Pup bit by mom

by Cole
(Cape Town, South Africa)

Hi There

I have a two week old pup that was bitten by the mom. This was brought upon by my own stupidity.I gave the mom a big bone, the pup went towards the mom and i think the mom thought the pup was going for her bone. She bit the pup on the head.The pups head was swollen. The pup now wants nothing to do with the mom and the mom seems to hold a grudge towards the pup.

I took the pup away from the mom and is bottle feeding the pup.I took the pup to the vet to have checked out.The vet advised me to put the pup to sleep (just he's opinion). The swelling is gone and the pup seems and looks perfect but isn't drinking much milk. Am i doing the right thing? Why does it seem that people don't take the time to do all that they can, and seems that putting a animal to sleep is the easy way out?

When a child is born you don't put the child to sleep because of he or she has a problem. Are our pups not our children too. I lost 7 pups a week ago and feel i let it happen because the vet told me to let nature take it's course. Today i feel that they could have still been alive had i gone with my gut and at least tried feeding them.

Having a animal die after you had done all you could is sad, but knowing you tried makes it better. Why live with "WHAT IF" . VETS ARE SO CONFIDENT IN THEIR OPINION. What happens to human error.

Any advise? Is there anyone in Cape Town South Africa that could possibly assist me please

Hi Cole
I am so sorry to hear about your difficulties with this litter, and I totally understand your distress and feelings. I think I remember answering a question from you at the time the other puppies were dying, and I'm really sad for you that you lost them that way.

Personally I don't follow the 'let nature take it's course' philosophy unless the animal is so sick that there's no decent quality of life and no chance for recovery. I would normally always advise people to trust their vets and follow their directions/opinions as they are the experts, but there is always room for a second opinion if the diagnosis or treatment doesn't seem 'right' to you. I don't know the situation exactly so can't judge whether your vet was right or not first time around, but if this pup has recovered from being bitten, and seems healthy then is sounds as though his/her advice was suspect at the very least.

You understand why the momma bit this pup and that it was a result of your actions, but we all make mistakes or do things without thinking them through all the way so don't blame yourself too much. Right now you need to focus on helping this little pup to grow up big and strong.

If possible mommas' milk is best for him right now, and if you can supervise nursing and the mom will even feed him a bit it would be worth the effort. However, if she rejects him totally or is aggressive to him, then you will need to do whatever you can by yourself as you don't want to risk him getting hurt again.

At 2 weeks old he most definitely needs milk, and it should be puppy milk or a home-made formula that provides the nutrients he needs. Check out this webpage for more details on this Bottle Feeding Puppies - it's one of the best guides online.

Hopefully he will drink enough to get to around 3 weeks when you can begin weaning. To do that you will need to soak dry puppy food in hot water and allow it to get 'mushy', then mix it with the formula and let him lap/eat it. You can also add some soft canned food if you want to. If he isn't drinking enough to support him now though, then I would strongly suggest you find another vet and go and ask for help. If a pup won't feed from a bottle they can be tube-fed, but you need the equipment and to be shown how to do it properly or it can be dangerous.

I totally agree with you about doing everything you can for a pup/dog before just giving up. Putting a beloved pet to sleep is by no means the 'easy way' as it's heartbreaking, but if a professional is recommending this rather than taking the time to look at treatment options (if there are any) then something is wrong.

I really hope that this little puppy makes it through and wish you the very best of luck.

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