What are the issues for orphan puppies?
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Thread: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

  1. #1
    CoCosMom's Avatar
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    DefaultWhat are the issues for orphan puppies?

    Does anyone have any articles or research on what issues may arrise in puppies that were orphaned at or near birth? I imagine they wouldn't have the immunities developed from their mother's milk... they also might have some social issues from not having the mother's corrections.

    The reason I ask is that friends of ours are adopting a chocolate male puppy from a rescue organization... the mother was killed by a train. Actually, from what I understand she was hit by the train while almost full term pregnant, and died of her injuries but the puppies were saved (or most of them, there were 7 males for adoption).

    I would love to send her some info without raining on her puppy parade... but I know I have access to resources here she may not have. I also don't want to be a know-it-all, in which case an article link would be better then me telling her my opinion.

    For example, we'll want CoCo to meet the puppy but I would think the puppy shouldn't be exposed to anything/anyone outside their home until all of his shots are done, since his immunity could be compromised.

    Any ideas?
    ~Jo & CoCo


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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    Well, while I will never be 100% sure of Angus' history, I have a very strong hunch that he was orphaned. How young? I don't know. All I know is, when we brought him home he could not have been more than five weeks. They kept him at the shelter for a week before he was put up for adoption with his brothers and sisters. That takes it back to four weeks when he came in. The report on their litter said that they were "found under a shed." With a mother or without, I don't know. I am going to take a wild guess and say without.

    You hit the nail dead on the head with 1) compromised immunity and 2) behavioral problems. We have had both of these in spades.

    Angus is a joy to me and I love him dearly, but I have to tell you, I have never experienced such a high-maintenance dog. He is at the vet's every couple of months. A lot of our visits can be cracked up to poop-eating, admittedly. We've had every worm and parasite in the books. But, he still does not seem to throw the normal things off without a lot of help.

    In contrast, we brought Crash home at ten weeks, and he went to the vet once a year for shots. That's pretty much it. He was never sick a day in his life, save for the occasional ear infection and hot spot. Simon is also healthy as a horse. He's been to the vet once since we got him nine months ago, and that was one day after we brought him home to get checked out and get shots.

    We have folders for both the boys' vet records. Angus is at least four times as thick as Simon's.

    So, FWIW, in my [limited] experience, I think orphaned puppies could have some immune system issues.

    Don't even get me started on the behavioral issues!! I could do 2,500 words on that without breaking a sweat. LOL! You weren't here when Angus was going through his puppyhood, but let me tell you, it stretched my patience to its very limit. I finally realized, after hanging out here and talking with folks, that the problem was he had missed out on a very valuable period in his socialization. He had been taken away from brothers and sisters, and Mom, far too early, so it fell to us to teach him that biting the dickens out of our hands was not really a nice thing to do.

    I also count poop eating as a behavioral problem. Who knows? Maybe when he and his litter were under that shed together, they were eating their own poop to survive without Mom. This theory just occurred to me, actually, but maybe it's a good guess. ? He's always done it, since we brought him home.

    Then there's the fact that other dogs dislike Angus. He gets growled at a high percentage of the time. Often the owner will say, "Gee, Fluffy has never done that before. He usually loves other dogs!" More fallout from not learning good doggie manners from Mom and littermates.

    Gee, Angus sounds like the devil himself, doesn't he? Of course you know I adore him and would walk through fire for him anytime. On the up side, he is absolutely wicked smart and SO bonded to me and Kevin. Simon does not have nearly the adoration for us that Angus does. Oh, Simon is streetwise and likes to stay out of trouble, so he is very good at appeasing us, but Angus is our little baby.

    I would tell your friend to really think looooong and hard before she commits to this. I know how much your heart can feel pulled to reach out to these sweet puppies. That's what tugged at mine too. But honestly, if I had known how hard it would be, at that particular time in my life, when I was still grieving the loss of Crash and having a really difficult time anyway, I might have chosen a little easier path. I just want your friend to be prepared that there might be a little more work than with a puppy who was not orphaned. As long as you know that and can accept responsibility, go for it! Again, once Angus got past a year or so, he became the love of my life.


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    CoCosMom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    Thanks Connie, for sharing that!

    I think I'll send her an email and direct her to JL! She's an old co-worker of my husband's, such a nice woman!

    Your post now begs the question... where do you draw the line between socializaton and protecting their immunity? Should she make extra efforts to socialize the puppy, with the risk of its immunity, or should she keep it protected from possible sicknesses, at the expense of its socialization?

    It seems that both would be of great importance, moreso than most puppies, but both would also carry more risks than with most puppies!
    ~Jo & CoCo


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    swimmer is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    We had a Boston Terrier who gave birth and then had to be put down within hours of the birth.

    We -- primarily my mom and dad -- hand-raised the pups. We kept one and the others were sold. I don't remember anything about the pups that were sold (this was 35 years ago) but the one we kept was a gem. At the vet only for shots once a year. May have gone a couple of other times for a hurt paw or a piece of grass in the eye socket picked up running in the canyon. No behavioral problems -- that may be due to the pups aunt, uncle and grandmother who we also owned. They probably kept the pup in line.

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    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    Jo, you hit the nail on the head again!! That is a huge trade-off.

    We erred on the side of caution with Angus and kept him in the full four months until he was finished with all shots. With his tendency to catch everything that came down the pike, there was no way I could risk ANYTHING. I was even nervous about him walking around in the front yard.

    But I asked myself that same question a lot. Obviously he was lacking social skills...but you're supposed to keep them in until four months, so where exactly are they supposed to get all this social interaction? Sigh.

    Maybe it would work if you knew of a dog of a close friend or relative who you were sure wouldn't give the puppy anything. You know, a healthy, mature dog, maybe one that didn't frequent dog parks or kennels or other places to catch things. I don't know. We didn't know of a dog like that, so we just sheltered Angus until he was old enough. It is a hard question, though, especially with puppies so pitifully lacking in the manners department!


    Connie and "The Boys":
    Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
    Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD

    Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
    Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever

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    CoCosMom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    I wonder if we tired CoCo out and then gave her a good hosing off/bath if she would be okay to socialize with this puppy. She had her 3rd set of shots at 11 weeks, which was almost 10 weeks ago, so she would be fully innoculated by now. She's also on monthly worm/HW/Flea pills, so wouldn't be passing those on.

    Would this be too risky?

    BTW, I've seen pics of the pups and they are a pretty good size! I'm not sure how old they are... I think 8 weeks, so they have had a good socialization period with their littermates.
    ~Jo & CoCo


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    CoCosMom's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    Thanks swimmer! These pups were all hand-raised as well. Good to know that it does not necessarily lead to negative issues!
    ~Jo & CoCo


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    Allie's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: What are the issues for orphan puppies?

    My Emily(BT) was also delivered via C-section and had to be hand raised...it was an emergency delivery. She is healthy, but personality wise very quirky and strange. I love her to death, but she does not have your typical BT personality. She is 3, and has rarely had a health issue. I am all for adoption, even in such circumstances, but it may be a mixed bag in terms of possible health/behavioural issues. As it is with many dogs who were raised by their mothers.
    Allie, Teddy (6), Emily (7), and Ivy (4)


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