Pickle is Still Baffling Us

So, Pickle saw the vet yesterday, and basically all we got were a list of things that are NOT wrong with her, after an examination, ultrasound and full blood panel.

It’s not…

a heart defect
pyloric stenosis
a cleft palate
a liver shunt (as best we can tell, with the tools available and her age, and her lack of specific symptoms)

Her blood levels are all normal, although she is underweight, lacking muscle tone and her protein levels are a bit low.

So, looks like she’s just anorexic… or else it really is a mystery condition.

She got a shot of Convenia, on the basis that:

a) it can’t hurt
b) her lungs were a little bit raspy…

So, now we wait and see. She’s on a/d, along with some balls of ground hamburger, which she eats willingly in tiny portions (but even that is a start).

Thanks SO much to everyone who has phoned or emailed with suggestions. We appreciate them all – ok, maybe not the veterinarian. I’m not sure he was prepared for a client who pulled out a list of questions, suggestions, and print outs from the internet.

After a moment of baffled silence, I said to him “This must be every vet’s worst nightmare – a pushy dog breeder with access to google and a mailing list with 600 other breeders on it”. He coughed politely, but did NOT disagree. Then we spent ten minutes debating if Convenia was still off label for respiratory conditions, with him swearing it wasn’t, and me swearing it WAS. He coughed politely once again when a look at the packaging materials proved I was right, and then said “I think from now on I’ll be better prepared when you breeders come in for appointments”.

He was very nice about, considering I’d never met him before. Well, until I mentioned that we feed raw food, but that’s another story. Let’s just say we agreed to disagree.

Pickle gained almost 20 grams overnight, so yay for that, even though a/d is not my go to food of choice. Apparently, though, if I feed her raw the vet is convinced aliens will explode from her chest.

Puppy With a Mystery Illness

Pickle isn't feeling well

I have a puppy with a mystery condition.

Until last week, at age 3 weeks, she was eating well, developing normally and generally one of the most forward pups in the litter.

Since then, it’s as if she’s developed anorexia (and I know that sounds hysterical, but there’s no other term for it). She won’t nurse, unless her mom is literally overflowing with milk – if she has to work at it at ALL, she gets frustrated, sucks frantically without making any progress, and drops off.

She won’t nurse from a bottle – she rolls the nipple around her mouth, gnaws on it, then backs away. If I keep trying to make her nurse, she shivers.

If I offer her softened food in a pan, she’ll eat two or three bites, then get … I guess almost panicky. She’ll back up, trying to get as far away from it as possible. She turns repeatedly in circles, while trying to get away from the food.

I’ve been force feeding her rice cereal mixed with turkey baby food and formula, raw food, and goats milk formula from a syringe. She’s NOT gaining anything close to normal – her litter mates all outweigh her by 200 – 300 grams. Her back legs look very thin, and shake when she walks. I’ve kept her from becoming dehydrated, but that’s about it. Right now, I’d say I’m managing to keep her in maintenance mode, but nothing else.

I’m stymied. I’ve never seen anything before even close to this. She is otherwise alert – pays attention, plays, sleeps.

I have an appointment to have her examined by a vet this afternoon, but I’m hoping someone might have seen something like this before, and have a clue what we might be dealing with…

Of course, she’s my favorite puppy in this litter, because that’s just how dog breeding goes, isn’t it? Poor Pickle. Get better soon baby, because you are making mommy prematurely grey.

How do puppies get to pet stores? Also, help Tia get surgery.

Do you ever think about how puppies get to pet stores? How do puppies from Missouri end up in a pet store in Manhattan?

They get there in trucks like this –

Snoopy is one of 27 puppies seized from a box truck in Webster, Massachusetts. Police arrested the driver, John Clayton, after they discovered the puppies covered in flies and filth. They were cramped in cages without water and the smell was horrific.

Investigators are now searching for 24 other puppies that also travelled from Missouri. They were all dropped off at pet stores before police raided the truck.

The delivery company, Puppy Ship out of Missouri, denies the allegations and claims the search of the truck was illegal.

Read the rest here.

Video of the seized puppies and additional details below the cut, along with details on how you can help save the life of Tia, a French Bulldog found wandering as a stray.

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Tula’s Pups at Twelve Days

Cream French Bulldog Puppies

Tula’s pups are twelve days old today, and her daughter is finally starting to feel better. She’s less sniffly, gaining weight again, and just generally more perky.

It’s a nice relief to not have to worry about her every minute of the day.

Cream French Bulldog Puppy

Her brother is developing a ton of pigment – it sets off his big, blocky head quite nicely, although it’s also possible I’m a bit prejudiced. OK, more than a bit. Look, is it my fault that I just happen to have the world’s most absolutely adorable puppies?

I didn’t think so.

More adorable-osity after the cut.

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Little Miss Sniffles Tries Convenia


Tula’s daughter has a sinus infection.

This is likely a result of her snuffling milk up her nose while nursing, which sometimes happens in French Bulldog puppies. I’ve never noticed a correlation between milk snorters and breathing issues in later life – it just seems that some pups nurse vigorously enough to snort milk up their noses in the process. Maybe her brother made her giggle – Lord knows I laughed enough milk up my nose as a kid.

The first day, it was barely noticeable – just a little milk around her one nostril. Within a day, I had to suction that nostril out – and MAN! You just would not believe how much goo can come out of the nose of a nine day old puppy.

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