as you want to get it over with, you have to really push that plunger slowly. And then even with all this caution, there's still no guarantees. But you have to do whatever you can. Many of us have had this experience. Don't blame yourself. You were just trying to save an innocent life.
My heart goes out to you. I used to have to tube feed sick calves when we raised our own beef and I was always afraid that I was gonna drown them too.
It got me to thinking tho. I am a paramedic and when I intubate someone, I push some air into the tube to listen for lung sounds or gurgling in the belly to see where the tube is.....I actually look DOWN the throat when I tube, but still, it can slide out.
Can you ask your vet if there is ANY way to use a tiny syringe to inject a bit of air into the tube once its in? get a stethoscope and listen to hear if you can hear gurgling in the gut, so yoy KNOW that the tube is in the right place??? The air wont hurt, no matter where it goes and you may be able to see where the tube is placed.
I am ver sorry for your loss...here is a bit of advice about tube feeding. When you tube feed a puppy you should prepare two syringes for the end of your tube. One should be a "test" syring, with about 1 cc of water in it. When you put the tube into the puppy start with the test srynge, if you put the tube into the lung, the puppy will be able to "cough" up the water and it will not set up pneumonia. Only after you are sure the tube is in the right place should you begin with the milk syringe. Also, when inserting the tube, allow the puppy to "swollow" it. Actively work the tub down the throat. Some people hold the mouth open and insert the tube but you are more likely to get it into the airway and not the esophogus that way. Remember, if the puppy is making a "swollowing" action with its mouth as you slide the tube in the air way will be cut off...its much more difficult to get it in the wrong hole that way. Bottle feeding can actually be lots worse then tube feeding. Lots of people give puppies pneumonia that way because there is simply no nipple that is a substitute for mom. Good luck.
wont the water still drown the pup? 1cc of water is STILL alot for the lungs of a newborn!
I like the air test, cause no matter where the air goes, it doesnt hurt a thing! Only obstacle is that it may be hard to hear with a stethscope. I do reccomend getting one tho and when things are good, just listen to your puppys lungs and gut, so when the emergency hits, you know what both sound like!