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Ed Frawley

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Rags in Whelping Boxes are Puppy Killers


So you are going to whelp a litter and you have your whelping box and stack of old rags all ready to go. The litter comes as planned and everything looks good. You feel a little sorry for the pups and decide to use some of your old rags for the pups to sleep on. After all its a lot more comfortable to sleep on an old towel than the hard wood of the whelping box.

The next morning you come into the room to find a dead pup that is either under the towel or blanket or tangled in the old rag. This all could have been prevented if you had wiped your whelping box out with the rags before going to bed and then ripped up old newspaper and left the pups with the paper rather than the blanket or rags.

Take it from someone who has learned the hard way - rags are for cleaning, blankets are for your bed and newspaper or wood chips are for whelping boxes or whelping rooms.

old rag

I look at old rags that look like this as puppy death traps. They crawl in them when they scoot around the whelping box, get tangled like you see below and then either die (a pup can get weak and die overnight if it does not eat or if it gets pushed off to the side and gets cold.

a lucky puppy

This is a 2 day old pup that got lucky. Maybe that's what I will name it. I forgot to train my kennel girl to take all rags out of the whelping box. This pup got tangled and was on its way to dying when I found it at 7 AM. It had been tangled all night and was laying under the side rail of the whelping box. It was too weak to suck and the only thing that saved it was several bottle feedings with my super home made puppy formula.

bottle

Click here for my Recipe for 11 Calories per CC formual

When you have weak pups I have found that a human bottle like the one above with a lot of pin holes in the nipple allows the pups to suck and get nourishment. Sometimes pups are too weak to suck milk from their mother but they can suck and get milk from this bottle because it takes less energy. The formula I use has 11 calories per cc - I would be surprised if the milk replacer from your vet has 2 calories per cc.

I also like the bottle rather than tube feeding for beginners. Its easy to put too much formula in a sick pup. If they puke and then inhale they get formula in their lungs - that spells a dead pup. So when in doubt bottle feed your babies. It takes a little longer but its the safest way to do it.



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