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Theresa
Theresa, A Voice for Your Pet
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8007
Experience:  19+ years experience in small animal medicine
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I am fostering five Chihuahua puppies for the Humane Society

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I am fostering five Chihuahua puppies for the Humane Society whose mother died two days after giving birth. They are now three weeks old. One of the puppies eats next to nothing and weighs significantly less than the others-maybe 3ml at each feeding. He also has very red eyes with a weird film on them that the others don't have. He's warm, but his tummy looks pale. He sleeps more than most, but when he's awake he makes a mewing sound that makes it sound like he's struggling to breathe. I took all of them to the vet tech at the Humane Society three days ago and they all got a clean bill of health and were dewormed. Anything I can do for him now until the Humane Society opens?

Theresa :

Not sure when the humane society opens in your part of town but you need to be sure he is warm. Do you have a thermometer?

Theresa :

If you do I would only put the very tip of the thermometer in his back side. I would like to see it at least 98-99 but no more than 102.

Theresa :

Also, if you have any karo syrup put a tiny amount on his gums just in case his sugar is low.

Customer:

I don't have a thermometer, unfortunately. There's still another 3 hours or so before I can get him checked out.

Theresa :

Outside of this there isn't much you can do until he is evaluated. It is possible that he has aspirated into his lungs and has pneumonia so oxygen therapy will be needed if this is the case.

Theresa :

Does he feel as warm as the other puppies?

Theresa :

You can use pancake syrup if you don't have karo syrup this will help to keep his glucose up or raise it if it is low.

Customer:

No, he's definitely not as warm. Is the likeliness of surviving pneumonia high for puppies this young?

Customer:

I will try the syrup

Theresa :

The likeliness of survival is about 50/50 not the best odds in the world I know.

Theresa :

What do you use to keep the pups warm?

Customer:

They all sleep on a heating pad covered by a blanket and then I put a blanket on top of them if it gets chilly at night.

Theresa :

Do you have a small box? Or are you willing to carry him around? This will keep the heat closer to him. You can take a wet rag and put it in a ziploc back. Heat it in the microwave (the rag and bag) for about 35 seconds. Check the temp you should be able to keep it on the inside of your arm indefinitely but it shouldn't be too cold. If you can do this then lay a thin rag over the top of the bag and put the pup on top of it then wrap him into a burrito but not too tight that he can't breathe.

Theresa :

It doesn't stay warm long, maybe 15 minutes so the procedure would need to be repeated.

Customer:

I will keep him warm as best I can. Anything else I can do for him in the meantime?

Theresa :

Is there any drainage from his nose?

Customer:

Yes.

Theresa :

What color is this?

Customer:

It's white, the same color as the Esbilac

Theresa :

ok.

Theresa :

The chance of aspiration is now a lot higher.

Theresa :

Make sure the tech and hopefully the doctor looks in his mouth for a cleft palate?

Theresa :

You can do this too but looking at the top of his mouth from his teeth down and see if there is any type of opening different from the other pups.

Customer:

I don't see anything out of the ordinary.

Theresa :

That would be on the inside of the mouth.

Theresa :

Good.

Theresa :

Do you have a vaporizer or humidifier?

Customer:

Yes, I do.

Theresa :

Have you done the syrup yet?

Theresa :

Set him up so that he can breathe in front of this for about 15 minutes of every hour. This will help to keep his nasal passages moist.

Theresa :

Put warm water in it.

Theresa :

If you haven't done the syrup yet then go ahead and do that.

Theresa :

No chance you have a small nasal aspirator is there?

Customer:

No, I wish I did.

Theresa :

Also, remember that your body temperature is colder than theirs should be. So a heating element that I mentioned would be ideal.

Theresa :

Hopefully, after the glucose he will have more energy to sneeze out any fluid. Chances are high with his symptoms that he has aspirated which puts him at high risk. The humane society has their own vets or may send you to a vet that they work with for continued care.

Customer:

Okay, I will make sure he stays warm and steams.

Theresa :

warm, steams, and sugar (syrup) and TLC. You are doing a wonderful job and I will say a prayer for you and that little baby. Every option you have at home you are using so you are doing a great job.

Customer:

I'm just glad I was able to get help! I was worried that he may not make it in time.

Theresa :

We are doing the best we can to get him into the vet. I can't make any guarantees but this should at least give the fella better odds on getting there. I am afraid for his diagnosis but if it is aspiration pneumonia oxygen therapy, possible tube feedings, and antibiotics should help. At three weeks he may even try to eat on his own.

Customer:

Well I will do my best and hope that he makes it. I've already found him a home so I don't want to disappoint. Thank you so much for your help.

Theresa :

No problem. It is what I love to do. Good luck to you and that tiny fella.

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