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Old 08-09-2007, 10:45 AM   #1
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Default "To Tube or NOT to Tube"

After loosing one of my puppies to unknown specifics just that suddently stopped nursing and my option by my vets recommendation was Tube Feeding....I started searching for information, facts and opinions . Loosing puppies/dam is a risk we breeders take but I won't sit here and wait to loose another baby to same circumstances ....knowledge does make a difference .
The following information , I came accross from breeder vet site and to me it does make sense . What do you fellow breeders think?
My vets words were "Tube feeding gives a very slim chance of survival"


"To Tube or Not To Tube"
The answer to this depends entirely upon whether you want your puppies to live or not.

What! You say, tubing is the ONLY way to save puppies. And besides, it's fast.

Fast, yes, and deadly. It's one of those things that sounds too good (easy) to be true; and if it sounds too good to be true it is; we know that it is in our most private thoughts. Fast and deadly isn't doing your part by the bitch or the puppies. You may be certain that you are getting the tube in the esophagus (which leads to the stomach) and not the trachea (which leads to the lungs). But, this isn't the problem I'm referring to.

Consider this: when we eat, the process of eating stimulates waves of contraction throughout our entire GI tract. You know very well that as puppies nurse they defecate. That reaction is due to these waves of contraction, which are called peristalsis.

OK. So, we have a sluggish or weak puppy. We put it on the bitch and it won't nurse. What to do! TUBE. NO! If the puppy does not have a good sucking reflex, it will not have any peristalsis. This means the milk we force in through the tube will just sit there. When the tube is removed, it forces itself back up the esophagus, into the trachea, and ends up in the lungs. It does not travel down through the stomach into the intestine.

Now, how big is the stomach of a newborn puppy in your breed? 1/2 cc? Less? As much as 1cc? Probably not much more. That stomach is just a slightly wide spot on a narrow tube. So; let's stick 2 1/2 cc into it . Fast and Deadly. The stomach and esophagus will stretch a bit, then return to it's original shape and size after the milk runs into the lungs. Not going to raise many puppies that way.

Well then, what do we do? Easy. We give them sub-cutaneous dextrose and saline. Sugar in salt water. The solution which is used for IV therapy. All puppies need 3 things. Warmth. Water. Sugar. That' all they need right away and for an additional few days if necessary.

So, we take the weak puppy out of the whelping box. We drop a few drops of colostrum onto its tongue several times in the first few hours. Got that immunity taken care of. We keep it in a confined box with a heat source - a heating pad or light bulb, and we give subQ dextrose in saline to supply the sugar and water. We gently stimulate it to urinate and defecate. We've met all the puppies needs.

How much fluid do we give? We give enough to satisfy any current dehydration debt and to provide a cushion for an hour or two in the future. How much is that? It is enough so that when we refill the syringe with dextrose and saline, the last 10 cc injection we gave hasn't already disappeared. And it will disappear, just that fast, if the puppy is already dehydrated.

So first, we need to satisfy the back log, and then we put in some more. We want to raise a good sized lump - say the size of a golf ball on a 12-16 oz puppy. We want that golf ball to stay there a while. If it does, we can safely leave the puppy for a couple of hours. As time goes by, the fluids in this reservoir will be absorbed and the lump will disappear. Also, gravity will take a hand in removing the lump, shifting any spare fluids down around the neck.

We can keep this puppy going in this way for 2 to 4 days easily. There no danger here, if the area is clean when and where we inject, and as long as the needle is parallel to the body - not pointed down at the body. We don't want to pith the puppy (look it up). With the needle parallel to the body, the worst we can do is squirt the wall. The wall can take it. Fluids given intravenously, by contrast, would run the risk of drowning the puppy - excess fluids in the veins will force their way out through the lungs. This result is essentially the same as that of tubing. Not good. SubQ fluids are essentially outside the circulatory system - just in a repository under the skin. If a fluid defecit exists, they can be instantly drawn into the blood stream. Until then, they have no other effect on the body.

While we are satisfying the puppy's needs in this way, we will also repeatedly present a nipple to the puppy, several minutes after we have placed a drop of Karo syrup on its tongue. The Karo give the puppy an energy boost, so that when we place it on the bitch, it will make as strong an attempt to nurse as it can muster. We will also present the puppy with a bottle, as it will be easier for it to get milk from the bottle's nipple than from the bitch, most of the time, during the first couple of days.

One of the greatest deterrents to getting puppies started, after tubing, is the 'Pet Nurser' which is widely available. Few if any breeds will nurse off of this thing - maybe a couple of toy breeds I've never encountered. Rather, puppies from 4.5 oz to 2# and up will readily take a Playtex preemie, or Playtex 0-3 months nipple (slow flow), one which has a flat, button-like shape.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #2
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When I have a pup here that is fading, or weak. I make the call per pup per circumstance. It's not always the same call. I may wait 24 hours to tube feed them. I may go straight to tubing. I may have to give one oxygen also. This is a very good article one I've read many times.

I've lost one (one day old), and I'll probably lose more. But since then, I too have decided to be as prepared as possible to help these puppies by studying and being as ready as I can. There are some that are not going to make it and we all know that as breeders. And they leave us wondering why? What could I have done? But they wouldn't have made it anyways because it just wasn't meant to be.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #3
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I'm not planning on breeding Penny for a few years, but that was really a very valuable post. Thanks for sharing. I wish we had a favorites folder on the site, so we could keep posts like this in. This way we could easily access these things when and if needed.
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #4
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Excellent posting. Very interesting and informative.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkiekids View Post
I'm not planning on breeding Penny for a few years, but that was really a very valuable post. Thanks for sharing. I wish we had a favorites folder on the site, so we could keep posts like this in. This way we could easily access these things when and if needed.
I agree and until that time I print them out and put them in a folder for easy reference.
Wonderful Post and much appreciated.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkiekids View Post
I'm not planning on breeding Penny for a few years, but that was really a very valuable post. Thanks for sharing. I wish we had a favorites folder on the site, so we could keep posts like this in. This way we could easily access these things when and if needed.
Very good article. I hate to tube feed unless I feel it is necessary to save the pup and I am always scared that I am going to kill them doing it. Maybe I need to talk to my vet about the shots instead. I try syringing them first too to keep from having to tube. I agree that some pups arent meant to be but it doesnt make it any easier when we try so hard and we still cant save them. I was devastated for a good month when I lost a pup last year after tubing it for 3 weeks. I still think the mommy jumped on it trying to get into the whelping box and seriously injured it but my vet says that sometimes their intestines or other organs arent developed and you dont see the damage until a few weeks later.
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Old 08-09-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkiekids View Post
I'm not planning on breeding Penny for a few years, but that was really a very valuable post. Thanks for sharing. I wish we had a favorites folder on the site, so we could keep posts like this in. This way we could easily access these things when and if needed.
That is an excellent idea. Have you made an inquiry to admin about it?
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:12 PM   #8
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Default feeding

These things are not so easy to judge..when to help and when not to..you get a gut feeling. If a pup starts acting different, crying, not nursing..my first reaction is not to tube it..I like Nutra Drops, then a few drops warm water/pedialite.
The pup must be warm and moving...a limp, clamy pup will die in a very short time if it is filled up with milk...it stays in the stomach, undigested..it is Nutra drops time.
Then I encourage nursing..and resort to a bottle, then tube if all else fails...a pup will not live much past two days on water/Nutra drops..some thrive and grow up to be strong, healthy Yorks..others just can not seen to thrive...that is why dogs have litters, not all surivive or are meant to unfortunately.

Last edited by YorkieRose; 08-09-2007 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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Where do you get nutradrops? I looked for them at Petco and only saw Nutrical?
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