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My mini poodle puppies are 5 weeks old today. Since they were 3 weeks old I have been offering them gruel of puppy food and goats milk. Ground beef and goats milk. The raw I feed their mother and goats milk. And all of that without goats milk - etc. I have tried almost all the regular recommended first meals out there. They simply lick at it 2 or 3 times and then go play.

My poor mama dog is so very skinny and I would really like to wean them, at least partially. I was worried about eclampsia a couple of times but wared it off with calcium supplements and a great diet.

The puppies are huge! Almost all are around 4lbs. There are 7 of them.

What should I do? Just let mom do it naturally and make sure that I feed her enough while still offering them food? I have been keeping her away from them for most of the day - only letting her nurse them 3 times. She visits them once per night. On the one hand I want them to leave her along and wean, and on the other I worry about mastitis, as she gets very full after a few hours away from them.

I live in a small town. No repo vet around. The good vet we have is so overwhelmed right now, that he is of no help.

Your help will be greatly appreciated.
 

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There aren’t many breeders on this forum. We’re mostly pet owners. Did you have a mentor to help you with the breeding ? Can she help ?

If not, I would really call a vet, even if out of town, and ask for advice. This is serious, it needs to be done properly, both for the mother and the babies.
 

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Your good vet may be overwhelmed now but you and your dam and her pups have as much right to their attention, for their very lives are at stake here.

It's very true that we have only a few members who breed, so it's not likely to get the help you need since few of us have the experience. Please call your vet for your dam and puppies sake.
 

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ASAP: Order Esbilac Puppy Milk Replacer from either here at chewy.com (generally best prices but not always, depending on amount you order) or here at Amazon. I recommend a case of the 11oz cans of 12; be sure to refrigerate after opening. They sell it in goat's milk too. The milk replacer has the extra things needed for puppies and nursing mothers.

You're going to use this to feed your mama dog. It's a food supplement for her. By using this, she'll have the extra calories she needs and can continue nursing her pups without degrading her own health. The more they nurse from her, the less chance she will develop mastitis. If any of her nipples start to harden, you must squeeze milk from that breast yourself two or three times a day.

Depending on how much she will feed her pups, you'll use the milk as an add-on in small portions times each day. She should drink it out of a very small bowl but don't overdo it or she'll have diarrhea. I notice you didn't mention feeding her kibble. I recommend Royal Canine Puppy Dry kibble to feed you mother dog along with what you already mentioned you feed them.


Also hand feed the pups twice a day or as needed using the milk supplement; follow your intuition in satisfying their hunger. This will give mama dog a break. Normally I'd say order this combo of nursing bottle with syringes and attachable nipples, but they're out of stock. Instead, you can get something like this nursing kit, along with pet syringes for liquids here at Amazon or elsewhere. You'll then use one of the nipples that fit the syringe. The reason is young puppies do not like suckling on a hard syringe, so attach a bottle nipple to it.

Depending on the urgency, you can buy this stuff from a well-stocked pet shop while you wait, but expect everything to cost twice as much.
 

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Are they due to be wormed?

For mum you need to feed her up and I would call your vet for advice on this and supplements. I would feed her as much as she wants.
For pups they sound like they are getting enough food. For now I would stop all foods but one type and stop goats milk. Workout their daily amounts and feed each pup separately 5 times a day. I would choose raw as only small amounts are required. Then you can truely assess their eating.

I would allow mum in morning and evening to relieve her mammary glands and reduce over time. Don’t let them completely empty to help dry her milk up
 

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Not a breeder however, get some baby food, not sure they still make those little one of just turkey or beef and offer each puppy individually some. They should lap it up readily . Afterwards you can start to mix in a puppy starter canned/ then kibble. Before you know it they will be weaned. https://www.royalcanin.com/us/dogs/products/retail-products/small-starter-mother-and-babydog-dry-dog-food
At 5 weeks they don't need mama all the time, when she fills up with milk let them nurse some, after they have eaten because if they nurse they won't have the interest in the food. When I raised a few litters (I had a mentor) I would have them nurse less and less each day, just enough to keep her not full of milk. It didn't take too long before she was filling less and less each day. The bigger the demand the more she produces. So as demand decreases...so does the supply.
 

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Please please be careful with this!! Mainstream baby food formulas, like Gerber, will contain onion powder, which is toxic to dogs.
the plain strained single Meats like ham or chicken are only meat, no spices, no onion.
 

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Please please be careful with this!! Mainstream baby food formulas, like Gerber, will contain onion powder, which is toxic to dogs.
I always did baby food and it was never a problem but that was years ago, I googled and google says that Gerber has added onion to their formular in first stage but not into the stage 2 formula. So read labels. Also its not like you give them an entire jar to eat, your just giving enough to interest them . Maybe just a teaspoon mixed in to gain their interest.
 

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Sounds like at some point they removed the onion powder, and then put it back in?

"In a scattered rash of cat onion toxicity cases a number of years back, the culprit was onion powder used to flavor some baby foods. Veterinarians often temporarily feed meat baby food to cats who are infirmed and unwilling to eat their regular foods. So when the baby food formulations changed, some cats took a turn for the worse while under veterinary care. Due to public pressure baby foods no longer contain onion powder."


Strange.

I guess it's always safest to just look at the label of the food you choose.

(Didn't mean to hijack this thread. I just like to mention the onion thing as often as I can, because I've encountered lots of folks who don't know it's dangerous. Same with grapes. They think chocolate is the only no-no, which is interesting, because it's relatively benign.)
 

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I think when previous posters mentioned baby food they meant the turkey chicken or beef stage two spoon fed food. Not the formula powders. we used the stage 2 jarred baby food with our "teacup" poodle when I brought her home, mixed it with royal canine dry food slowly adding more dry food each day. nutria-cal paste maybe a good option. Call the vets office and ask. if you don't have a snarky vet most will help over phone now. some snarkier ones won't. I know summer street animal clinic in Burlington iowa would most likely help by phone. I've known heath for years and he's a great person and always very helpful. he's one of the he does his job for the love not the money. we moved to the city and here its no help over the phone and only by appointment. so we still talk to him often. if you don't find help, let me know and I can shoot him an email.
 

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I just recommend this due to your situation of the your vet being overwhelmed right now. still try to schedule with them but in the meantime try that.
 
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