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handraising puppy

September 5th, 2005, 08:41 AM
My husband and I live in a rural area where unwanted animals are often dropped off. Several weeks ago, an adorable (and very pregnant) little terrier made her way to our house. We tried, without luck, to locate her owner. We decided to keep her until the pups were born since we didn't have the heart to take her to the shelter. She gave birth to 8 pupppies on Monday 8/15/05. On Wednesday, when we got home from work, we found them all dragged out of their box and bitten around the head and face. It broke our hearts. Of course, we took them from her and did our best to treat and feed them. We pretty much knew they were really beyond help and seven of them died within 3 days.

We were able to find the mother dog a home with a retired widower who was looking for a little companion. She's a real sweet little pup, but certainly not cut out for motherhood.

We now have Arthur to care for. He's adorable. He's recovering from unseen bite wounds that abscessed last weekend. On Saturday our usual vet told us that his head was just shaped funny. By the time we got him to another vet on Monday, he had a huge swelling over his right eye, which ruptured when the vet examined him. He's on antibiotics and healing great, but may be blind due to the infection.

He's 21 days old and weighs almost 11 ounces now and is gaining weight every day. We bottle feed him every 4 hours, including on our lunch hour. We've worried and fretted about this little guy and are working hard to keep him going. Of course, if he survives, he'll have a permanent home with us.

Has anyone else handraised a puppy? Or had a blind pup?

Trish in Ohio

September 5th, 2005, 09:04 AM
Keep going with the formula and when he is 3-4 weeks you can begin to offer softened kibble. Once he is eating well you can begin to decrease the water/ formula added to kibble until he can eat it dry. You can also begin to offer water at the same time as the kibble. He should continue to be fed formula until he is aprox 7 weeks. Because your little guy is not going to learn social skills from mom. You will need to spend more time socializing this puppy. Start as soon as it is safe for him to begin.

September 5th, 2005, 09:10 AM
Thanks, Stacy. Any socialization suggestions? He's already getting lots of handling and petting and talking while we feed him and do his wound care. Is there anything else we might do?

We're experienced dog owners, but have never had a puppy this young, so any information about normal development would also be appreciated. He's 21 days old and trying hard to get up on his feet. Right now we keep him in a warmed box except when caring for him. Is this ok or should we do something else.

Trish in Ohio

September 5th, 2005, 09:42 AM
For now don't take your puppy anywhere unless you need to. Don't let anyone handle this puppy until he has had atleast one set of vaccinations. What you can do now is more of the handling. Get this puppy used to having and enjoying every body part being touched. You can actually start the nail clipping. Get a soft brush to get him used to being brushed, get your fingers in his mouth, ears, between toes, etc. Once he has had vaccinations you will need to take him everywhere possible where dogs are allowed. Also get him enrolled into puppy classes. He should remain in classes right through adolescence, aprox 7 months. Socializing is not with things he already knows but with things he doesn't. You will want to socialize him with everything that he may see in his lifetime. So even if he will spend little time in his daily life with things like children you still need to get him used to them so there will never be an issue.