On day 4 of our puppies, I was woken by a crying puppy. This is not unusual. Puppies cry to voice their unhappiness at various times, and puppies often cry when they’re not touching mum or a sibling. However, the crying puppy on day 4 was different because this puppy was drinking and crying. To me, this was a frustrated cry because there was not enough milk available.
This is "Boomer", the worse offender of the crying!
The puppies have been gaining weight, but not as they should. It may be an ‘old wives tale’, but I was always told puppies should double their weight in the first week. These puppies haven’t come close.
This, along with the frustrated milk-sucking, made me conclude that Clover didn’t have enough milk for her big brood.
Immediately, I started feeding Clover fenugreek, which is supposed to increase milk production. It’s a herb/spice, and couldn’t hurt the situation.
I went and purchased Wombaroo (a dog milk substitute), baby bottles, and set on getting some milk formula into the puppies. Gee, that sounds a lot easier than the reality. There was no way I could get any puppy sucking the bottle.
A friend suggested a more time consuming method, of using a dropper to drop milk into the puppies’ mouths. The puppies were far more receptive to this method – but, of course, the two smallest puppies weren’t having a bar of it.
However, the good news is, these puppies are not on death’s door by any means. Except for their frustrated crying, they’re doing everything puppies should do. They look plump, they move around the whelping box easily, they cry when they’re unhappy, they twitch in their sleep. The good part of this story is that they’re not fat puppies, either. Border terrier babies have a habit of getting too fat to walk, so the fact that these puppies are slightly leaner is a good sign.
So, things are not ‘smooth sailing’, but things aren’t dire. We are managing.