I have 4 almost 3 weeks old chihuahua mixed with Pomeranian puppies. 3 of the puppies seems to be developing ok. The smallest one however appears to be very weak. She's only half the size of her siblings. I'm concerned that she won't make it because she is not very active. She weighs approximately 6 oz. I bought supplement milk for the puppies, but none of them are really drinking it. Is there anything I could give her and the other puppies besides the mother's milk? I'm worried they are not getting enough milk because the mother's tits are not big enough for the puppies size.
Have the pups seen a vet to check their general health out? An exam can also detect any health issues that may explain the smaller size of the one.
You will need to not only hold the tiny one up to mom for nursing routinely, but also supplement it. Once it has taken as much as it can suckle on its own, you will need to use a bottle or syringe (not best choice if your inexperienced) and top off the puppy. Do this every 2 hours to start until it gets more strength then can move to 3 hours.
Also get some nutri-cal from your vet when you go in for the appointment and give this to all the pups, but the tiny one a larger amount.
Do you have a heating source for them? Did mom get a post whelp check up as well?
3 weeks is old enough to start giving some food. Use high quality puppy foods, I suggest Science Diet. In the can, science diet is very easy to pull up through a syringe, sometimes you have to mix a little water, but its so easy to feed through syringe. A puppy his size should have at least 10-12 ccs of substance every 2- 4 hrs. When you have small puppies it is important to have a vet look at them and rule out there is no heart defects. If the small puppy does not gain strength through feeding him than you need to have a vet look at him and see what can be done to help you. I work very closely with my vet as a breeder. If I have any concerns, I can not deal with myself.. OFF to the vet we go! You can buy Nutri-Cal at PetSmart or PetCo... give this 2-3 times per day to pups as well.
IMO 2 week old pups (she stated they are not 3 weeks yet) is too young to start regular food. Even at 3 weeks for toys is a tad too young. They need the nutrients provided by moms milk or a supplement that is simlar as well as some nutri-cal.
In addition of course to the vet check.
Syringe feeding may be 'easy' but it is not the safest way. aspiration and asiration pneumonia can happen very easily if someone is not taught how to properly use a syringe without feeding too much, yoo fast. That is another topic you can bring up with the vet at the visit so he can go through proper technique with you, what to watch for, ect.
Moms milk is the best choice always if it is possible, so trying to get the pup to nurse off mom first each tme before supplementing is very important.
Thanks for all the advices! I will buy nutrical for the puppies and I will let you know what will happen. Also I have started placing the smallest puppy near her mommy so she could get more milk. Thanks!
Of course if you try the syringe feeding go extremely slow... I forget there are some people who wouldn't know this. ~sorry~ I would never take pups away from mom at all... I never "wean" my pups from mom, they stay with her tell they leave me, some where between 8-16 weeks of age. IMO I would suggest just trying Nutri-cal every 2 hrs with the itty pup, but it sounds like every one needs some supplements. Talk to a vet and see what they think on what supplements to use. I use AD at that age... you can only get that from your vet. It doesn't matter what any one else thinks you should/or shouldn't be using if it works, and your vet approves it! It is VERY important to see a vet if the puppy does not improve with in 24 hrs after some kinds of supplements... if it does not get back to suckling on momma. Reason being all virus' and bacteria infections take little puppies down hard and fast... be safe not sorry.
Hopefully the vet can get you in ASAP. It is great you have the puppy near the mother, pups should be with mom all the time as well anyway unless she is hurting them in some way.
Be sure to not only place the pup nearby, but 'hold' the pup to mom and you may need to work with it awhile to help it get a grip on a teat and continue to hold him on until he is no longer interested in feeding. If the belly does not feel firm, then also give supplement to fill him up. He may be too weak to hold on by himself, and most times with a smaller pup, the siblings will push them away and if he is not strong wnough to fight his way to nurse, he will not get to eat.
Raising pups is very tough, hard work, alot of sleepless nights, can be heart breaking at times, but well worth it in the end.