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-   -   8 1/2 week old pup eating enough? (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=61960)

cassblonde April 6th, 2009 07:11 AM

8 1/2 week old pup eating enough?
 
My Mom(who lives with me) recently got a Shih Tzu puppy but she is concerned because she doesn't think he's eating enough. Now I'm not sure either as the last puppy I dealt with was my own and she's a much larger dog.

So far he's eaten a little each day(around 12 pieces of kibble) of his Orijen Puppy food, he is drinking and playing and sleeping lots. He has had daily poos and pees and seems okay but he eats so very little and he is quite thin. Both Mom and I are concerned that he's not eating enough and can't afford to lose weight since he is so tiny(less than 2 lbs) and young.

My Mom wants to bait the dry food with some canned but I'm afraid she may be setting herself up to have a picky eater later and he may be getting enough for his tiny little belly ...

Does anyone else have experience with very small puppies that could advise me?

Gail P April 6th, 2009 10:42 AM

Is the kibble being fed dry or moistened? At that age they will often prefer it moistened as it's easier to chew, and he may eat more that way. I've never had a small breed puppy, but with any young pups I usually feed their meals moistened with warm water and also offer a little dry kibble as a treat or if they seem to want more. I don't soak the food until it's all mushy, I just add a little water stir it around a bit and feed.

Also, how many times a day is he being fed? A few small meals is better than trying to feed one larger one. 3 meals a day until he's a few months older would be a good idea, and then cut back to 2 meals.

Purpledomino April 6th, 2009 11:01 AM

IMO you are right to be concerned. Assuming that your puppy is at the correct age to be away from its mother, this weight is very tiny for a Shih Tzu, especially if you say he is thin. Puppies should not be thin, this is the time that they should look more roly poly, and have a little more meat on them. How old is he?

Has he been to the vet? A parasite burden could be a concern so I would consider that. Although you are feeding a good quality food, I would not count off feeding a quality canned, it will not make for a "picky" eater. Canned food is helpful as it is less processed than dry kibble, adds essential moisture to the diet, and is very digestable which is good for puppies, especially one which is underweight. If this puppy finds it more palatable, that is more important especially if he needs to eat more.

If he hasn't already, he should be seen by a vet asap to access his condition. Puppies of that size do not have the reserve to fight off a serious illness, and can go downhill quickly if you are not vigilant. Even though he seems healthy in other ways, if he is underweight so early on in his life he needs to be checked out. Catching something early can make all the difference. Good luck!

cassblonde April 6th, 2009 01:33 PM

Let me reply to both of you here as best I can :)

Gail - Wikket(the Shih Tzu puppy's name) seems to prefer his food dry over moist and always has water available. My Mother offers food to him at least 4 times a day or leaves it down when she is in the room to keep my 1 year old dog from eating it. Susie, my dog, is raw fed as will Wikket be once he is a little older.

Purple - Wikket will be going to the vet this week for sure for shots and a check up - thanks for your concern. I will have to disagree with you about roly poly puppies though, as far as I've ever been able to tell there is no age/breed/species when it is healthy to be anything other than a proper weight. I do think he is too thin but hope it is a combination of settling into a new home and adjusting to a better food.

I will let everyone know what the vet says when we take Wikket in, thank you for your replies.

Blackdog22 April 6th, 2009 02:07 PM

In regards to puppy weight, your 100% correct cassblonde.
When dogs are puppies it is much better for them to be on the thinner side, it's less stress on growing bones and can help prevent a number of health problems when the dog is older.

Could it be that her teeth/gums are just sore?
Perhaps you should look into some soothing teething toys, it wouldn't hurt either way as she is going to start teething soon.
The occasional cold carrot worked well for both of my dogs, as well as celery when they were teething. If you don't want to give food you could try buying a rope fleecy and soaking it in a light broth, then freeze. You can do the same thing with a clean, twisted up rag, just soak and freeze.

Chris21711 April 6th, 2009 02:32 PM

[QUOTE=cassblonde;765585]

So far he's eaten a little each day(around 12 pieces of kibble) of his Orijen Puppy food, [QUOTE]

If that is 12 pieces per diem, then it is definately not enough, if the pup carries on like that, then it will be severely malnourished imo.

cassblonde April 6th, 2009 02:56 PM

Just a quick update: We've baited Wikket's food with a bit of canned food and he ate much more happily. Mom has agreed to feed him on the same schedule that I feed my cat(4 times a day - he's a gulper, my cat). We finally went with baited food when he threw up bile which is a sure sign that the tummy is on empty.

Again I have to say he is acting fine - playful and happy and sleeping plenty as well as all puppies do. He has a vet appointment for Wednesday but of course if we feel he is still not eating enough we will take him in sooner.

Thanks again for your replies - it really does help to talk things out(and my Mother and I have been talking this for a couple of days now). I hope to get a shot of Wikket up soon as I am sure you will all love his wee little Ewok face :)

Purpledomino April 6th, 2009 03:33 PM

[QUOTE=cassblonde;765714]
Purple - Wikket will be going to the vet this week for sure for shots and a check up - thanks for your concern. I will have to disagree with you about roly poly puppies though, as far as I've ever been able to tell there is no age/breed/species when it is healthy to be anything other than a proper weight. I do think he is too thin but hope it is a combination of settling into a new home and adjusting to a better food.

.[/QUOTE]


I just noticed here that he is 8 1/2 wks, I missed that. I just wanted to clarify that I was not recommending that puppies be overweight, that their body type is just not the same as an adult would be. It is pretty hard for such a little guy to be indeed overweight with so much growing yet to do, but it is possible to be under what he should be. My Minpins were very tiny as puppies, yet they had "puppy" look to them which looked I guess "roly poly" to me. They are now adults and have lost that look, are lean and lanky as typical Minpins are.

And...just remember that you promised us all a picture of Wikket! :D

cassblonde April 11th, 2009 08:02 AM

[QUOTE=Purpledomino;765766]And...just remember that you promised us all a picture of Wikket! :D[/QUOTE]

I did promise :) Just to update: Wikket is doing fine and has had his first shots and has gained weight nicely. We are now baiting his food with canned green tripe and he is eating 1/8th cup of dry food with about a teaspoon of tripe 4 times a day. His weight at the vet this past Wednesday was 3 1/2 lbs(and he had gained by the feel of him from when I first posted about his eating).

Pics of Wikket and even a little vid of him that my 5 year old daughter took can be found here:

[url]http://mommycass.blogspot.com/2009/04/introducing-yet-another-new-resident.html[/url]

Thanks for everyone's input!


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