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How can you tell if puppies are not getting enough milk?

January 20th, 2008, 04:40 PM
My shihtzu pups are 3 weeks old. Last night I was up most of the night with the mom (wanting to go out and relieve herself...4 times) anyway. When she fed the pups during the night they went crazy trying to suckle. It just didn't seem like they were getting any milk and mom's nipple just seem flatter than before. Am I being paranoid? or should I look into supplementing them? This is her first (and last) litter, so I wonder if she just doesn't have enough milk.
Any advise would be appreciated....and yes I am spaying her as soon as she is done nursing.

January 20th, 2008, 06:29 PM
At 3 weeks old Shih Tzu puppies are "greedy little monsters"! lol! Everytime mom leaves the pups will dive at her like crazy. At this age the mother start wanting to leave the pups for short periods, in trying to get them to be more independant. So when mom comes back they dive for milk. With her being out several times in the night they just ate more. I wouldn't be concerned.

Pups generally let you know if they are not getting enough milk, by whinning. If the mother goes back and they nurse but keep whinning and whinning, then you have cause to be concerned that they are not getting enough milk.

At 3 weeks it's a good time to start putting "mash'" (pour hot water over kibble and allow it to become a soupy mess, and cool a bit before putting it in the pups area). Right now it's good to put it in 4 times a day while mom is "out". When mom goes back in she'll eat it all up. This just gives them a chance to get nosy with the food. During week four they will really start eating it while mom's away. This will help them get more of the nutrients they need to grow.

All the best with your pups. If you do plan to continue to breed I would recommend getting a mentor who will be able to give more direct advice. I'd love to see some pictures

January 20th, 2008, 06:42 PM
....and yes I am spaying her as soon as she is done nursing.

Nice to see someone take responsibility for their dog :thumbs up . Kudos to you!

January 20th, 2008, 06:53 PM
or should I look into supplementing them?

I would say this is a good idea
....and yes I am spaying her as soon as she is done nursing.

and that's an even better idea ! :thumbs up

January 20th, 2008, 07:23 PM
Supplement the pups and then spay mom asap. :pawprint:

January 21st, 2008, 08:08 AM
You should be weighing the puppies AT LEAST EVERY 48 HOURS, better every 24 hours from the day they were born!! with a high quality digital kitchen scale. I am surprised your mentor or vet did not let you know this extremely important detail! Not sure what the minimal weight gain is for your puppies, your vet or mentor should tell you. Only if the puppies are not gaining weight should you supplement, momma milk is best. Anyway, at 3.5-4 weeks old you may start on a watered down, high quality canned food or kibble.

January 22nd, 2008, 10:17 AM
Thanks for the advice. I think I was just worrying for nothing. They have been gaining weight consistantly. They are seeming a little whiny lately, but not for long at a time. They are starting to make a little noise and play too, so not sure if that is an issue. I did buy some replacer milk, and the pups have tried a lick or two. Next week when they are four weeks I will start introducing kibble as instructed.
Once again, thanks all.:thumbs up

March 1st, 2008, 06:07 PM
supplements are great for small breed ::thumbs help to prevent hypoglycemia keep as close eye on the weight of the puppies and make sure mother eating well and her calorie in takes is increased in the coarse of her nursing puppies . bottle feeding is your choice every 2-4 hours feeding schedules . make sure she producing milk oxytocin is an hormone that makes milk production happen . good luck :thumbs up