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How To Keep a Weak Newborn Puppy Alive

Newborn puppy tucked in with a knitted sweater as the blanket

Fading Puppy Syndrome

This is a real issue and many puppies contract and submits to it. They look and are expected to survive yet for some unknown reason, they start to fade and then pass away.

Like SIDS, there is no diagnosed source for this puppy syndrome. It just happens for any number of reasons. The good news is that fading puppy syndrome and other illnesses newborns can contract are survivable with the right care.

Don’t give up on them yet. There is a chance you can pull those sick puppies through.

How to Help Puppy Teeth Fall Out? Click here to learn more.

This Needs Vet Attention

White gloved hands holding a newborn puppy on its back

When your female dog gives birth and the new puppy cries, even when kept warm and well-fed, there is an underlying problem you won’t be able to diagnose.

You should not self-medicate the puppy as you may not have a clue as to what is actually wrong with him or her. The first thing you do when you discover a weak or fading puppy is to take it to the vet.

The vet has the training, experience, and the right knowledge to find out what is wrong with your new dog. Let them diagnose the ailment and then prescribe the right course of action.

They also have the proper medication on hand to make sure your newborn pup has a chance of recovering. When you see that a newborn pup is sick, it can be very stressful for you.

Mercy killing is not the answer as the sick puppy can still pull through with the right amount of care.

How Do You Help a Fading Puppy Survive?

Hands holding a small tan puppy on its back

The first thing to do is to separate the sick puppy from his or her siblings. Then the second thing to do is to take that puppy to your vet and see what is wrong with the pup.

This action should not be delayed as the puppy should eat quite frequently to stay alive. They also need to be kept warm so putting a heating pad in their new box is a must.

Other steps that can be taken after you do these three things are:

  • Take The Puppy’s Temperature- The body temperature needs to be above 94 degrees F if the puppy’s gastrointestinal tract is going to function. But do not let the temperature get above 99 degrees F if the puppy is less than 7 days old.
  • Help The Puppy Nurse- Make sure the mother is not blocking the pup and then keep the stronger puppies away so the weak one has a chance to nurse.
  • Give It Some Corn Syrup or Sugar Water- This helps the blood sugar count and low blood sugar count hinders the pup and keeps it from nursing.
  • Be The Mom- If the weak puppy is not allowed to nurse, then get a milk formula and nurse the puppy yourself. A newborn puppy needs to eat about every 4 hours so make enough formula.
  • Help The Newborn Go to The Bathroom- The mother usually licks the genital region of her pups to stimulate the area and encourages urination, etc. All you need to do is wipe that region with a wet towelette.
  • Go Back to The Vet’s- If all this fails, return to your vet to see what else is wrong with your new puppy.

Your puppy has too much energy? Check out our post How to Keep a Puppy Entertained.

What Do You Feed a Weak Puppy?

Hands holding a tiny newborn puppy feeding it from a small bottle

Anything you feed your weak puppy should be under the guidance of your vet. They will know the right amount of food your puppy will need to eat. If your puppy is a newborn, they will have to eat frequently so clear your schedule to make room for feeding time.

With newborns, you should have a milk formula handy if they are not allowed to nurse. Sometimes the mother doesn’t allow the weaker puppies to nurse and that is when you need to step in and do the job.

Or if their blood sugar count is too low, a little corn syrup on their tongues or sugar water will help raise that count to healthy levels. Check with your vet to make sure you get the right amounts.

You may be able to feed your weak puppy Pedialyte but dilute it with water. A 50-50 ratio should do the trick.

Some Final Words

5 brown and white newborn puppy side by side on a pink background

All is not lost when you have a weak or fading puppy. With the right care, they can pull through. To get that right care make sure to take your fading puppy to the vet first.

Don’t try to be the caregiver just yet. Wait till you talk to the vet as they will be able to find out what is exactly wrong with the little pup.

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