A great big photo update

Mouth wars! Pammy and Delilah

Mouth wars! Pammy and Delilah

Sean and I have been busy passing the flu back and forth. I got it at work, then gave it to Sean, and he somehow managed to give it back to me again. He said it’s because he’s all about sharing. Awww… generosity. Apparently it’s over rated.

About the only useful thing I’ve managed to get done in a week is a mammoth photo update. Oh, I also shot some video – but it’s still sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be crafted into an actual video. Not gonna happen tonight, that’s for sure. I’m off to bed with a cup of tea and a heaping dose of Nyquil Cold and Flu.

Photosets below the cut, or on Flickr as follows –

ALL of the pups enjoying playtime

Delilah’s pups at six weeks

Tula’s Pups at one month

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Delilah Pup Video Debut – and attack of the killer Pickle!

Delilah’s puppies, in their very first video appearance.

See it after the cut, or on YouTube.

btw, music is “Elle Panique“, by Olivia Ruiz.

ps: added secret bonus video!

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Pickle is Possibly Just Picky

Pretty Pretty Pickle Puppy

I found an interesting article on ‘forced weaning’. It seems to sum up all of Pickle’s symptoms quite perfectly, and would suggest that, in many cases, this is a psychological or behavioral issue, rather than physiological.

It goes something like this…

Puppy isn’t eating well.
Owner feeds puppy.
Puppy resists, owner force feeds puppy.
Puppy resists more strenuously, owner force feeds more often and more vigorously.

Puppy comes to associate eating with unpleasantness, and balks at any suggestion of food, causing owner to continue force feeding, with escalation of puppy’s behavior.

It does seem to make sense, doesn’t it?

One of the suggestions on how to break the cycle is to introduce a new food puppy has never tried before, and then feed that food with a strict ‘hands off’ approach. No hand feeding, no coaxing – just put it down, and leave it. Since I’ve hand fed Pickle all of the foods I normally would feed a puppy (raw, pablum with baby food, hamburger, etc), I decided to try some kibble.

I soaked some Pro Plan Selects puppy in goats milk, mushed it up with a fork, and put it down in a bowl. All of the other puppies rushed for the dish, as usual. Pickle seemed about to, but then noticed me at the side of the whelping box, and wandered over to see what I was up to. Since I was obviously a distraction, I left the room, steeling myself to just leave them alone for a good five minutes.

When I returned, I found Pickle ankle deep in the food bowl, along with the rest of her siblings. She might not have eaten as much as they did, but the fact that she ate anything, willingly and without being hand fed or force fed from a syringe, is a phenomenal start.

It would be ironic if all of this stress has been caused by the simple fact that Pickle is picky. Ironic isn’t really the word I’m looking for here, either – tragic, perhaps. Or seriocomedic.

New pictures of the puppies on Flickr, or below the cut in a slide show.

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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.