I have a friend who has Cockers. She had puppies on January 10th and are 4 weeks old. She has started feeding them last week and the love their cereal mixed with ground turkey meat.
My friend woke up this morning and went in to let momma out for potty break and she found that she was dead. (Dog will be taken in for necropsy Monday)
Any suggestions in bringing up this litter without their mother?
I appreciate any input.
First, I am sorry to hear about this. For the puppies, if they are eating well on their own, they will do fine dietarily at this age however, please be wary of feeding advice. Many veterinary schools have a veterinary nutritionist. I have a MS in animal nutrition. It is important to find a quality puppy food that they like and to mix several kinds together. Puppies MAY imprint on a taste of dog food so I suggest using a mix of several types. Personally I also mix a wet food with the dry food. Next, adding a milk replacer is not a bad idea. Puppies at this age still need to suck and a daily or 2x daily use of a bottle would give them that social need. Puppies also learn dog behavior at 6 to 8 weeks of age so littermates are important or perhaps bringing in another sweet dog that would be kind and socialize with the older (6-8 ) week old puppies. All these things are a little more work but it certainly can be done and you can have healthy puppies.
The best of luck to your friend on this.
at 4 weeks they will do fine on puppy food. Just soak puppy food (kibble) with water for a while and then mush it, they can eat softened food just fine. Keep the litter together for proper socialization and if there is a gentle friendly adult dog they can spend time with, all the better. Until the litter is at least 8 weeks, they should stay together.
Goats milk is the closest thing to dam's. I start at 3-4 weeks on goats milk (our walmarts carry canned and dairy case paper quarts) mixed with raw ground meat (turkey, chicken beef), rice baby cereal, and gradually by 8 weeks have them on good puppy food with water/milk mixed. Make sure the pups are wormed every 10 days with panacur or strongid (1cc per 10 pounds) which you can mix in the gruel. It is very very safe wormer, so I would put in a little more - I used 12 cc for 8 pups - to be sure they all got it.
I mix dry food (what mom was eating) with warm goat's milk in a food processor. They should lick the mush right up, but if they don't stick their noses in it and let them lick it off. They'll get the hang of it in a couple of tries.
We feed the kibble with the goat's milk as well.
Point noted before - the adult dog that will do well with the young puppies. Critical
We start our pups out on wet food at 4 weeks old at work. Use the goats milk or warm water and let is set a bit to soften up. Make like a oatmeal paste out of it and they should do fine on it. Resorb is also good for them to put into their food for extra nourishment. Good luck with the pups.
Goats milk do not microwave any food for pups depletes all vitamins and is not good for milk products either, a lot of formula and milk replacers tell uyou that on the container....
Read Kevin Trudeau's New Book Nutritional Secrets they dont want you to know Natural Medical ways and what our world of Pharmacutical and medicine have dealt to us and our dogs and their diets....vitamin defeciency is the reason for most of our pups illness.....and the breed period.......read and research....what you use to know is not necessarily so today.....new horizon with microwaves,,,no fat ingredients,,,,aspartame , lots of deceptive chemicals in our foods and the dog and puppy foods....., flavor enhanceents in our dog food and ours to make us like it and create appetites for more of it.... if man invented it and made it dont eat it......
raw goat milk is actually much better if you have someone in your community that can supply you,.....
K9 Puppy Gold http://www.k9power.com/k9_puppy_gold.php Lactose filtered and also filtered for fat and allergens, this is an extremely pure protein source.
There is nothing more nutritious than species specific mother's milk, different species have different amino acid structures. Goats are herbivores, what is good for goats is not necessarily sufficient for canines, especially where herbivores and carnivores are concerned.
Consider the nutrient and energy profile of canine mothers milk averaged throughout lactation (protein rises in contrast to most mammal species). The ratios are quite different from goat or other herbivore milk.
Dog milk profile is: 9.8 fat, 8.1 protein, 3.5 lactose
Goat milk profile is: 4.5 fat, 3.3 protein, 4.6 lactose
Cow milk profile is: 3.8 fat, 3.3 protein, 6.9 lactose
K9 Puppy Gold is a good name for it considering its cost.
I've always had good luck using Ed Frawley's puppy formula
Bottle Feeding Recipe
11 Calories per CC
Place ingredients in a blender and blend or use a wire whisk. Be careful to not over blend and create a milk shake full of bubbles and then tube bubbles into the puppy.
Keep cool and discard leftovers after 7 days.
Warm formula to body temperature (dogs are around 101 degrees). Discard any un-used formula. This is a thick mixture - use a stomach tube to tube feed or enlarge the hole in the nipple for easy access for the pup.
Go to his website and see the chart for amount to feed
there is no need to bottle-feed 4 week old puppies. They should be started already on puppy food "mush" with water or goats' milk - and if they aren't then they can start easily at that age. Just stick their noses in it and they will get the hang of it immediately. One word of caution about feeding milk (goats milk or any other) - starting at about 5 weeks the puppies do not tolerate lactose well anymore, and can develop diarrhea on the milk - diarrhea can kill a puppy in only a few hours (dehydration) - so use milk with caution. Puppy kibble soaked in warm water until soft, and squished (or not) works best IMO. I use goats milk only on infant puppies if they need to be supplemented (they are still nursing on mom and not old enough to eat soaked food yet) and I use it when just starting to feed them soaked kibble, to make it more yummy. But I quickly switch from goats' milk to warm water to soak their food. Much safer.
That is very good advice Molly,
I was referring to the puppy k9 gold product.
I have in the past had pups at 4 weeks old without their mother and they did fine with the soaked kibble alone.
The formula Birdy uses is the same one the breeder we bought our pup from. Not Leerburg either....she raised GSD's on it for 30 years or so before she came to the US. Used it for our pup for another couple of weeks after we brought her home. It's great.....our vet said it was one of the best he'd heard of. Just my 2 penny's
Again, you can feed things like corn syrup, canned milk or goats milk, which is not lactose or alergen filtered and they will survive. Or you can feed human grade milk proteins (US) of the highest quailty, in proportions which are biologically efficient to digest and utilize for young canines and have them thrive. The macro nutrient profile in K9 Puppy Gold reflects canine milk during the first 6 weeks of life. The combination of a milk based protein source along with a meat based protein (meat or meat based kibble) is biologically correct and the reason young canines in the wild, stay on the mother much longer.
Molly is 100% correct, a lot of damage is done using milk sources that are not lactose filtered, causing de-hydration thru diarrhea, we hear this a lot.
dont worry 4 wks is plenty old enough to start weaning get a gud quality compleat mixer mix to a paste . the most important thing is that the pups are well socialised.