Puppy Photos, Day Four

Striker, tiny pied French Bulldog boy

Striker, tiny pied French Bulldog boy

All the boys are doing well – Striker, the tiny pied boy, is gaining as much weight per day as the two beefy boys, and the fawn boy (nicknamed Sidney) is also doing well. Turns out his ‘gaping umbilical’ was really more of a ‘nicely healing umbilical’. Mea culpa when it comes to being overly protective.

Tula just wants us to stop fussing with her kids, and leave her to get on with motherhood. Happy to oblige, Tula.

When does the ‘fun’ part begin?

Tula's Black masked fawn French Bulldog puppy

Tula's Black masked fawn French Bulldog puppy needs some veterinary care.

I have to take Tula’s little fawn boy to the vet after work today – seems that his umbilical isn’t healing. More accurately, instead of being a little pin point on his belly, it’s big gaping hole. I have seen this once before in a puppy, and it was easily treated – the vet put in a couple of dissolving stitches, and it was fine. Let’s hope that’s all it needs to fix him, as well.

Paula’s little guy is still not doing well. He has foamy diarrhea, and I just can’t seem to get weight on him. He was up 19 grams this morning, and now he’s back down to yesterday’s weight. We’ve got him nursing every two hours, so I’m not sure what else to try. I’m rarely stumped by a puppy, but he’s stumping me. He nurses til his tummy is full, he isn’t dehydrated, and other than the diarrhea, I don’t know why he’s not gaining.

I tried to give him some probiotic powder (fortiflora) for the diarrhea, putting a few granules on his tongue, but he vomited up all his milk, so I won’t be trying THAT again. Paula is going to bring him some flagyl, and if that doesn’t help by tomorrow, he’s off to the vet as well.

I’ve been running on two to three hours sleep a night, up every two to three to make sure the puppies are on nursing, and to give the tiny guy some extra attention.

While I’m at work today, Sean is home running in and out checking pups, putting the pen back together (Tula is a digger, and has been burying the pups under the blankets), checking for full tummies and clean bottoms, and doing piles of laundry. This afternoon I’ll drive home, meet Sean at the door, take the Fawn boy in to the vet and get back home again just in time to start my night shift on puppy watch. Thank God Sean has four days off of work between shifts, or I’d have to take the entire week off of work.

I keep getting emails from people telling me that they’re going to breed their French Bulldog once, “just for fun” – but could someone tell me when the ‘fun’ part of dog breeding is supposed to kick in?

Photos from yesterday below, or on Flickr.

First Video – Tula’s French Bulldog Puppies

Striker, Paula’s little pied boy that Tula is fostering, is having a few problems. He’s losing weight, and is substantially smaller than Tula’s beefy little boys (who’ve gained 30 grams or so each, in less than 24 hours, while Striker has lost 15). The differences are even more striking when I remind myself that he’s almost three days older than the boys.

He’ll be getting some extra nursing time, and is also receiving subcutaneous fluids – which is a nice way of saying that a few times a day I’ll be injecting fluids into him with a needle that’s longer than he is. The fluids go in ‘subcutaneous’, meaning ‘under the skin’, as opposed to injected into muscle tissue, so he rarely does more than squirm a bit while I’m hydrating him. I’m the one who’s being a big baby about it.

Hopefully, we’re just playing catch up with the ground he lost while he was being bottle fed. If you didn’t cross your fingers for us yesterday, it would be nice if you did so today.

And then there were THREE

Tula wonders "Where the heck did HE come from?"

Poor Tula. She goes to sleep at the vet clinic, she wakes up with two puppies. She comes home, has a nap – and wakes up with one more. If this keeps up, she’ll be afraid to ever go to sleep again.

Tula is doing some surrogate mothering – Paula’s singleton French Bulldog puppy (out of Elliott, which makes him sort of our Grandpuppy by proxy) has been having a hard time of it. His mom, Lucy, has no milk at all, and they’ve been getting up every three hours to bottle feed him. Worst of all, he’s not been doing well on the bottle. Since Tula loves her puppies, and has enough milk to open her own dairy bar, I suggested we tuck him in with Tula’s kids.

He arrived this afternoon, wrapped in a pink blanket and looking terribly small and thin. He’s almost two a half days older than the boys, but weighs just 209 grams to their 289 and 297 gram weights (that’s the fawn boy, who is something of a chow hound). Since he got here, I’m not sure he’s once let go of the nipple. Maybe he’s afraid that if does, it will either disappear, or dry up. Unlike Tula’s boys, who are still nameless for now, the little pied guy is named “Striker” (although I might lobby to have it changed to ‘Sucker’).

Tula had an initial moment or two of “I’m pretty that this is not mine” type hesitancy, but since he’s now covered in her milk and has been sleeping nuzzled up against her boys, she’s just fine with it. I’m going with the theory that she just thinks maybe she miscounted them.

Photos here, or on Flickr. Video later on, if I get the chance.