Puppies Abandoned - Help?!


11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
The Wilds of Western PA
Our collie dog has absolutely turned on her pups. It's her first litter, and there are only 3 puppies. I could hear them through the night last night and then they woke me up this morning. I went out and checked her, and she's so engorged that she's leaking milk. I took her over to the pups, and when they came at her, she attacked them. I got her out and checked the puppies, they're okay.

So, now I have 3 five week old pups with no momma. They're mix breed pups, about 5-6 lbs each. I've started them on Puppy Chow, but can they be weaned so young?

And any idea what would cause her to turn on her pups? She's a very gentle dog.

Five weeks is the time the mother dog is weaning her pups. Offering the pups a watery mash of puppy food will allow them to make the transition to hard food.

However, since you noticed mom's breasts were engorged, you have to be concerned with the risk of mastitis. She might need a visit to a veterinarian just in case she's incubating a case of mastitis.
They are old enough to be weaned. Mix your puppy chow with warm water to soften for a few days. They usually begin eating soft food at 3 to 4 weeks....some sooner.
Moms quit nursing as the pups have lots of TEETH by now. If she is engorged & uncomfortable, try hot compresses....get her checked for infection. Your vet can also give her an injection to dry up the milk.
I'd get Purine O.N.E. puppy chow and not just regular purina puppy chow. That stuff is corn based and is pretty poor quality. The pups will be just fine at this age. But I would get mom vet checked....she may have mastitis and might have snapped at the pups because it hurts for them to nurse.
When our Rosie had pups... her first litter was 9 puppies! Shes just a little 15lb Jack Russel. So we supplemented the puppies as much as we could ourselves.. baby cereal soaked in formula was a God-send for us! The puppies quickly got the hang of eating that.

Yours are old enough to do without the formula... that's if they are eating well. If they aren't eating well with mushy puppy chow.. I would try some baby cereal soaked in chicken broth or something to fill them up.

Make sure they are staying warm.. since theres only three of them and no mommy.. I would put them in a bed with a human heating pad set on low underneath the bed.

But... we also never stood for Rosie not feeding the puppies when they were little. If it came down to it.. we would have put a soft muzzle on her and held her still.

Yours aren't so little though... and there aren't so many.. so see how they're eating the real food.
If you think your dog may have mastitis, try applying cabbage leaves. An old remedy recommended to me by a midwife, back in the day. If you can bind the cabbage leaves to her, so much the better.
Well, they were all vet-checked this morning. We just got back. Momma dog has no infection, she's just ornery. The vet advised us the muzzle her & force her to feed, but she just went absolutely ballistic. There's no holding down a border collie.

The pups are 5.6, 5.9 and 6.2 lbs. She was pretty confident they could hold their own. They're good sized pups.

Thanks a lot!
She's scheduled for June 13th. I won't go through this again.

Not only do we worry about her potentially harming a pup, it's not a trait I'd like passed on. I'm actually quite surprised with her. She's the gentlest dog we've had. She's excellent with our kids and doesn't go after the birds. Her worst habit is herding the ducks, lol. She doesn't hurt them, just runs them a bit. She's friendly with the cats, I just don't understand.

Anyway, the pups have eaten and romped and are asleep. Three weeks until they go to their new homes.


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