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Newborn Puppy Crying Whilst Suckling (Forgetting to Suckle)

Updated on March 25, 2013

At the time of writing this article, I have two 2 week old Chihuahua puppies. They were born the same size but by the second week it was apparent that one was growing much faster than the other. This does not really surprise me as I am breeding from teacup lines.

However, by the end of the first week the smallest one would cry a lot during suckling. At first I thought that it was just a noisy one. It was suckling loudly and pawing the teats frantically. It looked healthy to me and the teats were flowing well. The belly was always full like a ping pong ball, all good signs.

Knowing that all is going well, I would only check on the pups and mum every few hours. I went to do my check a couple of days ago and I noticed something not right. The smallest pup has a deflated belly, did not feel the correct weight, and had a deflated belly. It was still trying to suckle. On closer inspection, it was licking the nipples and it became clear that it couldnt really get a good hold of the teat.

I checked the roof of the mouth again for cleft palate, perhaps I had missed it at the back of the mouth, there wasnt one. The arms were strong, and the suck reflex was strong too. It was suckling normally before and now it seemed to "forget" to suckle properly. At this point I hand fed a warm special milk formula with a table spoon until the belly was big (about 3 tablespoons). Then I fed every 3 hours (I wanted to feed every 4 hours but it would cry before that).

When it came to bedtime I thought I would try to get it to suckle on mum, since it had a strong suck reflex anyway. Again it would lick the nipples so i pushed the whole teat far back into its mouth. It worked! And he suckled happily. I would check its belly gaining in size before setting my alarm for 3 hours and sleeping.

Apparently human babies can do the same also. They can be very impatient and so cry before nursing. I think this is what happened to my puppy with a combination of size. It is probably food obsessed, and its tiny mouth didnt help him either. I think it will be a very naughty pup when it grows old!

Have you had this problem before? Please comment if you have


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