Side Effects May Include…

Mecha’s puppies have been getting scrawnier and scrawnier. She hasn’t been letting them nurse as much; although, they’re only five weeks old. They’ve been eating a little table scraps, but I figured their thinness came from battling worms.

So yesterday morning, I wormed them all. Shawn helped me by holding each pup tightly while I gave a quarter cc of the wormer medication. They were all active and happy throughout the day yesterday, right up until bedtime when I had Dane take them all out to their tub in the goat milking pen.

But when we went out to do chores this morning, they were all nearly dead. I could hardly believe it.

The mornings have been freezing lately. Yesterday, the goat water buckets were frozen over. This morning was just as cold. The puppies were out of their tub, scattered around, likely looking for Mecha, who hasn’t been sleeping with them lately.

The cold shouldn’t have affected them that badly, but they were passing worms. The treatment had been effective. I suspect the combination of low energy from not enough food, the bitter cold, and the stomach bleeding from releasing the wormload all worked together to incapacitate them.

We filled up bottles with warm water and put them in the tub with the puppies, covering them with towels to get them warmed up. I administered dextrose sq to get their energy back up, but one by one, the puppies perished.

Steph did get some of them to nurse goat milk from the kid bottles, but they had been cold and hungry too long, I guess. It was shocking to go from seven lively pups at bedtime last night to all of them dead by this afternoon. The children are deeply saddened.

They had named them all, of course, though a couple of our neighbors had plans to take some. There was Tippy, Toffee, Taffy, Blacky, Stewey, Marshmallow, and Carol. The two females had prettier names than the boys. We were looking forward to raising a couple of them ourselves.

Those of you who raise dogs regularly could likely have told me how to avoid the loss. It was a hard lesson to learn by accident. And I’m not entirely certain what the cause was. If I did it over, I would be sure to feed them extra the day of the de-worming and put them indoors until they were over passing the parasites.

Farewell, puppies. We’ll miss you.

These four lasted the longest. We tried giving them sunshine this afternoon to see if that would help.

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