Rearing Of Puppies

Assuming that the bitch has successfully whelped and all goes well, there

is practically nothing to do beyond seeing that the mother is well fed, in

which good meat, and where there is a good sized litter of pups, a liberal

supply of milk and oatmeal gruel, is furnished. In case the mother's

supply of milk is inadequate, then a foster mother must be obtained, or

the pups brought up on a bottle. If a bottle, then a small one, kept

scrupulously clean, with a rubber nipple that fits easily without

compression. The pups must be kept perfectly warm, away from draughts, in

a basket lined with flannel, and fed the first week every hour and a half

day and night, every two hours the second week, and three hours in the

third. I find that good, fresh cow's milk, diluted one-quarter with warm

water, is the nearest approach to their natural food. After three weeks

they can be fed less frequently with a spoon, and can readily be taught to

lap up the milk. Where it is practical, it is always advisable to have two

or more bitches whelp together, and then the pups are provided for if

anything happens.

In case the bitch should lose her pups, she must be fed sparingly and her

breasts should be gently rubbed with camphorated oil to prevent caking. It

is not uncommon for Boston terrier pups to be born with hare-lips, in

which case it is far better to put them to sleep at once, as they rarely

ever live and are a deformity if they do. Be sure that the puppies'

quarters have abundance of sunshine and fresh air, or they will never

thrive as they should, but will be prone to disease. They are very much

like plants in this respect. When the pups are four weeks old (I used to

commence at five, but so many deaths have occurred in my kennels that of

late I have commenced a week earlier), give them a mild vermifuge for

worms. No matter if they do not show symptoms of harboring these pests, do

it just the same. You will doubtless discover the reason very soon. Only

those who have had experience in handling and breeding puppies are aware

of their danger from worms. I know of nothing more disappointing than to

go to the kennel and find the fine litter of pups that looked so

promising, and on which such high hopes had been placed, with distended

stomachs and the flesh literally wasted away. When this is the case do not

waste a moment, administer the vermifuge. If the intestinal walls have not

yet been perforated by these pests, or too great an inflammation of the

alimentary canal produced, or convulsions occasioned by the impression of

the worms upon the head center of the nervous system have not yet taken

place, the pups, or most of them, can be saved. Hence the need of taking

time by the forelock and getting rid of the worms before they get in their

work. There are all kinds of worm medicines on the market, and I have

tried them all. While some are all right for older pups, many of them have

proven too harsh in their effects and puppies as well as worms have been

destroyed. The following recipe I know will rid the little tots of their

trouble without injuring them:

Wormseed oil, sixteen drops.

Oil of turpentine, two drops.

Oil of anise, sixteen drops.

Olive oil, three drachms.

Castor oil, four drachms.

Put into a two-ounce bottle, warm slightly, shake well, and give one-half

teaspoonful, floated on the same quantity of milk. If the worms do not

pass away, repeat the dose the next day.

To those who would rather administer the dose in the form of a capsule,

then I strongly recommend Spratts' Puppy Capsules, except when the pups

are unusually small. I have just written to the Spratts people, telling

them that their puppy capsules are too large for very small pups of the

Boston terrier breed, and their manager has assured me he will have some

made half the size. I think when the pups are about seven weeks old, when

they are generally weaned, it is good, safe, precautionary measure to give

them another dose of worm medicine, when we use,

Santonine, four grains.

Wormseed oil, twenty drops.

Oil of turpentine, three drops.

Olive of anise, sixteen drops.

Olive oil, two drachms.

Castor oil, six drachms.

Warm slightly, shake thoroughly and give one teaspoonful on an empty

stomach, and I think it will be found that the worms will be eliminated. I

have found it also a good plan every little while to give a teaspoonful of

linseed oil to young dogs. For several years I was troubled with the loss

of puppies eight or nine weeks old that had been effectually freed from

worms, that seemed to gradually fade away, as it were, but an autopsy

plainly revealed the cause. The mother, after eating a hearty meal, would

return and vomit what she had eaten on the hay which the puppies would

greedily devour. In so doing they swallowed some of the hay, which

effected a lodgment in the small intestines, not being digested, until

enough was collected to cause a stoppage, and the puppies consequently

died. The cause being removed, we lost no more pups. As infection is

always in lurk in kennels it is, I think, always advisable to give puppies

that have passed the tenth week a dose of vermifuge occasionally until

after the ninth month. When the kennels are kept perfectly free from fleas

and other noxious insects, during the warm weather a thorough good washing

once a week is of great benefit to the growing stock, and I know of no

soap so good to use as the following:

1 lb. of Crown Soap (English harness soap).

1-2 ounce of mild mercurial ointment (commonly called by the

chemists blue ointment).

1 ounce of powdered camphor.

Mix thoroughly, and take a very small quantity and rub into the coat,

thoroughly rinsing afterwards, followed by careful drying. Every day a

good brushing will be found of great benefit, and when an extra luster is

desired in the coat, as for the show bench, there is nothing that will do

the trick as readily as to give the coat a thorough good dressing with

newly ground yellow corn meal, carefully brushing out all the particles,

which will leave the coat immaculately clean.

In regard to feeding the pups after weaning, it will be found an excellent

plan to feed until ten weeks old four times a day, from that age until six

months old, three times daily, and from that age until maturity, twice

daily. I think a good drink of milk once a day excellent, and where there

are enough fresh table scraps left to feed the pups, nothing better can be

given. Where the number of dogs kept is too numerous to be supplied in

this way, then a good meal of puppy biscuits in the morning, a good meal

of meat (fresh butcher's trimmings, not too fat, bought daily) with

vegetables at noon and at night well cooked oatmeal or rice with milk

makes an excellent safe diet. Good, large bones with some meat on are

always in order, as all dogs crave, and I think ought to have, some meat

raw. Be careful not to over feed, and above all do not give the dogs

sweets. When a puppy is delicate or a shy feeder, an egg beaten up in milk

forms an excellent change, and good fresh beef or lamb minced up will

tempt the most delicate appetite. Give the puppies a chance to get out on

the fresh grass and see what Dr. Green will do for them. Above all see

that they always have free access to pure, cool water.

I frequently hear numerous complaints of dog's eyes, especially pups that

have been newly weaned, becoming inflamed, and in many cases small ulcers

form. The same thing has occasionally happened in our kennels, and after

trying practically all the eye washes on the market, sometimes without

success, I applied to a friend of mine in the laboratory of the

Massachusetts General Hospital and was advised by him to wash the dog's

eyes two or three times a day with a ten per cent. solution of argyrol,

which has been eminently successful. For slight inflammations a boracic

acid wash, that any chemist will put up, will usually effect a cure.

The several forms of skin disease which cause so much disquiet to young

stock, preventing rest and hindering growth, are sometimes due to faults

in feeding which upset the work of the assimilative organs, and are to a

great extent preventable. Not so those that are due to the presence of a

parasite that burrows under the skin and produces that condition of the

coat commonly known as mange. A dog may go for some considerable time

unsuspected, but the sooner it is discovered and attended to the better,

as it is highly contagious. The first thing to do is to take an equal

amount of powdered sulphur and lard, make a paste, and rub it thoroughly

into the coat of the dog and let it stay on for two days. Of course, the

dog will lick off all he can, but the internal application will be good

for him. At the end of the second day take the dog and give him a thorough

wash with good castile soap, and after drying rub into his coat thoroughly

(care being taken that none gets into the eyes or ears) crude petroleum.

Let this stay on one day, and without washing take this time enough

benzine and powdered sulphur to make a paste and rub in as before. It will

be found that this has penetrated deeper than the lard and sulphur did and

has doubtless reached the parasites. Repeat this twice, washing in

between, after which give the dog a good dressing of petroleum once a day

for a week, followed by a week's anointing with the benzine, and dollars

to doughnuts, the dog's coat will come out all right. A good dressing to

be applied occasionally afterwards, well rubbed into the skin, is composed

of equal parts of castor, olive and kerosene oils, thoroughly mixed. If

the hair has long been off apply the tincture of cantharides, or the

sulphate of quinine to the bald spots, taking care the dog does not lick

it with his tongue. These two remedies are best used in the form of an

ointment, twice a day.

In regard to fleas or lice on the young stock, a good wash in not too

strong a solution of any of the standard tar products is usually perfectly

effectual. One other disease, and that the most deadly of all, remains to

be considered, viz., distemper. This is largely contracted at the dog

shows, or being brought into contact with dogs suffering from the disease.

I do not believe it is ever spontaneous, and dogs kept away from infected

stock will be exempt. Well do I remember my first dose of it. I had loaned

a friend of mine a young dog raised by him to show, as he was trying for a

prize for Druid Merk as a stud dog. The dog in question, Merk Jr., came

back from the show rather depressed, and in a few days I had my entire

kennel down with the disease. It was in the spring of the year, cold and

damp, and I succeeded in saving just one of the young dogs and Merk Jr.

After a thorough fumigation with a great quantity of sulphur I managed to

get the kennels disinfected, and did not have an outbreak again for

several years. A bitch sent to be bred where a case of distemper existed,

unknown to me, of course, brought it to my place again, and I had the same

unfortunate experience over again; fortunately this time it was in the

early fall, and weather conditions being auspicious, we lost only about

twenty-five per cent. of young stock. By extreme vigilance, in knowing the

conditions of the kennels where bitches were sent for service, we

succeeded in escaping an attack for several years, when an old bitch that

had had distemper several years previously, brought back the germs in her

coat from a kennel where two young dogs, just home from the Boston show,

were sick with the disease. This was in the spring, the weather was wet

and cold, and a loss of practically fifty per cent. ensued.

One very interesting and peculiar feature of the last attack was, that

half the dogs sick were given the best medical treatment possible, with a

loss of one-half; the other half were not given any medicine whatever, and

the same proportion died. Of course, all had the best of care, nursing,

and strict attention to diet paid.

I was very much gratified to observe that in these three attacks we have

never had a dog that had a recurrence of the disease, and what is of far

greater importance, have never had any after ill effect (with one solitary

exception, when a bitch was left with a slight twitching of one leg) in

the shape of the number of ailments that frequently follow, and in all

cases after the disease had run its course the dogs seemed in a short time

as vigorous as ever. This we attribute solely to the strong, vigorous

constitutions the dogs possessed. A breeder who raises many dogs will have

a very difficult feat to accomplish if he aspires to enter the show ring

also. In our case we were convinced at the start that these two would not

go together. When one considers that dogs returning from shows frequently

carry the germs in their coats, and even the crates become affected, and

while not suffering from the disease themselves, will readily convey it to

the occupants of the kennel they come in contact with, also that the

kennel man (unless a separate man has charge of infected stock

exclusively) can readily carry the germs on his hands, person and

clothing, it will instantly be perceived what a risk attends the combined

breeding and showing. I think it pays best in the long run to keep these

two branches of the business separate. The temptation to exhibit will be

very strong, but before doing so, count the cost, especially if much

valuable young stock is in the kennels.

In regard to the treatment of this much dreaded disease, there are a

number of remedies on the market, one especially that has lately come out,

viz., Moore's Toxin, which claims to effect a cure, but having never

used it can not give a personal endorsement. Whatever remedy is tried,

remember that good nursing, a suitable diet, and strict hygienic measures

must be given. Feed generously of raw eggs, beaten up in milk, in which a

few drops of good brandy are added, every few hours, and nourishing broths

and gruels may be given for a change. If the eyes are affected then the

boracic acid wash; if the nose is stopped up, then a good steaming from

the kettle. While the dog must have plenty of fresh air, be sure to avoid

draughts. When the lungs and bronchial tubes are affected, then put

flannels wrung out of hot Arabian balsam around neck and chest, and give

suitable doses of cod liver oil. If the disease is principally seated in

the intestines, then give once a day a teaspoonful of castor oil, and the

dog should be fed with arrow root gruel, made with plenty of good milk,

and a very little lean meat (beef, mutton, or chicken), once a day. When

the dog is on the high road to recovery be very careful he does not get

cold, or pneumonia is almost certain to ensue. Do not forget a thorough

fumigation of the kennels, and all utensils, with sulphur.

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