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Hi Everyone!

My friend's maltese had puppies a few weeks ago. One of the puppies was not gaining weight, and she asked me to take a look at her (I am a nurse). Apparently she has a hare lip (cleft lip)- but no cleft palate. Her palate is normal.

Because she requires 24 hour care (I have been feeding her every 4 hours), she gave me the puppy. Mom was not feeding her because she was the runt of the litter. I found some homemade puppy formula recipe that has 10 times more caloric intake than commercial puppy formula, and she has been thriving. She is now almost 6 weeks old and the vet is amazed she is still alive.

She is a bit timid, but is healthy, and a happy little baby. Now it's the time to be starting to wean her off, but I know she cannot be placed on gruel (soft puppy food) since it will go into the cleft- and can cause pneumonia to develop. The vet isn't help at all, since he said that usually they just put these pups down. :angry:

Long story short- she is not able to chew on the hard puppy food yet although she does have some teeth, and I don't know what age I should introduce it. She is my first puppy, and it's very different than taking care of a human patient. :)

I love her, and I know every day she is on the formula is a chance that she can develop pneumonia from snorting the milk up her nose.

Any of you have any tips on weaning (even a normal pup)? It would help tremendously.

Here's a pic of her winking at me.

 

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Wow bless it's little soul..I would hope that Surgery could be done as they do for humans ...
 

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I don't know much about puppies that young, but would feeding organic baby food (reading labels to be sure it didn't contain onions) be an option for a little while? Also, you can buy powdered colostrum at vitacost.com which is human-grade. Hope this helps.
 

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awww omg what a cutie ,.. im no help but thanks so much for taking the puppy in and caring for her..
 

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:blink: She is a doll... Ask around to vet hospitals. They have to repair dog's and cat's faces all the time from hit by car or cat fights. Surely there is a sugery for this. Please give us the super calorie puppy milk formula...
 

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You should contact via PM Bellarata Maltese. She has had a preemie pup that she hand fed and was able to save. She might have some insight.
 

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I have a friend on another pet forum who took care of a Shih Tzu with a cleft lip and palate. Maybe I can see if she has some suggestions.

The pup definitely did have surgery before too long. She was very happy with the vet, as I recall.

Are you near a vet school? My friend is in the midwest--maybe could give you a referral. Where are you located?

(Feel free to send me a private message if you prefer not to make that so public.)
 

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She may be too young or too tiny for surgery at this point. I would check around. They can do surgery on a dog for this.
 

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You should contact via PM Bellarata Maltese. She has had a preemie pup that she hand fed and was able to save. She might have some insight.
That's a great idea, to contact Stacy on this forum, her forum name is Bellarata Maltese, like Pam said.

Awww bless her and bless you for giving this precious baby a chance.
 

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I would keep her on the bottle until you can find a vet who will work with you on getting the lip repaired. It is repairable, like Jeanne said check around and find one that will do the surgery.
The bottle is probably safer than anything else. When puppies are weaning onto gruel they are messy and get food all over sometimes.
Sounds like you are doing a great job. :thumbsup:
 

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Yes Stacy (bellaratamaltese) is good, and a PM to our resident Dr. Jamie would be on my list as well.

I do hope the little one comes along without any other issues.:wub: Please keep us posted to her progress.
 

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awww she's adorable, I know you have to be so attached to her, Tina, Stacy, Dr. Jaimie would be a few I would ask advice from. I pray you will find the perfect vet who can help you.
 

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Hi Everyone!

My friend's maltese had puppies a few weeks ago. One of the puppies was not gaining weight, and she asked me to take a look at her (I am a nurse). Apparently she has a hare lip (cleft lip)- but no cleft palate. Her palate is normal.

Because she requires 24 hour care (I have been feeding her every 4 hours), she gave me the puppy. Mom was not feeding her because she was the runt of the litter. I found some homemade puppy formula recipe that has 10 times more caloric intake than commercial puppy formula, and she has been thriving. She is now almost 6 weeks old and the vet is amazed she is still alive.

She is a bit timid, but is healthy, and a happy little baby. Now it's the time to be starting to wean her off, but I know she cannot be placed on gruel (soft puppy food) since it will go into the cleft- and can cause pneumonia to develop. The vet isn't help at all, since he said that usually they just put these pups down. :angry:

Long story short- she is not able to chew on the hard puppy food yet although she does have some teeth, and I don't know what age I should introduce it. She is my first puppy, and it's very different than taking care of a human patient. :)

I love her, and I know every day she is on the formula is a chance that she can develop pneumonia from snorting the milk up her nose.

Any of you have any tips on weaning (even a normal pup)? It would help tremendously.

Here's a pic of her winking at me.

Your little girl is so sweet!!!:wub: I am so glad that you are reaching out for every avaliable bit of help that you can get. You will get a lot of good advice and support from the members here. You are doing a great job with her, and how could you not love a little one who looks this adorable.. What is her name by the way? Please keep us informed as she grows.. This could be a learning experience for us too.. You and your baby are in my prayers..:innocent:

Jayne
 

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Thank you all for your suggestions and prayers. I will look into vet schools in the area.

I will keep this post updated with her progress, I hope that she continues to do as well as she is doing now.

If you know of anyone who can help me with some information, please pm me.

Thanks again!

Jennie
 

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Hi Jennie, I have never had any experience with cleft palate/harelip issues and don't know anyone who has so I have no idea how to feed and/or wean the puppy. I have heard of people having cleft palates surgically repaired and if I were faced with the issue would probably look to vet schools or well respected animal hospitals in my area. As for general weaning of puppies, I start out with Gerber baby rice cereal and puppy formula (Esbilac) mixed to a consistency of a thick stew. After a few days I add mushed up Gerber meat sticks to the cereal mix, then a few days later mix in some coarsely ground dry puppy kibble. As the days go on I use more of the kibble and less of the cereal mix and start adding in some whole kibble pieces. At 10-14 days the puppies are eating just dry kibble soaked with a little bit of water. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Perhaps if you let us know what area of the country you are in we can ask around the dog community to see if anyone has any recommendations for a vet hospital or vet school that has a good reputation for dealing with cleft palate and harelip issues.
 

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Hi Jennie, I have never had any experience with cleft palate/harelip issues and don't know anyone who has so I have no idea how to feed and/or wean the puppy. I have heard of people having cleft palates surgically repaired and if I were faced with the issue would probably look to vet schools or well respected animal hospitals in my area. As for general weaning of puppies, I start out with Gerber baby rice cereal and puppy formula (Esbilac) mixed to a consistency of a thick stew. After a few days I add mushed up Gerber meat sticks to the cereal mix, then a few days later mix in some coarsely ground dry puppy kibble. As the days go on I use more of the kibble and less of the cereal mix and start adding in some whole kibble pieces. At 10-14 days the puppies are eating just dry kibble soaked with a little bit of water. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful. Perhaps if you let us know what area of the country you are in we can ask around the dog community to see if anyone has any recommendations for a vet hospital or vet school that has a good reputation for dealing with cleft palate and harelip issues.

:goodpost:
 

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Mary's weaning program sounds yummy! :)

My friend said she would be happy to offer any info and help she can. She's looking back to see more specifics/details. She wrote me that she weaned the pup (a Shih Tzu, so maybe bigger than your Maltese and maybe a little older?) by feeding it "smashed" and moistened kibble. She literally put it in a plastic bag and broke it up with a hammer. :D Then moistened it. She said the pup's growth really took off once she started giving it more solid food!

She had the lip repaired somewhere around or before 4 months. She said once it healed, you would never have known the cleft was ever there. :)

She thought her vet would be happy to talk to you about it, too. Like I said, she's in the midwest, so I don't know if that vet could be any hands-on help, but maybe could give you some ideas of who else to contact. :)
 
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