puppies not growing, not having bowel movements and have swollen glands/throat
by Cheryl Tapia
(San Antonio, TX)
I have two puppies that are 7 and a half weeks old who can barely walk. they have been to the vet and the vet says that maybe they didn't fully develop at birth. one runt is 10 0z at this age (chihuahua) and the other was 1.1 lbs and both did not gain weight from their 3 wk to 6 wk check up. both didn't poop.
Vet has them on antibiotics, mineral oil and nutra-cal. He says they are not in pain and are not skinny. I am feeding them a liquid diet still. They both have hernia's near the umbilical cord. both are swollen directly at the throat and appear to have hard, swollen glands on the left and right side of throat. They are drinking when I feed them with syringe and will lap up liquid themselves. Vet says they ill probably need to be put to sleep and I don't have the money for x-rays and surgery.
What could the swollen stuff around throat be? and they both have hard masses in their back ends. If you have any idea or just would advise them being put to sleep as well please let me know. If there is any chance of survival I would like to know as well. There were two other puppies in the litter that developed fine. These puppies sleep all day and don't play. They waddle when they do walk and can't bark. The runt is just getting her teeth in.
I'm so sorry for what your puppies are going through, it must be so difficult and upsetting for you.
I'm afraid I'm not a veterinarian and can only give my personal opinion, and I only have one 'guess'.
Because of the swelling you mention in the neck, it sounds to me as though your pups may be suffering from something called 'puppy strangles' (also known as Juvenile Cellulitis or Juvenile Pyoderma).
It's an immune system disorder, and the first symptoms are often swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck/jaw area which can be quite severe, and literally look as though the pup is being strangled (hence the name Puppy Strangles).
The normal treatment for this condition are corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation and swelling, plus antibiotics for infection. This is usually effective, but it depends on how advanced the condition is and how strong the pups are.
I would strongly recommend that you suggest this possibility to your vet, it may be what is causing a lot of the issues with your pups. Of course, it may be something else entirely but I don't have any veterinary experience and can only say it's best to rely on your vet or get a second opinion from another vet if you aren't happy with the treatment your pups are getting.
As far as having these little guys put to sleep, I think that depends on their prognosis and quality of life. If this doesn't turn out to be puppy strangles, and your vet can't make a diagnosis or help these pups, then I would be looking at getting a second opinion from another vet if I were you. Not necessarily because you don't trust your vet, just to make sure that you've done everything you can.
Someone should be able to tell you what is going on with these pups, and until they do or until it's got to the point where these little ones are suffering, I'd recommend actively pursuing a diagnosis.
I really wish I could help more, and I hope that you get to the bottom of the problem very soon so that these puppies can get well again.
I have another page on my site was written by a chihuahua puppy owner with similar worries and you can read it HERE. It turned out that her pup did indeed have puppy strangles and consequently recovered. Click on the link below the answer I gave on that page where it says 'Click here to read or post comments' you'll be to read what she wrote after the diagnosis.
I hope your puppies have a similarly happy ending. Best of luck.
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