Nothing is more beautiful than the fat, clean, content puppy next to his Mama. Sadly, however, in Uruguay people throw newborn puppies into the trash as easily as if they were discarding crumbs from an old sandwich. Beyond the suffering for these tiny, precious beings, what hurts me the most is the agony of their mother dog. While it is exhausting work, most of these orphans can be saved with meticulous care. Newborn puppies are born the equivalent of 3 month premature human babies. They cannot regulate body temperature or blood sugar and of course they cannot see or hear. They need to be fed every 2 hours for the first week. They need to be in a temperature controlled environment and they cannot eliminate on their own.
The fantasy of bottle feeding these newborns is enchanting, However, the risk of choking is so great. Occasionally, we get a newborn who does well with the bottle but more often than not, we are better off using a syringe. This way, we can feed just 2 drops at a time and avoid the danger of pneumonia. Usually by the second week, they are strong enough to handle the bottle. The newborn on the left weighs just 2.6 ounces. Baby Seth, on the right at 10 days weighs almost a pound and is strong enough to handle a bottle.