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Categories: Breeding

Q. My dog has had two litter and all but one pup has died. This pup doesn't seem to be growing at all. Do you have any idea what might be going on?
Cindy,

I put in "sick not growing puppies bacteria" in my search engine and your webpage came up as #1 at the top of the list and after reading much of your page on saving small pups, etc. I believe you may be able to help me.

I have been a dog breeder since 1969 and have, at one time or another, had almost every disease a dog or pup can get, except rabies. Anyway, I now have something I cannot figure out. I currently have French Bulldogs (4 of them) and have been breeding them for about 5 years. Prior to that I was into very small dogs and prior to 1996 I was into retrievers (55 of them), anyway I have this female Frenchie that I have bred twice. Her first litter of 7, died over a period of 3 weeks. The ones that survived the longest did not grow. She had another litter of 7 pups 4 weeks ago (a c-section) and I have lost all but one of them. I believe I was able to save him because I discovered a webpage which talks about "fading puppy syndrome" and ended up giving him the recommended Lyncomycin which is a pig antibiotic. That seems to have stopped the dying puppy thing. Prior to that I tried Albon for Cocci, Metronidazole for Giardia, Cephalexin for Dog Show Crud but none of those worked on the problem. I first noticed the stinky puppy poop and took a fecal sample to my vet after the Albon and Cephalexin did nothing lasting and he told me he could not see anything with a fecal float and after I told him what I had already tried and said I was about to try the Metro for Giardia and he said that was probably what I had and to go ahead. Needless to say, that IS NOT what I had and then discovered the "fading puppy syndrome" webpage and evidently nipped the bacteria thing, or whatever he had, in the bud. The only problem I now have is that he has not grown hardly at all. When I first weighed him at one week of age he weighed 4.5 ounces and after 4 weeks he only weighs 5.2 ounces. He is strong as an ox, very oppinionated and quite lively however he won't grow. I have him on puppy milk replacer (given by bottle - I read on the internet that if you tube them they end up not having an important chemical of some sort in their digestive tract which helps with digestion - prior to finding that I was an avid tube feeder) from Walmart however, tomorrow I am making some from your recipe and switching him. I know the mothers milk is okay because she is nursing 3 other pups, born at the same time, which belong to another mother whos milk did not come in and they weigh 2.5 pounds each and are growing fine. I am now thinking that if he ends up being realy small say under 5 pounds, I can sell him for a tremendous amount of money however, I cannot sell him weighing only 5.2 ounces. I know of a dog breeder out of Oregon who has actually created a miniature Cocker Spaniel and has done so because of some kind of bacteria she has in her mother dogs which is being passed on to the pups. She told me she has actually gotten AKC to recognize them. Anyway, I told her years ago that she actually probably has some sort of bacteria problem in her kennel which is keeping them small and she tells me "well, I'm not treating them". She is one of those kind of breeders who cranks pups out as fast as she can and, last time I saw her facilities, they were filthy. I am now the type of dog breeder who is sort of anti-breeding and am totally against breeders who have so many dogs they need to be kept outside in kennels. My dogs are now house pets and are only fenced onto our property (10 acres) here in Northern California. I hope I haven't bored you with my story. Anyway, if you know what I may have going on in this one momma Frenchie and her pups, I would greatly appreciate your feedback.

A. I would worry about a puppy that small having some type of systemic abnormality (i.e. liver shunt, etc).

I believe a puppy that only weighs a little over 5 ounces at a month old has a big problem especially when his littermates are like 8 times that size. I would find a competent vet and have him given a thorough exam. I would also find a repro vet and having your breeding stock examined, scoped and cultured. It sounds like you have some problems that need to be resolved.

As a breeder myself, I would NEVER sell a puppy that failed to thrive even if he survives and appears healthy. I would either keep that puppy or give it away. I believe taking advantage of abnormalities in dogs and selling them for a lot of money is part of the problem in dog breeding today. It’s certainly not in the best interest of your breed.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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