Shar Pei Puppy Wheezing
(Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA)
This puppy wheezes, and not all the time, sometimes sounds like he's gasping, especially after he's nursed. His little tummy when he's breathing hitches/heaves most of the time and we've never encountered this before. This is 1st litter for my bitch. She had 4 male pups, one a tiny runt who she laid on and smothered. My husband thinks bitch may have stepped on this wheezing pup.
He is eating, but weighs less than the other two pups. Should I take him to the vet? My husband says let's wait and see but though he has grown I don't see significant weight gain like the others. They will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and he hasn't opened his eyes, the other two did at 10 and 11 days old.
I would definitely have this puppy checked out by your veterinarian as it definitely sounds as though he's having difficulty with his respiration.
Combine that with the fact that he's not gaining weight the way the other pups are, and that he's not opened his eyes yet (which in itself I wouldn't worry about yet, but in combination with other factors could show a developmental delay of some sort), and I think it's possible that he's got a problem.
Shar Pei's have a short muzzle and breeds like that can be inclined towards palate issues (the roof of the mouth), and maybe he has some degree of cleft palate. As he's managing to nurse, albeit with difficulty, chances are it's not a severe defect, but something that needs checking out.
There is the possibility that he's been injured in some way, and some momma dogs do seem to be very 'clumsy' and careless with their offspring, but only your veterinarian can make a diagnosis.
In most situations concerning health issues there's nothing to be gained from a 'wait and see' attitude. It's usually much easier, and less costly, to treat something in the early stages than to wait until it's become serious. If you're worried, follow your instincts and get this little guy some help. He's relying on you.
As this is your first litter, I'd recommend that you check out my New Born Puppies and Puppy Development pages, as they have lots of information and advice to help you.
I wish you the best of luck with your pups and hope this little one grows up healthy and strong.