I strive to make sure that you receive a healthy puppy so I thought that I should tell you of things that I've learned over the years of dealing with puppies.
I've been asked several times: "Do you have the puppies on a feeding schedule?" and the answer is "No". I always have food and fresh water for my babies to get when needed. These puppies are small and need to eat as much as possible when they're hungry. So what if you have a 'fat' puppy? They are just like a baby and need a full belly and will lose their 'baby fat'. Of course as they get a little older you may want to schedule feeding time to help with house training. I recently sold a puppy who's owner decided to put them on a feeding schedule...depriving him of food and water for an extended period of time. Guess what? The puppy eventually died and it was heartbreaking for me since he was extremely healthy when he left.
Speaking of people do ask if they've been housebroken yet and once again the answer is no. Why would I need to train them to my house when yours is totally different? They would have to learn it all over again. I keep the puppies in a 3 x 3 pen and put newspaper in the corner and these puppies are so smart that they will use the paper to relieve themselves on most of the time.
The fact is all puppies are born with worms and I combat this by giving them strongid at 2, 4 and 6 weeks of age and even longer if they're still with me. Strongid is a medication that I purchase from my vet and it's the best thing that I've found to rid puppies of worms. All of my puppies have checked out negative for worms since I've started using this product!
One of my major concerns is hypoglacemia which is low blood sugar. This occurs many times with tiny puppies and they'll outgrow eventually. Things that can alert you to this is lack of energy or not eating. I always have nutri cal on hand to compensate for sugar. Nutri cal is a gel-like substance that can be purchased at a pet supply store or at your vet's office. When I have extremely tiny puppies I will give this several times a day to avoid a sugar problem. If the puppy encounters low sugar and left untreated it can cause seizures and will need sugar immediately. If this happens I will grab Karo syrup and force it into the mouth because as you know syrup ain't nothing but sugar. The puppy usually becomes more alert after this is done.
Another problem that I've dealt with is coccidiosis...this is a puppy illness that can be cured. Coccidia is a bacteria that forms in the intestines and can be caused by trauma or stress. One thing that onsets stress is when they're taken away from their mother and this is the reason at 6 weeks old Panazuril is given for 2 days. Panazuril is a preventative/ treatment for coccidiosis which my vet orders this for me, it's expensive but worth every penny to save a puppy. Another thing that causes trauma is when a puppy leaves one enviroment and moves to a new home. This is the main reason that I insist that your new puppy is seen by a vet within a few days to make sure that your puppy has not contracted coccidia.
Treatment, and Prevention
What is Coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease that affects several different animal species including canines and humans. Coccidia is one of the most prevalent protozoal infections in North American animals, second only to giardia. Eimeria and Isospora are the two genera that are often referred to as "coccidia." These two genera contain a large number of species that infect a variety of animals throughout the world. The diseases caused by these microscopic protozoal parasites are referred to
Life Cycle of Coccidia
The life cycles of both genera of coccidia are similar. A host is infected when it ingests oocysts that have been passed in the feces of another host. The oocyst encysts in the host's small intestine, and the sporozoites contained within the oocyst are liberated. The sporozoites penetrate the cells of the host's small intestine and reproduce asexually. Each generation of asexual reproduction produces multiple merozoites; the merozoites are liberated from the cell and infect new cells. It is this stage of the infection that can result in destruction of massive numbers of cells in the host's small intestine and, ultimately, lead to the host's death. Some of the merozoites that enter the host's cells transform into gametocytes. The gametocytes transform into gametes, the gametes fuse, and the resulting zygote begins to develop into an oocyst. The developing oocyst escapes from the host's cell, and it is passed in the host's feces. Typically, when the oocyst is passed in the feces, it is not infective because it does not contain sporozoites; this is an unsporulated oocyst. After several days (or weeks, depending on the species) outside of the host's body, the oocyst completes development and sporozoites are found within; this is a sporulated oocyst, and it is infective to the next host (view diagram of the life cycle).
Clinical signs of coccidiosis usually are present or shortly following stress such as weather changes; weaning; overcrowding; long automobile or plane rides; relocation to a new home and new owners; and/or unsanitary conditions. Symptoms or signs of coccidiosis will depend on the state of the disease at the time of observation. In general, coccidiosis affects the intestinal tract and symptoms are associated with it. In mild cases, only a watery diarrhea may be present, and if blood is present in the feces, it is only in small amounts. Severely affected animals may have a thin, watery feces with considerable amounts of intestinal mucosa and blood. Straining usually is evident, rapid dehydration, weight loss and anorexia (off feed) also may be clinically visible. One of the most prevalent canine coccidia is S. tenella and during autopsies of dead animals appears as microscopic muscle cysts in the host animal. Oocysts in the feces of dogs are also microscopic in size and can only be positively identified through lab tests or direct observation under a microscope.
"Nervous coccidiosis" is a nervous system condition associated with coccidial infection. Signs are consistent with central nervous system involvement, and include muscle tremors, convulsions and other central nervous system symptoms. A consistent sign in "nervous cocci" dogs is that stimulation of any type seems to trigger the symptoms.
Death may follow the acute disease either directly or from secondary diseases such as pneumonia. Animals that survive for 10 to 14 days may recover, however, permanent damage may occur. Research has indicated that canines may experience reduced food consumption for up to 13 weeks following clinical infection. Diagnosis usually is obvious but confusion does exist – apparently normal animals can also have oocysts present in their feces. Diarrhea may be present in the animal before the oocysts can be found, therefore, a confirmed laboratory diagnosis may not always be possible. Laboratory findings should be correlated with clinical signs for a diagnosis. collectively as coccidiosis, and they vary tremendously in virulence. Some species cause diseases that result in mild symptoms that might go unnoticed (i.e., mild diarrhea) and eventually disappear, while other species cause highly virulent infections that are rapidly fatal. The causative agent is a protozoan that has the ability to multiply rapidly. The major damage is due to the rapid multiplication of the parasite in the intestinal wall, and the subsequent rupture of
the cells of the intestinal lining. Several stages of multiplication occur before the final stage, the oocyst, is passed in the feces. Oocysts are extremely resistant to environmental stress and are difficult to completely remove from the environment. Oocysts are frequent contaminants of feed and water and when the sporulated oocysts are ingested by other animals they start the life cycle over in the new host.