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The pups are doing well. Grace is gaining weight by leaps and bounds. I have decided to help Ellie along by supplementing with bottle feeding. She nurses from Shay, but is obviously not getting enough for whatever reason. She is vigorous with nursing, seems to do just fine, but I really, really watched her the past few days and do see her drinking, some, but while Grace is gulping and obviously getting a lot of milk, Ellie does not seem to be (you can tell when they are actually swallowing milk). And, Ellie is just flat-out not gaining enough weight. I’ve waited, she’ll do good for a day or two, then lose a few grams. So, I am intervening. She does not like the bottle at all. I am going out today to try to find something else. Last night I finally tried a medicine dropper of which she would clamp onto and really suck from–she has very strong sucking reflex and I could barely get the medicine dropper from her. I just worry that the opening in it is a bit too large and don’t want her to get fluid in her lungs. So, off I go to try to find something that will work better. I think she already looks better from the 3 feedings I have managed to get into her over the past 12 hours.
Update–the afternoon of 2/15/11:
After researching most of the night, I decided to try a homemade formula for Ellie. Commercial formulas have only about 1 or 2 calories per cc. This homemade recipe has 11 calories per cc. Testimony upon testimony supports this recipe and many say it saved many pup’s lives. I am giving it a try. I actually use a slight variation of this very same recipe when I start to wean the pups–adding mashed puppy kibble to it. I did mix it half and half with the commercial formula I gave Ellie last night just so it is not such a shock to her system. If you are interested in knowing this recipe, you can find it here.
I also took their advice and purchased a regular human baby bottle to try as Ellie would not drink from the two variations of puppy bottles/nipples I have.
I took off work this morning and made the trek to the next town over to find the ingredients. Goat’s milk and whole yogurt can be difficult to find, but I did find both. I actually already knew I could find the organic goat’s milk because I use it myself, but whole yogurt is an entirely different matter. But, as luck would have it, I found it! I developed some problem with my truck while in route, so had to stop and handle that minor issue as well as shut off that empty gas tank light! Had to pay the stupid water bill (I don’t get paying for water that I have to pay to filter to drink) so they wouldn’t shut that off today, too. I was out of stamps, so had to make the dreaded stop at the post office (there is never anywhere to park). Thought I had better get dog food and another stop for some extras for Shay (some organic/free-range meats, veggies, eggs, etc.). I finally got back home after spending an entire paycheck in under 2 hours (that really has to be a record, eh?) and mixed up a batch of formula for Ellie! Sterilized the new baby bottle. Put 15 ccs of the magic formula in the new bottle, warmed it and tried it with Ellie.
She drank it like she was starving to death!!!! Oh my gosh. She didn’t resist, didn’t gag, didn’t fuss. She latched onto that bottle nipple and drank! The nipple is designed so she still had to work for it just enough. It didn’t flow too slowly or too quickly. She loved it and drank every drop! I cried. I am still crying. Why on earth didn’t I do this days ago? We’ll see how she does, of course, but she has a full belly right now and is even looking better in less than one day of intervention and a wee bit of assistance. I don’t know why she is not getting enough nursing. Shay has milk in all her teats. Grace is gaining several ounces a day. Ellie is nursing and vigorously so, but went back to losing weight yesterday. Calls to the “experts” told me she will be fine, let nature take it’s course. And, the more the pups nurse, the more milk Shay will produce… yes, yes, I know all of that. But, this darling is not gaining enough weight and now is losing! Does anyone hear me? Enough is enough. Nope, I am not waiting any longer. Helping can’t hurt her.
I just want to say that we all have intuition about some things. I am not an expert and don’t know that even 18 more years of this will come close to ever making me one. I do not have a medical degree, but let me tell you what, it has been proven twice in a week that I should have trusted my instincts, gut, intuition, whatever you want to call it. I don’t just pull things out of my a**–I research until I believe I have all of the information from credible sources. I know my dogs. I process the information and weigh the facts, and feel that most of the time I can make a fairly educated decision.
Well, lets see how this turns out. Maybe this isn’t the best decision, but I don’t see how on earth it couldn’t be. I will monitor Ellie carefully and still put her on Shay as much as possible, but I am going to try to help her out a bit. It cannot hurt her.
I think I have hardly talked about Grace. And, I will add more photos, but have you seen how beautiful she is? Wow. I love her dark features–dark nose and pads. Her markings are beautiful! She is starting to twitch her ears a lot, makes the most adorable groaning noises, is trying more and more to use her chubby back legs to get around instead of just crawling, and I am seeing a wee bit of her eyes starting to open!
Okay, I have to go and get to work and Scott is not very happy with me that I spent all my money and never got any “people” food and he has nothing for his lunch. No, you cannot have any of that meat–that is for Shay!? No, the eggs are for Shay and the puppy formula. What’s wrong with oatmeal and those frozen blueberries from the garden 3x a day again, I say? Geesh, get your priorities straight, Caveman! I thought you found something along the road last night?