Here's the update on our three concerning pups: one is really rebounding well; one is doing okay (improving, but not a lot); and one is still really struggling, but holding his own.
Here they are.
1. Mr. White is our guy who developed diarrhea on Wednesday and lost interest in eating. I was really afraid we were going to lose him.
However, Mr. White's diarrhea stopped completely by Thursday (yesterday afternoon), and after one successful supplement with a teeny bit of Pedialyte, two successful bottle feedings of Esbilac, and numerous times alone on a full teat over the past two days, he's becoming much more energetic and vigorous. Take a look (DSD took this clip earlier this morning during a Mr. White solo nursing session):
What you see him doing above is called "rooting" and "kneading" (like you do bread dough). When you see him pushing on Elsie with his front paws and pulling with his head, he's kneading. When he's not attached to a teat and he's sniffing and bobbing his head, he's rooting (same as human infants do when they root before nursing). Rooting helps him find the teat, kneading helps Elsie's milk let down.
And GET THIS: Mr. White passed a real-live, firm turd this morning! Yup, good old fashioned puppy poo! Oh, be still my heart! (It's amazing what things makes us leap for joy, isn't it!)
Here it is: The long-looked-for Wonder Turd. :o) Mr. White's amazing, no-more-diarrhea poo (just what you wanted to see first thing in the morning, but I was so excited to see it, and I'm so exited he's better, I just couldn't resist!):
Since Mr. White seems to be fine now, we returned him to the whelping box to snuggle with his littermates once again (he's on the top right of the puppy pile in the picture below):
2. Mr. Red: This little guy (with the red color rickrack around his neck and a redder coat than the rest of the pups), stopped putting on weight as of Monday, and didn't put on any more weight for the next three days, despite our putting him on Elsie's teats before the rest of the litter by himself to make sure he got his fair share. His lack of gaining has been (and still is) worrisome -- Lab pups should put on 1-2 ounces per day at a minimum). He also has that same heart-rending, weaker, higher-pitched cry like that of Mr. Black (our most worrisome pup). But at least he hasn't declined or lost weight. He held his own for those three days.
I'm delighted to tell you, however, that Mr. Red gained 2 oz yesterday. :o) He did NOT gain over night again (after his 2 oz gain yesterday during the day), but we'll see how today goes. If he still hasn't gained again (or has lost again) by this evening, we may try a round of tube feeding with him.We're not out of the woods with him yet (he's still not nursing the way the others are), but he's doing okay. He's hanging in there.
3. Mr. Black continues to REALLY concern us. He's just not as strong, isn't nursing as well, and will not take a bottle.
So we bit the bullet, girded our loins, steeled ourselves against sheer terror, and (drum roll please) (sorry, I can' come up with anymore cliches!), we tube fed him this morning: as in, we inserted a tube down his throat directly into his stomach, and using an attached syringe, plunged liquid puppy-milk replacer (Ebsilac) through the tube into his stomach.
I'll post more about tube feeding later, but for now, just know that he did fabulously (he yelled his half-hearted cry the whole time, which meant we had the tube in the right place -- NOT in his airway), and he burped well afterward, and is now sleeping more contentedly than I've seen him sleep so far. We only gave him 20 ml (at his weight, he could probably stand 30 ml 4x daily), but I didn't want to overfeed him our first time trying this.
So the worst, and most terrifying, tube feeding is done (the first, I hear, is always hardest). And I think we did okay, though I was terrified doing it.
Now we'll just watch and see.
Here's the rest of the gang in a puppy-pile moment:
The others who momentarily concerned us (Green and Yellow who both dipped in weight over the weekend but have more than made up for it this week) are strong, vigorous, and thriving. They're doing just as well as all the rest of the pups who haven't concerned us at all. They're off our worry radar for good now, we think.
I'll post more pics and video after lunch. I'm on my way OUT (since DSD is here to mind the whelping box). Yay! :o)
All I can say is I'm relieved. But we're not there yet.