I was finally able to get out and get some shots of these precious puppies so I could update their progress. Last week was a little touch and go. The puppies seemed to be making progress, but not as much as I would have liked to see. Then, they became desperately sick and it felt like the onset was quite sudden. In hindsight, I don't think it was sudden but rather the symptoms reached critical mass.
Photo L-R by tail: Lion, Sweetpea, Cosmos, Aspen
On a side note. Aspen, the white puppy, climbs like a goat! He actually climbed over the puppy pen into Violet's quarters tonight. For his safety, we are no longer separating the puppies and Violet. Violet's bags have dried up enough and she lets the puppies know in no uncertain terms that they can't nurse!
We took Lion to Emergency care Wednesday night as he was becoming increasingly emaciated and dehydrated. Wednesday, he stopped eating and we were having difficulty picking him up as every touch was painful for him. We took him to the animal hospital and determined that they didn't have parvo, but they didn't know what was wrong either. They gave him fluids by injection and sent him home because I had a vet appointment for all the puppies the following morning and the vet felt that Lion would survive the night.
We took all 8 puppies to the vet Thursday morning and after examining them, 1 was doing okay, 3 of the puppies were sick, 4 were very sick. They had a significant round worm infestation and that is problematic in and of itself, but these little guys were overrun with Coccidia - a very common parasite that most dogs immune systems can deal with, but these guys were so malnourished and sick when I got them that they couldn't fight it. We started on some medication and hoped for the best.
We also had to change their diet. Get this recipe for my 'puppy stew'; rice, canned dog food, gatorade and baby formula. The puppies LOVE IT! Check out Sweetpea's face after eating as much as she can pack in at one meal. She has grown so much since the day we got her. She hasn't grown as much as I would like to see, but good golly she's gotten so much better since she started the meds last Thursday.
Sweetpea will never be as large as some of her littermates, but she's starting to catch up!
Okay, this is the Cosmos. The other big, black puppies pick on him. We've come to the dog pen and he's sleeping on the potty paper because the big guys - I call them the Gangstas - won't let him sleep on the blankie. Cosmos is the puppy that fits the children's song from Sesame Street,
'One of these things is not like the others.
One of these things just doesn't belong.
Can you tell me which thing is not like the others
Before I finish this song?'
Isn't he something?!!! His eyes are blue-green. He's always happy and he's smaller than Sweetpea. I don't really think he's from the same litter as the others. I think he's younger too. I'm not sure I've ever seen a dog wag as much as this little guy.
Do you see love expressed here? Do you know where I'm going with this?
From the last litter we had there was a puppy we nearly kept. Cosmos is so much like he was. As he gets healthier and we can judge how smart he is, he may join our family. He's so sweet.
Lion is in here somewhere, it's getting hard to tell him apart from the Gangstas as he's getting better.
These black puppies are the Gangstas. They completely dominate the 4 little puppies, and we are letting the mom, Violet, deal with them. She has been stepping in nicely. I love puppies who have manners. These guys don't yet, but believe me, they will!
Violet is getting a neck rub.
She looks like she is in heaven, eh?
We have discovered that Violet is terrified of chains. We are certain she was beaten with a chain at least once and likely multiple times. She is beginning to trust men, sort of. My DH is working with her so she gets over the fear of men that she has. My girls took Sweet Violet on a walk today and she was initially afraid of every little unexpected sound. By the time they got home, she was much more relaxed. She reacted well to other people and dogs, so I'm thrilled with her progress. She is WONDERFUL off leash. She tends not to go more than 15-20' from us and she comes when she is called. She is relaxing more and I value her trust in us.