My 2 week old Boxer runt has loose stools and a little blood in it. Help!?
(Houston, Texas, US.)
My boxer had a litter of 10 puppies about 2 weeks ago.
They are all healthy and big, except for the runt. All she wants to do is sit under the heat lamp we have to keep them warm. We have been bottle feeding all of the puppies since the mother hasn't been producing milk. I feed the runt a little extra. She also asphyxiates almost every time she eats. She will try to nurse on the mother but only if i bring her to her.
Just today when i was bottle feeding her, she went to the bathroom on my chest where she was laying. I wiped up as much as I could with a paper towel, and let the mother boxer lick the rest away, like normal. When i went to throw the paper towel away, i noticed the stool was a little yellowish brown with a small amount of blood in it. I'm not sure why this is, but I'm very worried.
I read at a few places that it could be from change in diet. I've been feeding her the same formula since day 1. I don't think it could be worms either. This is only happening from the runt. It could be a sickness from not having the colostrum from the mother, but I don't know.
She is my favorite, i plan on keeping her, and I'll do anything i can to keep her alive and healthy.
I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you're having with this little girl.
Sometimes the 'runt' is tiny simply because it's a big litter (which it is), and this pup simply didn't get the nutrition it needed in the womb or was too short on space to grow and develop to it's full potential.
Other times there's a physical reason for the puppy to be small and weak, sometimes it's a combination of both.
From what you've said I think it would be a good idea to have this little one checked out by your vet as it could be that she has a problem with her soft palate (upper 'roof' of her mouth). This isn't terribly uncommon in short-muzzled breeds (which the boxer is) and even a small cleft in this palate can cause difficulty nursing and hinder growth.
You say that she aspirates her milk easily.. that's a classic sign. In the best case it prevents her from getting all the nutrition she needs, in the worst case she can breathe milk into her lungs and get an infection such as pneumonia. In a small, weak pup this can be fatal.
I'm not trying to panic you, and as she can drink from both her momma and the bottle, it is likely that if she does have a cleft that it's a fairly small one, but it does need to be diagnosed if you want to help her. Your vet can fix it surgically once she's a bit older and stronger and then she will be able to eat properly and grow and develop to her maximum potential. She'll also feel a lot happier.
Of course, she may not have a palate problem, but if I were you I would definitely check this out first.
As for the loose stools and streaks of blood.. that shows inflammation in her digestive system somewhere. As you haven't changed her food, and presumably these pups haven't been in contact with other dogs or people, hopefully it's not a contagious dog illness. It is more likely to be a parasitic problem such as Coccidiosis (which is most often seen in puppies whose immune systems aren't strong or who are stressed, probably she fits both categories). This is easily treated by your vet. Or she could have some other kind of tummy problem or infection, again your vet is the only one who can make an accurate diagnosis.
I really recommend that you get her an appointment as soon as you can and get her thoroughly checked out so that you can make sure she's getting any treatment she needs. That way she will be able to grow up big, strong and healthy just like her siblings.
I wish you lots of luck and hope that she is doing much better soon.