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jadedangel57, owner
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19596
Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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My female pitbull will not nurse her 1 month old puppies

Customer Question

My female pitbull will not nurse her 1 month old puppies anymore unless you hold her down and force her to let them eat. Her nipples are also a little swollen and bleeding a little bit. What is wrong and what should I do ??
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She will let them eat if somebody is standing there telling her to stay. But she won't let them eat for any longer than 5-10 minutes
Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

The reason she doesn't want to feed her puppies is because dogs wean their pups starting around 3 weeks of age and usually by 4-5 weeks of age they are fully weaned and eating dry puppy food. At this point they should be offered a gruel of puppy food soaked in formula or goat's milk. Over the next 2 weeks the amount of formula added to the puppy food is decreased and fresh water is offered. Puppies should be eating puppy food by 6-8 weeks of age and stay on puppy food until they are a year old at least.

As for her nipples, if you haven't been cutting the nails of the puppies, they have likely cut her breasts and nipples. In addition, the pups have teeth and likely have been gnawing on mom's nipples as well. This is quite dangerous as it can allow bacteria to enter her milk ducts and lead to mastitis. Mastitis is generally first noticed as a swelling and inflammation of the breast. While it is easy to treat, it can be deadly if not treated quickly. Mastitis is caused by bacteria entering the nipple and gaining the upper hand leading to infection which often can enter the blood stream and thus infect other parts of your female as her immune system is already under the stress of having pups and nursing.

Here is a site on Mastitis:

If she has symptoms of mastitis, you will need to have her seen by your vet. Definitley stop the pups from nursing on her. You can do that by taking a childs t-shirt and cut it at the armpits and use the bottom part to put around her middle and keep the pups from nursing.

Those pups are more than large enough to be eating puppy food. If you do not have goat's milk or puppy formula, just put food in a bowl and fill it with water and let it sit for several hours until it is puffed out. I'm certain the pups will quckly learn to eat that food in just a day or so.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  jadedangel57 replied 1 year ago.

Hi Again,

I just thought I'd check in to see how things are going for you and your dog. Let me know if my answer was helpful.