Archived Message

Force fed puppy

by Kathy

My little guy is 11 weeks old and has been very sick. He had diarrhea and vomitting and then wouldn't eat. He got hypogylcemic and ended up with an IV. I have had to force feed him since. The vet is very concerned about letting him go too long without eating because he might get hypoglycemic. He only weighs a pound and a half. His activity level is great right now and though he hates me feeding him with the syringe he will barely sniff his food. Last night I let him go 8 hours and he actally picked up some dry food in his mouth (I will try to crunch it up in the blender and see if that works.) Anyone have any suggestions. He's a darling little guy that I rescued.


The vet is correct in having you to make sure he eats. The particularly small ones can be prone to hypoglycemia - it is usually induced by stress or getting too much physical activity or over-handling.

Find something he eats readily - we have found the Gerber Baby Food For Juniors - the meat sticks, particularly the chicken sticks - are greedily prized and consumed by even a weak Maltese or one disinterested in regular food. You could also try softening his dry kibble in water and adding a tablespoon of commercial canned food - we found Pedigree Chopped Beef works well - to this softened kibble. It usually stimulates interest in food.

I'm not advising that this become a replacement for his regular kibble - as the dry food is better for maintaining his dental health - only use it to make sure he eats regularly and in sufficient quantity to avoid developing the hypoglycemia.

Keep us informed of his progress.
-Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

Kathy - I've found Nutrical to be a great help with puppies (or adults) that don't want to eat and it works miracles on those that tend to go hypoglycemic. Your vet probably carries it. It comes in a tube and most dogs will lick it from the tube after you give them a taste. Just put some on your finger then put it on the roof of the puppy's mouth. Another thing that might help is to put Pedialite in the puppy's water. Let us know how its going.

Kathy, I have an unusual suggestion, but it comes from my vet. He told me that if Megan (then 8 wks) stopped eating for more that several hours, to take Cayro (corn syrup) and dip my finger in it and put it in her mouth. The sole purpose of this was that it would keep her from becoming hypoglycemic. I never had to do it, but it was comforting to know, since she was so young and I was worried. Anyway, hope this is some help, you might want to consult your vet.

I had the same problem when my puppy was really young. Even though the puppy is 11 weeks she may still be stressed out from leaving her mother and litter mates. I got a bottle and substitute mothers milk (at a local pet store) and she drank it without having to force it on her. She would eat only a tiny amount of baby food and the nutracal is an excellent idea, its very nutrious and helps to supplement, the dog has no choice but to lap it up if you put a little on the roof of her mouth. Definately try the bottle, the milk is nourishing and you may be suprised she may feel like nursing from the bottle. Keep us posted and good luck.

Thanks for the advice. He's been on Nutri Cal for the last week but I don't know exactly how much to give him. He is actually attending some to his food since last night. I've mixed chicken baby food with some Pedigree puppy (he took several bites) Hurray!!! I don't know how much is enough so I'm supplementing with the syringe (about a teaspoon). He's actually licking it off the syringe (this is a first). I'm so excited!!! Not too interested in the kibble seems to have trouble crunching even the small bites I made in the blender.

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