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Lactating Yorkie-7 day old pups-Milk drying up?

20 11:37:09

Hello! I have a Yorkie and she had 2 pups 9/2/08. Unfortunately, one passed away but the other seems to be doing great! My main concern is that Mom's teats don't seem to have much milk. When puppy latches on it starts to pull on the nipple really rough by jerking its head back and forward. Does this mean she is having a hard time getting milk from Mom? The 1st few days I could squeeze the nipple and there was plenty of milk, now it I can only get a drop or 2 when I squeeze it. Is that normal? Is more coming out when puppy is nursing? She had her tail snipped at 3 days and Vet says she is a good weight, then the very next day i got concerned. I started feeding by bottle only once a day. Puppy drank almost a teaspoon! Is that too much or a sign she isn't getting enough from Mom? Any advise you have would be MOST appreciated! She has had 2 unsuccessful litters and its just too heartbreaking. We LOVE this puppy and want to do everything right for her and Mom's health and longevity! Thanks in advance!!! Kelly


It is possible that the mother is drying up.  You did not say why one of the puppies died, could it have been because it wasn't getting enough milk?  The fact that it is jerking its head and pulling hard on the teats is a good sign.  It shows that the puppy is not too weak to feed.  Pay attention to that behavior because it can tell you when the puppy is in trouble.  If the puppy latches on to the teat and appears to feed for only a short time and then falls asleep you need to be concerned.  When they become weak from not getting enough food falling asleep after trying to feed for only a short time is one of the signs that the puppy is in trouble. It can take less than 24 hours for a puppy to die if it is not getting enough milk.  They become weak and then are unable to nurse and so they die.  If your puppy is able to drink from a bottle I would continue to supplement its feeding from the mother just to make sure it survives.

You need to be careful though that you do not feed the puppy too much from the bottle because not nursing the mother would cause her milk to dry up for sure. Typically puppies that are under two weeks of age nurse every two hours.  So I suggest that you increase the feeding to three times a day and let the puppy nurse in between those times. Keep in mind that if the puppy becomes too weak to nurse from the mother it will also not be able to nurse from a bottle.  In the event that this happens immediate intervention by the vet will be needed.  Newborn puppies that cannot nurse for whatever reason have to be tube fed.  This involves taking a tube and putting it down the throat of the puppy into the stomach.  Then food is put through the tube and into the puppy.  I know it sounds horrible but it is relatively easy and your vet can show you how if it becomes necessary to do that.

As long as you keep a close eye on the puppies feeding habits over the next couple of weeks you should be fine.