my dog had a litter of puppies about 3 wks ago. all the puppies are fine, except the runt. she will not eat from mama dog, she's tired, weak, and will only eat a little bit of canned milk. what should i do?
This isn't terribly unusual, and in the natural state a weak little puppy/runt would probably just die. However, we humans can't bear to see that, or let it happen, so your puppy needs as much help as you can give her.
Make sure you are using a proper puppy milk-replacer (available from Petsmart and other big stores) and if she's strong enough to suck use a bottle. If she's very weak and has difficulty sucking you can ask your veterinarian to show you how to tube-feed, this is faster and will make sure your pup gets enough milk. But, it can be tricky and you need to be shown how to do it correctly in order to do it safely.
She will also need to be kept nice and warm, if she gets cold she will get weaker and lethargic. Maybe leading to dehydration which is dangerous.
If you check out my New Born Puppies page you'll find lots of tips and advice on hand-rearing puppies, I think you'll find it helpful.
Best of luck with your pups.
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