19 day old puppy having stomach problems. Last hope plz advise
(Boise, ID USA)
Keola (Just took pic with phone)
My 19 day old Pit Bull puppy is crying and curling in to a ball with pain in her (Kidneys?) back. I changed her formula to a pre-mixed liquid because the Esbilac powder was giving her bad and frequent blockage.
She seems to dehydrate and lose body mass quite regularly and is not gaining it back very easily. She was regurgitating her milk for a day or two but is keeping it down now. She has not have the appetite to feed since I fed her straight water about 12 hours ago but could that be because she expects water to come out of the bottle?
I don't have the money to go to the vet especially during emergency hours. They refuse to take any payments what-so-ever even though this puppy might be dying when I call. That is soo frustrating all I can do is cry, guess, and improvize.
I have been her surrogate mother since she was 3 days old. She knows me as her mother and is very attached as am I, so the thought of losing her is extremely hard. You are my best chance at her survival. Is there anything I can do?
How bad could it be? Please Help.
I'm so sorry that your having such a difficult time with this puppy. It sounds as though you're doing everything you can for her, and she's lucky that someone cares enough to help her in this way.
Hand raising puppies can be tricky, especially if you're dealing with a small, sickly pup or one that's failing to thrive, which it sounds as if you are.
Bottle fed puppies often have difficulty pooping and you need to stimulate your pup's reflex for elimination by gently rubbing her lower belly and genital area with a warm, moist washcloth. This mimics the momma dogs' licking. Diluting the formula and feeding more frequently often helps too.
A young puppy like this will get dehydrated quickly if she's not drinking. You can try giving her formula from a small syringe if she won't suck on the bottle, but you have to do it very slowly as you want her to swallow it, not just pour it down her throat.
The gurgling/choking you mention could be caused by her having difficulty in keeping up with the flow of milk. If this happens a puppy may inhale, rather than swallow, the milk and this can cause serious complications such as pneumonia which can lead to death. However, if she normally manages to drink quite competently she may just have had a temporary problem there.
I know how emotionally you can get attached to these babies, and I totally understand how difficult this must be for you. I've been there, and I sympathize, the problem is sometimes there's only so much you can do no matter how hard you try.
If the vet you've contacted won't help, I strongly suggest you get on the phone and call all the vets in your area (including 24 hour emergency hospitals), and explain the situation until someone is willing to help you. Most veterinary clinics will work out some kind of payment plan in an emergency situation, and a puppy as young as yours who needs help shouldn't be denied it due to money issues. I'm certain you will find someone willing to pitch in.
Until you can get her to a vet, keep her warm, continue to feed her (the pre-mixed formula should be fine, you can water it down a little though if you think she's constipated), and hope for the best.
You might also want to check out my New Born Puppies page for more tips and advice on hand raising a puppy.
I will say a prayer for this little girl and wish you the very best of luck with her. I hope your story has a happy ending.