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Up Topic Dog Boards / Breeding / puppies nursing from a female other than their mother
- By Nimue [ch] Date 12.06.17 08:38 GMT
Hello to all.  I breed one of the bichon breeds and have been doing so for about 25 years.  Nevertheless, there's always a new situation out there to surprise and confuse me!
My 4 puppies, born on April 30th, are now 6 weeks old.  They eat solid food (somewhat reluctantly still, though I give them plenty of encouragement and opportunity to do so) and still prefer to nurse from their mother.  Mum, however, isn't always obliging, and so the pups have decided to try out "Auntie Lulu", their mother's sister (also an experienced mother).   Lulu has decided that she enjoys this, so she lets the babies do what they want.  She hasn't a drop of milk in her, of course, and her last cycle was in February, so any kind of false pregnancy should be long gone.  She lies right down (often outdoors on the lawn) and makes herself available.  Should I interfere?  Does anybody have any experience with this phenomenon?  I've certainly never had this happen before.
- By MamaBas Date 12.06.17 08:49 GMT Upvotes 1
I'd 'interfere'.    Even if 'surrogate mum' is happy to oblige, these puppies, by 6 weeks, need to be independent of both their mother, and any other bitch who allows them to 'comfort suckle'.  Clearly they aren't quite as forward as perhaps some of your other litters were - mine, by 6 weeks, wouldn't be interested in doing that, even if that were possible.   And eventually this other bitch could start lactating, which won't do her any good!  I have to say my puppies at that age, weren't 'with' my adults, so I never saw this because of that.   I'd try giving them some warm goats milk, perhaps mid-morning, mid-afternoon and last thing to see whether this helps this 'need'.   

In this instance, with this litter, I'd not have them anywhere near any adults and concentrate on getting them properly weaned so in another couple of weeks, they will be ready for their new lives.  Just my opinion,
- By LucyDogs [gb] Date 12.06.17 09:59 GMT
I agree - when Hetty had her 2 litters, her own mother Ellie was very keen to be involved, particularly with the second litter. They didn't particularly try to suckle from her when very young, but once Hetty had had enough of feeding, I did find that I was having to put a babygro on both adults as Ellie was very happy to help out and was starting to produce milk too!
- By Nimue [ch] Date 12.06.17 10:13 GMT

>I did find that I was having to put a babygro on both adults...

What's a "babygro"??
- By tatty-ead [gb] Date 12.06.17 10:40 GMT Upvotes 1
- By epmp [gb] Date 12.06.17 11:30 GMT
My oldest bitch has not only fed her own 3 litters but also produced milk for 4 or 5 others.
Up Topic Dog Boards / Breeding / puppies nursing from a female other than their mother

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