Tips on keeping those 2lb or less puppies happy & healthy from Brule Creek Kennel

Check with the transportation company ahead of arrival to be sure the puppies are arriving on time.
Have towels and Nutrical with you at pick-up. Give every small puppy at least 1 inch of Nutrical and dry off anymore that is cold before you leave the airport.
When the puppies arrive at the store, give them some warmth. Use a heat mat or something called a cuddly safe which is a plastic gel filled disc that is heated in the microwave. If you are using a heat mat designed for puppies be sure you use a control if it is designed for one. When you use a heat mat you must be sure the puppy has enough room to get off it if he gets too hot.
Serve moistened food with warmed up canned food mixed in on top. Use a canned food that smells really good. I suggest Mighty Dog in Gourmet Blend flavor. The puppies should have dry food available also, sometimes they prefer dry.

Check the puppy for dehydration. Pinch the skin up in their neck, it should rebound IMMEDIATELY. If it doesn’t you have a dehydrated puppy on your hands. In full coated puppies check the belly skin. A dehydrated puppy will have no appetite and will have trouble maintaining his body temperature. A tiny puppy is dehydrated after one episode of vomiting or 2 bouts of diarrhea. LACTATED RINGERS ADMINISTERED SUBCUTANEOUSLY IS THE ANSWER TO DEHRYDRATION. Syringing liquid into their mouths ISN’T adequate, you simply cannot get enough liquid into a dehydrated puppy to correct the problem. Lactated Ringers can be acquired from your vet, it isn’t a prescription item. We use a 35cc syringe and administer 20cc at a time to a 2lb puppy. Use a clean sharp needle each time and warm the 20cc for about 4 seconds in the  microwave, test to make sure it is about body temperature, inject it under the skin in the neck slowly until you have a big bubble of fluid. Let the puppy rest on his heat mat until the bubble of fluid is all gone and you can administer again. We have determined that it is less stressful to administer a large quantity at one time than the frequent poking of smaller amounts. Even if your puppy isn’t dehydrated this won’t hurt him.

There are many food mixtures that would work to tempt your puppy. They love roasted Chicken, some of you in malls have someplace where you can just buy the whole roasted chicken. Some people like to use Baby Food Chicken, however one caution there, it is cooked with onion which can sometimes disagree with a dogs digestion. Anything they are willing to eat is better than nothing. Cottage Cheese, scrambled eggs, pieces of hamburgers with the ketchup etc scraped off. Just remember that warmed up food gives off more aroma and is harder to resist.

YOU ALSO NEED TO HAVE A FOOD YOU CAN SYRINGE DIRECTLY INTO THEIR MOUTH. I recommend soaking a good quality dry food in very hot water until you can run it through the blender and it will be the consistency of slightly runny pudding. We use a pediatric medicine dispenser that looks like a small turkey baster and can usually be acquired from your pharmacist as a complimentary gift. It is marked in teaspoons so you even know how much the puppy is eating. Squeeze this warmed up gruel directly into the puppies mouth three times a day until you are sure he is eating well on his own. I try to get at least a couple of teaspoons down each feeding. This works great because it has at least as much water in it as it does food and helps to hydrate the puppy as you feed, and since it is a good balanced puppy food the puppies bowels will be better than with Nutrical for example.

Hopefully these tips will keep you from having to take puppies to the emergency clinic. It is a matter of preventive action since bringing a puppy back from deaths door is much more difficult than avoiding the problem in the first place.