I am taking on a litter where the mother has had a tendency to kill her pups in the past and am wondering what are the best ways to go about things.
Hello, I want to thank you for posting your wisdom on a website for us to find in times of need. Our vets don't know everything and I am in need of advice on a dog who has killed her pups for the last two litter. she is a 2 yr. old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel which belongs to a Amish breeder. He is not sure why she killed the pups, just that they were born alive and seemed okay the first day and dead the next. He said that some of them looked partly eaten. I don't believe this is typical behavior of the breed and wonder is it is a stressful environment for her and she is taking it out on her pups.
I am taking this dog off his hands (I have been raising border collies for about 12 years, 14 litters, so I do have some experience in pup raising). The Cavalier is due to whelp some time in the next week or 2 (he free breeds and has no idea when she is due, just that she looks close).
My question is do you have any advice on the whelping and caring for this litter. Should I allow the pups to nurse with supervision and then take them away to the next feeding, or not try to involve the bitch at all. Should I muzzle her when she is with the pups?
Do you recommend that I tube feed or bottle feed. I have tried bottle feeding large litters to supplement before, with no success, they would not take a bottle for me. I have tube fed one pup before (as a supplement).
How often do I need to feed the pups (or allow them to nurse) during their first weeks. I know I also need to keep them warm and cleaned if the mom is not doing her part. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Some females are puppy killers and these dogs should not be bred, this is also a trait that seems to be passed down through the generations. This means that there is a good chance that daughters of this dog may kill their pups also.
I would not allow this female access to these puppies at all, if you want to be guaranteed that she won’t harm them. If you do let her nurse them, I would not only muzzle her but hold her head down as well. I know several people who have had a muzzled bitch kill a pup just by whacking it with a lot of force.
We think bottle feeding is better for the pups if you have the time to do it.