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Hello Folks!
We've not been able to keep a dog before now, and we're starting out by fostering to see if we're suited to dog-keeping (I know I am, but my two children have never had one). We have taken on a stray momma from the local Humane Society, and her 7 puppies, who are about 2 weeks old.
The momma, Cheryl, is quite thin. I've got some solid advice from a pet rehabilitator friend on what to feed her. The HS treated her for stomach upset, and while her stool is better, it's still pretty soft. The mom is quite friendly and eager to please, and has not been at all aggressive about her puppies, trusting us to handle them. The puppies are still pretty young, so they sleep a lot. They are of course unbearably cute and we love them.
One thing I am concerned about is her nursing the pups. She has 8 teats, but the back two never seem to get drained. They always look full, but the pups never seem to want them. Is this normal? Is there a way I can encourage them to nurse from the back two? Could they be blocked? Please advise. Will get pics up asap!
 

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Hi there! First off, I applaud you for taking on this family in need! I myself fully understand what a joy rearing a litter is, and as someone who specializes in fostering pregnant dogs and rearing their pups until adoption, I will tell you now that you're going to be very busy in the upcoming weeks! In answer to your questions:

It is normal for mother dogs to have soft stool when they are still cleaning their pups, this should go away as soon as the pups are going potty on their own.

The milk flow in the rear teats is better than the front so it is normal for the back teats to look fuller. As long as the mother is producing enough milk, the pups will never drain the teats at this age. Have you seen them drinking from those teats? Also, have you tried to express milk from those teats?
 

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You really have jumped in! Agree, you are going to be very busy! What breed is the Mama, do you know or have a close guess? Agree with LoveMyFosters. I would try to express those back tests too. I assume they don't look inflammed or feel hot? What you could do is maybe take out 4 of the pups and leave 3 to nurse. Sit and take a pup or two and hold them to the back teats to see if they will nurse. You can squeeze the teat a bit to express some milk and put a pup to it to see if it will latch on. A little tricky but you can take a finger and open the pup's mouth and get the nipple inside it.
As for her being thin, I assume she wasn't in the best of shape and who knows if she was wormed. You need to feed a good quality food and probably 3 times a day with a litter that big.
Do keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for all your informative replies everyone! When I get home from errands I will try expressing the teat and see what happens. She didn't seem to want to let the pups nurse on them, but they do seem less full this AM.
Momma seems to be a combo of German shepherd, Golden retriever/lab, and possibly Australian cattle dog? I welcome your educated guesses! Puppers are all that, plus probably Rottweiler on the dad's side.
Mum's poop is still super-runny, but I hope to see improvement soon.
 

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Big litter and going to be big puppies. You need to figure out now what you are going to do with them when they are up and about. You have a room with a tile floor you can contain them in? You have, or can you borrow, any ex-pens to keep them in? Start saving newspaper now! You might run the runny poop past your Vet to run a fecal or does the group have a Vet they use? Might not hurt to get a sample in to get checked. What food are you feeding? You might try adding some rice or canned pumpkin (not the pie filling).
 

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Pretty momma and pups! She looks like a mix of those breeds you guessed, I am also seeing Kelpie in there. I agree with, Margot49. It is very important that you figure out now where you will be keeping them and to start saving newspaper now because believe me, you will go through a ton!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
We're keeping the pups on the main floor of our house, which is all tile. There's an already ruined area rug in the living room, we're just going to replace it once the pups are gone. The Humane Society (which I think is like the SPCA in the US? I'm in Canada. It's a national rehome/rescue/education/etc organization with centres in every larger city). They have vets on staff. So the mum was worked over for blood, wormed, etc, and she's getting a weekly Dermodex (sp?) shot plus ear meds for a minor infection, all paid for by the organization. We're feeding mom puppy food, plus a supplement of rice/cottage cheese/marble cheese/hardboiled eggs, which she loves!
Anyway, have to get to work. Kids will be home from school soon to take care of her!
 

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Sounds like a good setup to me, also sounds like momma is in very good hands! :)
 
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