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
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.