“He was getting dehydrated despite my efforts to help him to nurse. I quickly realized he wasn’t strong enough to suck,” Cricket recalls.
After raising Schnauzers for 25 years, Cricket knew something wasn’t right with Griffin right after he was born. “Griffin had an open fontal or soft spot on his head that should have been closed. I held him up to his mom to nurse to make sure he got some colostrum, but wasn’t sure he was getting anything,” she recalls.
Open Fontanel Puppy
“An open fontanelle is a gap between the plates of bone that make up the skull, over the most domed part of the head of a puppy. This is considered congenital, meaning a pup is born with it but it may or may not be genetic,” says Dr. Marty Greer, Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services. “In some patients, it is associated with hydrocephalus (water in the brain) but in many cases, the pups are normal clinically for their entire lifetimes. Not all pups with an open fontanelle develop hydrocephalus and not all dogs with hydrocephalus have an open fontanelle,” Dr. Greer says.
Puppy Dehydration Concerns
Cricket could tell Griffin was getting dehydrated. “I let him suck my finger to try to strengthen his sucking, but I figured out he wasn’t really sucking at all. He was making the motions but it was more of a smacking than a suck. I had to give him subcutaneous fluids a few times, but I knew I needed something more,” she recalls. “He was maintaining, but he wasn’t really thriving. I just didn’t feel like he was getting everything he needed, that’s when I looked into Breeder’s Edge Foster Care milk replacer,” she shares.
Cricket was familiar with other Breeder’s Edge products but had never tried the Foster Care canine milk replacer. “I heard it mentioned by someone at my vet clinic when Griffin and his siblings were three days old. I had tried some other puppy formulas but didn’t like them. I always resorted to a homemade formula, but I knew that was lacking in some vitamins and minerals. I like that Breeder’s Edge Foster Care contains digestive and immune support,” Cricket says.
As soon as Griffin started on the Foster Care, he began to thrive and gain weight. “I was feeding him every two hours. He wasn’t strong enough to suck so I used a Miracle Nipple and filled it with Foster Care and depressed the syringe slowly. Once when he was still real tiny, he was disappointed and probably angry when the syringe was empty. He started howling like a little wolf pup. When Griffin was about four weeks old, I added some baby rice cereal to the Foster Care. He got stronger and stronger. He was so cute. I wanted to capture every moment,” Cricket recalls. “With supportive care, many pups, as this one was, can recover, catch up with their siblings, and have a normal life expectancy and quality of life,” Dr. Greer says.
Cricket offers this advice to others who may have a pup that is struggling to thrive. “If you are raising puppies, I suggest you have Breeder’s Edge Foster Care on hand before the birth so you are ready in case you need it. Caring for newborn puppies is not easy. You will suffer from sleep deprivation, but you have to keep going even when you can’t keep your eyes open. But all the lack of sleep is worth it!” she says.
Cricket says now Griffin is a healthy strong and thriving pup, with a major attitude. “He’s spoiled rotten. He tries to be very demanding, and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he lets me know,” she says.
Share Your Pet Care Victory With Us
You strive to raise healthy and happy pets. You love the feeling of holding that newborn puppy and seeing the joy a new pet brings to a child’s face. At Revival we want to celebrate these wins because we understand that keeping pets healthy comes with challenges.
In our series, Pet Care Victories, we are highlighting YOU and your pet care wins! We know that even the best of us sometimes struggle with the health of our animals. And while at that time it can feel frustrating and devastating, it’s important to remember you are not alone. When we share our knowledge and passion with each other, we can all be on the winning team.
Want help solving tough pet health problems or have your own Pet Care Victory to share with us? Call one of our Pet Care Pros today at 800.786.4751.
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Written by: Shelley Hexom
Shelley Hexom is Revival's Content Manager and helps develop educational pet health resources. A three-time Emmy® Award-winning news anchor, Shelley works with Revival's Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Marty Greer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to help create useful and easy-to-understand articles, videos, and webinars. Shelley received her bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Winona State University in 2002. As a pet owner, Shelley enjoys time with her Boxer mix, Sally. Shelley has been part of the Revival Paw Squad since 2016.