So, I have two foster babies here until Monday evening. Short term fosters are easier (for me) but this is just a quick “relief” foster for their ongoing foster human. She had a ROUGH few days. Without going into details these are the only two left from a large litter of abandoned too early babies. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, getting no sleep while handling dying puppies is a damn nighmare and the poor woman needed a damned break.
While I spent some prep time on their food and crate I started remembering a lot of interesting and useful information I learned while trying to provide Herbert with nutrition while he was declining. Most interestingly I learned a starving dog/puppy mix that a very smart gentleman in Colorado shared which I have adapted just a bit. I cannot swear why it works, but I can say I have had damn good luck with it on multiple occasions:
- 3 parts canned puppy food
- 1 part meat human baby food
- 2 parts plain yogurt
- 2 parts heavy whipping cream
- 1 part canned pumpkin
- Canine probiotic supplement (if you have it, optional, etc.)
- NutriCal ((if you have it, optional, etc) or dark corn syrup if calories are essential and you don’t have NutriCal)
Warm it up (not hot), and feed. The original recipe can be found on the Blasco Family website and when I last checked included only heavy whipping cream, yogurt, and pumpkin pie filling. I asked him about the pumpkin pie filling which is not usually recommended for dogs and he mentioned that the included spices are soothing to tummies. I do not doubt his assertions and the pumpkin pie filling contains sugar which adds to caloric intake of starving puppies/dogs.
Either recipe seems to do the job, I like my version because it seems more nutritionally complete. From what I can tell, the heavy whipping cream, yogurt, and pumpkin in either mix soothes delicate tummies while providing enough fat to help the starvation.
Other random stuff:
- Wipe puppies down often. Using warm wrung out washcloths or even unscented baby wipes. They need the interaction and it is soothing and comforting to them.
- Do not immersion-bathe sick puppies too often. It is hard to re-warm them quickly enough. If you have to bathe them fully (beyond wiping) ensure they are completely dry and warm before allowing them to be put down.
- You see a puppy with a huge puppy belly but it doesn’t seem quite right? Check the base of the tail. Big puppy bellies can often be caused by parasite inflammation. If the base of the tail looks thin and unhealthy then the puppy is not getting enough nutrition.
- Puppies like safe, warm and quiet. Sick puppies *need* safe, warm and quiet to get better. Now, that doesn’t mean silence and everyone tiptoe. But it does mean constant handling by different people in loud environments can be too much for sick little ones.
- Enriched environments – yes, you want to keep their cages and areas clean and sanitary. But you also want their little brains to begin working. Put a nylabone in there, maybe some safe toys. As they feel better they will want to play. Yes, they may poop on it. So what? Sick puppies mean you are cleaning up poop; what’s a little more clean up to exponentially increase their stimulation which can greatly increase their survival rate?
I think that’s all I got for now; I hope this helps someone someday!