We have compiled some information we have learned while fostering. Whether you are new to fostering or not we hope that this information will be helpful. Some of this information was taken from the Tennessee Valley Golden Retriever Rescue Foster Home Packet since it applies to any breed of dog. This information is shown in italics.
Measure the food you feed your puppy and monitor how much he eats. If you are feeding dry dog food check the bag for the recommended daily amount depending on his weight. Ideally he should be fed morning and night. When you put the food out leave it for about 20 minutes and if he is not interested or has not eaten all of it, remove it and wait until the next feeding. If he is really small you may want to feed a smaller amount three times a day. If you are fostering more than one puppy you may need to separate them when you feed them so one doesn’t keep the other from eating his food. By monitoring his eating you can tell right away if he is showing signs of not feeling well. Some puppies will eat until they get sick so stick to the recommended amount. As he grows you may gradually increase the amount.
Look at the stools when your puppy goes potty. Watch for signs of blood in the stools or diarrhea or worms. Although most worms can be detected only with the aid of a microscope, the presence of two types of worms may be determined by the naked eye. Roundworms resemble spaghetti strands. They may be found in vomited material or in the stool. Tapeworm egg packets look like rice grains and may be attached to the surface of the stool or to the hair near the anus or tail. Report any problems to Vicki at the shelter. You may be asked to bring in a stool sample to be checked and get some medicine.
Black, foul-smelling debris can indicate the presence of an infection or mites. Repeated head shaking, scratching of the ears, or rubbing of the ears are additional signs of ear problems that may warrant a possible visit to the veterinarian. Call Vicki at the shelter for instructions.Kennel Cough
Your foster should have received his Bordatella vaccination prior to coming into your home. If the foster has a cough, you will probably notice it during the first day or two. Report it to Vicki. Kennel cough is usually not life threatening. Vaccination is not 100% preventative. If you think your dog has kennel cough, isolate him from your other pets because it is highly contagious.Itchy Skin & Hair Loss
You can minimize the puppy’s discomfort by bathing with an anti-itch shampoo (an oatmeal dog shampoo). Other causes of itchy skin and hair loss include ringworm (a fungal infection which is diagnosed through a fungal culture), or mites (identified by examining a skin scrape with a microscope). Again, check with Vicki if you think the itching is severe. Both ringworm and scabies (sarcoptic) mites are contagious to people, so wash thoroughly after handling.Medications
Trimeth dosage – 1cc per 5 pounds two times a day for 10 days
Worming – 1 cc per 5 pounds once a day for three daysSick Puppy
The first indication that the puppy may be sick is if he has vomiting or diarrhea or is not interested in eating or playing. A puppy can get dehydrated very quickly so it is important to act right away if he is vomiting or having diarrhea. If you try some of the tips listed below to get him to eat or drink and he is not interested call Vicki.
The normal temperature for a puppy is under 102 degrees.
Check his temperature by using a standard or flexible baby thermometer. Lubricate it with Vaseline and insert into the rectum. It may be easier to have someone help you hold the puppy still. Some are harder to hold still than others. Never give a dog or puppy aspirin without consulting a veterinarian. It can be harmful if not administered properly.
If your puppy is not interested in eating or drinking you can try the following tips:
· Give him Pedialyte to drink (Gatorade will work, too). This can be diluted 50% with water.
· Moisten dry food with baby food, warm broth, a little canned food or canned pumpkin
· Try feeding moist food
· Try cooked egg whites
· Nutri-Cal (in a tube) can be given in more serious cases or if the puppy has not eaten in over a day.