Super skinny but bloated puppies
My friend had a litter of boxer puppies. There was 7 of them but 2 died. 2 of the surviving puppies are very little. They have been to the vet and he said it was just because they were the runts. They have not grown a bit since they were about 3 or 4 weeks old. They are now 9 weeks old and not even a 4th of the size as the other pups.
They are obviously dehydrated. They eat and drink like crazy. They play but sleep more than anything. They have problems regulating their body temp. they get cold easily and have to be on a heating pad to stay warm. I brought them home with me today so that I could give them some fluids. I have given them both about 30cc of saline (IV) subcutaneously. They have a very pungent smell to them. They are so skinny that you can see the outline of their guts, their bones stick out and seem very fragile.
They have been wormed and I wormed them again today. I am at a loss to what the problem is. Any help is appreciated.
It may be that these puppies are the 'runts' of the litter, but that term can be applied to the smallest puppy who is perfectly healthy as well as to pups who are small because they have underlying health issues.... which personally I would say these pups have.
There are so many different symptoms here, and I'm afraid I'm not a veterinarian and haven't experienced this situation personally, that it's impossible for me to say what is causing their problems.
The difficulty in maintaining body temperature may well have something to do with how small they are and the fact that they have almost no body fat. I'd strongly recommend that these guys be examined again, and that your friend doesn't accept a 'diagnosis' of them being runts. That's not a diagnosis at all, and even if they are smaller and weaker than the other pups, I definitely thing there's more to it than that. An opinion from another vet would be valuable here I think.
My first guess would have been a severe worm infestation, and that's still a possibility if the first de-worming took place weeks ago and an over-the-counter medication was used rather than one given by a vet.
However, heart problems or a thyroid issue also come to mind. Unfortunately only a full hands-on vet exam can give you a definitive diagnosis. You may want to try an online veterinarian for an opinion too, a second or third opinion is always beneficial in my experience. Check out my Ask A Vet page to get in touch with an online professional.
I wish I could help more, but this is a situation for professional veterinary help. I do wish you and your friend the best of luck and hope that these little pups manage to grow and thrive.