My Chihuahua Cinnamon had 6 puppies on 8-26. She died about 24 hours later from a retained placenta/puppy. I have managed to keep all 6 puppies alive so far, but I am getting a bit concerned about their eating.
They are eating fine. In fact, some of them act so eager to eat that you would think I never feed them. I am following the feeding schedule that is on the Esilbac can of 2 tablespoons for every 4 ounces of weight. My concern is that several times, the end up with formula or formula bubbles coming out their noses. I know this is caused by the nipple hole being to large, but I have tried reducing the nipple hole and it does not seem to help much. I cant seem to get the right size cause either nothing comes out... or they end up with milk on their noses.
Ok... now when they do this I immediately wipe the excess milk from their faces while holding them upside down. Then while supporting their heads with my fingers I swing them vigorously facing downward to let centrifigal force help "bring up" anything they might have breathed in. I stop when either I dont hear a rattleing or I get no additional signs of formula.
My concern is that how can I tell if I have already aspirated them. I brought one puppy to the vet because she was coughing/gagging and he listened to her and said he did not hear any rattle. He gave me an antibiotic to administer to her as a precaution. He said it cant hurt since I have no idea if the puppies got Cinnamon's colostrum before she passed. Her coughing has subsided, but since I am having the problem with the bottle flow.... I am still concerned. He did tell me that basically if they do aspirate.... I will probably loose them. There is not a lot that can be done. So how can I tell? I would still care for it and try to do my best to help it even if it has, even though it would be agonizing knowing they most likely wont make it. I listen to their lungs with my ear and dont hear anything usually except right after they drink. HELP!
(looking forward to the day they start lapping it up on their own)
i have never been in the position that you are in but if you have a question don't be afraid to ask. i am sure that there are posters that can help you. i know you have had your hands full, good luck to you:) you are doing the right thing by caring for these pups. i geuss you are their new mommy lol
bump to the top. someone if you know anything please help this new mommy.
My best advice would be to keep fiddling around with the size of the hole. I had a chi puppy that I bottle raised. He was the only one in his litter and the mother had an emergency c section and did not accept him right away since she was in pain. I used an eye dropper to feed him at first because he would do the same thing and the milk would come out of his nose from drinking too fast. Since they made it this far I wouldn't think its a cleft palate. There really isn't anyway to prevent them from doing that unless you can get the perfect sized hole in the bottle or you keep taking it away after every few drops the pup gets so he/she swallows and doesn't just keep sucking to the point it comes out of the nose. Feel free to keep asking questions! I'll definately help out as much as possible and can give you my email address if you'd like it. I usually try to come on here like once or twice a day. I'm in college to become a certified vet tech so I'm usually quite busy!
I bottlefed Bella from day 1, so I totally understand your fears. It is terrifying!! Bubbles coming from the nose are normal. I was told to try to feed them with all four legs on the ground to help prevent aspirations. Good luck!!
Bubbles out the nose is normal. My pups did it when i had to bottle feed them. Some of my pups do it while nursing. When feeding them pull the bottle out occasionally to let them get a breath. It should help with the bubbles.
Aspiration pneumonia is a frequently diagnosed lung disorder in young puppies, especially those that are orphaned. Orphaned puppies fed milk replacers by the tube method are most at risk because they are frequently overfed, or the tube is passed into the trachea rather than the esophagus. A malpositioned feeding tube will result in milk formula entering the lungs; this causes congestion and pneumonia. A puppy with a cleft palate may also aspirate milk or milk formulas into its lungs.
A puppy that aspirates milk formula will usually have milk flow out the nostrils as well as have fluid entering the lungs. In severe instances, the puppy will have immediate difficulty in breathing.
All cases of aspiration pneumonia are potentially very serious. Even puppies that only get 'a little' milk formula in their lungs frequently develop a bacterial lung infection within several days. They may recover or die depending on the severity.
If the aspiration is due to a congenital malformation such as cleft palate, then surgical intervention to repair the defect may be needed. Care should be taken if milk replacers are artificially fed so as not to get any into the puppy's trachea or lungs. The same is true when administering other medications such as liquid wormers, laxatives, or vitamins. If one suspects a puppy has aspirated a foreign substance, consult your veterinarian. The puppy must be observed closely for several days for signs of an infection such as respiratory distress, coughing and/or fevers. Antibiotics are given if bacteria invade the fluid-filled lung areas.
I dont use bottles myself when hand feeding. My reason is the problem with adjusting a proper hole size. Some pups have a stronger sucking ability, while other may be weaker and not be able to get enough from the same nipple another one can. Then there is the adjusting of the holes once they become stronger, etc. I personally syringe feed them so I can control by drop what they are getting. My vet as well, does not recommend the bottles for the same reason. There is always tube feeding. Your vet would have to teach you how to do this. It is faster, but has some risks as well with it. I wouldnt use tube feeding on a toy breed, but many with larger breeds have had succes with it, though there are drawbacks.
When I use a bottle I use a premie nipple, which I do have to look in several stores to find, just call and ask if they have the nipples for premature babies. If you know anybody that works in a hospital, see if they can get you some there. You also can add plain yogurt, NOT non-fat, NOT artificially sweetened, no fruit, just plain yogurt to the formula to thicken it which will cause it to come out of the hole slower. Make sure you shake the mix really well so it liquifies. You'll have to play around with it until you determine the right ratio mix that works for the nipple you are using. Be careful when you hold them upside down to clear them because this can also bring up what you just fed them and cause the whole aspiration thing all over again.
Thanks for all the feedback. I have all of the puppies on anitbiotics just incase. One was starting to cough a bit and has gotten a lot better since starting the antibiotics. I think I am through the highest chance of them passing since they are three weeks old tomorrow... but I know I am not out of the woods yet. Not until I send them home with their new parents will I be truely comfortable. Even then they are not out of the woods yet with diseases like parvo that tend to affect younger puppies.
When Cinnamon passed they gave me a little angel pin. I put this pin on their stroller over them because I truely believe that Cinnamon is guarding over them still. I have been told by several people that her litter was VERY large for a chihuahua... and to not have lost any of them yet is amazing considering they were orphaned so young. If this is true... I must be getting help from a higher power because before this... I knew NOTHING about infant puppy care.
good for you!!i am so glad things are going smoothly for you. yes i agree there must be help from a higher power!so have you found homes for your babies yet? are you planning on keeping any of the pups?
I work at a gymnastics gym... and Cinnamon spent the last few weeks of her life there with me when I worked because I did not want her to go into pre-term labor and not be there to help her if she needed me. She kind of became our boys gymnastic team mascot. Everyone fell in love with her and before the puppies were even born I had a huge list of people that wanted one. I selected the people that I knew the most and that would be good responsible pet owners. I am going to ask them to keep me updated on their progression and health. I am also having anyone who adopts one sign an agreement that should they ever need to get rid of the puppy for any reason to bring it to me. I will keep it. I feel responsible for letting them come into the world..... it is my job to protect and provide for them. I am also making the agree to have them spayed or nuetered within a reasonable amount of time. I would not wish on anyone else what I have been through in the last few weeks. I love all of the puppies though.
I am keeping one of the puppies... possibly two... not sure yet. I am keeping the runt because she and I have kind of bonded since she was ill for a while. She looks like the dad. I was thinking of keeping the boy that has Cinnamon's coloring... but I am not sure. My mother is also taking one of them.
I miss her so much, and would trade every one of her puppies to have her back. But I know that is never going to happen so I will do my very best to make sure that these babies NEVER lack for ANYTHING. Food... shelter... healthcare.... or love.