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Dr. Wally
Dr. Wally, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 673
Experience:  20 years experience in veterinary field.
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Thank-you for your expert advice; we now have 3 four week old

Customer Question

Thank-you for your expert advice; we now have 3 four week old adorable puppies. Now another problem: Katy the 2 yr old mother has no milk left to feed the puppies; plus the fact she appears to be weaning them off of her. The puppies refuse to eat or drink hardly at all on there own. I have tried everything even refused a bottle, they hate being forcefed but what other options do I have? Also I am worried about getting a suffiecient amount in them. Do you know the average weight for a 4 week old Chihuahua? They only weigh about 2 lbs. Thier milk teeth are just starting to break through thier gums. Do you have any advise on this matter? I feel that I desperatly need some; since this is our first and only litter. We were to find them new homes but have gotten to attached now;so we have a family of 5 now(lol). sincerly Ethel Lada
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

Dr. Wally :

Good afternoon. I'd like to help you with your question.


I cannot find your answer???


I can see the quiestion and was notified you had answered it ; but i cannot find your reply.


still no visable answer to my quiestion ask!


Still do not see the answer.


Still no answer visable to me?

Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

The chat option is not working properly right now. I've switched to Q and A...which will work better.

Dr. Wally and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

Though your dog may not seem to have much milk, the fact that the pups are now 2 pounds is encouraging. I would think that you are not seeing her full teats, but the pups are still getting enough nutrition.


I would separate the pups from mom overnight. First thing in the morning, give them a pan of milk replacer. I use a sheep's milk replacer for my pups, but canine milk formula would be fine.


I'll type more, as I give you time to read this.

Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

The pups should drink from a flat pan if they are hungry (which they will be if mom is taken away from them for a period of overnight). Offer the milk replacer three times a day, then let them see mom after that. She will nurse them a bit, and clean them up.


Once the pups are drinking the milk replacer for two days, you can soak some puppy food in hot water until it is really mushy, and add that to the milk replacer. Make it really soupy at first, then wean them off of the formula.


At that point, mom should be with them only for meals, and only after they have had a chance to eat the food. They are slowly weaning off of momma.



Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

Remember that hungry puppies are LOUD. If they are sleeping and have fat bellies, they are getting enough to eat.


I would get a food scale and still weigh them every few days to make sure they continue to gain. It's hard to say how much they should weigh, because that will vary with their genetics. Just make sure they are gaining.


Best of luck to your expanded family!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

This is the problem they will not drink it in a bottle or from the pan; do I force feed them if so how much for each?


Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

They will eat if they are hungry. I'm guessing mama has still been nursing them. Separate mom so she can't nurse for the day and watch how quickly those hungry puppies find the milk in the pan.


Don't use a bowl....use a shallow pan. A pie plate or cookie sheet is ideal.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Mom, Stays with me and sleeps with me does not want anything to do with the puppies. I am using lids to feed them from.


Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

Are they screaming? Has mom let them nurse at all?


Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes they cry all the time. Mom maybe will once day if I make her; then the puppies go into a frenzy from one nipple to the others but do not nurse long.
Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

Gotcha. Okay, until they learn to drink from a plate, you'll have an easier time tube feeding them. Ask your vet for a red rubber catheter and to show you how to do this.


Don't feed them completely, only enough to get them through. They need to get the urge to eat.


Keep weighing them. Make sure they don't lose weight.


If they aren't going for the milk, try the soaked puppy food. It should be really mushy. At 4 weeks, they are old enough to wean, though momma might have weaned them a bit to early. She should have been forced to stay with them until they would take at least a little of a solid meal. If she has ANY milk left, you can hold her down and let them nurse, hoping that her milk production will return. But it is likely that it is too late for that.


Try the tube feeding until they learn to eat. It should only be a short time.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Like how many cc's at a time for each puppy just to be enough to maintain them through this period and how often do I feed them?
Expert:  Dr. Wally replied 6 years ago.

I wouldst go by cc's. Feed them three times daily and only until you feel their stomachs begin to fill by about 1/2. They are easy to feel at this age.