The family used to have two larger dogs – a Beagle and a Labrador – who both passed away recently of old age. Emilia and Pearl had never had “their own dog”, so after a period of grieving, the family made the decision to start again, with a young puppy for the two girls.
The Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel crossed with Poodle) is a small, friendly, non-shed dog: they don’t moult, so they are easier to mind around the house. A friend had a lovely example of one of these, and the breeder who had supplied their friend had a litter of new pups available, so it was reassuring to know that they were getting the pup from a reliable source.
the pup was brought home
When they collected the pup last week, they were given the usual “take home” package, which included vaccination certificates, information about worming, and a small supply of the food that the pup was used to eating. There’s an unavoidable element of stress when a pup leaves her birth home to move to her long term family. To make this easier, it makes sense to keep feeding a new pup exactly the same diet that they are used to. After a few days, once the pup has settled into their new home, a decision can be made to purchase more of the same food, or to gradually change onto a new, different food. The key factor is to make all changes slowly, by mixing the new diet with the old one for a few days, so that the pup’s digestive system has time to adjust to the new diet.
margo was taken to the vet
Unfortunately, despite being fed the food she was used to, the stress of moving away from her mum and siblings was too much for Margo’s sensitive digestive system. She developed a runny tummy. She was still bright, cheerful, and playing with her toys, but when her stomach hadn’t returned to normal after a couple of days, the family brought her in to see me.
I checked her over carefully, and Margo was definitely in great health apart from the diarrhoea. I felt that it was most likely that this was just a settling in problem, so I gave her a simple treatment, with tins of a special ultra-bland, easy-to-digest food. I also gave her other treatment to cover the less likely causes, including a broad spectrum wormer, and medication for some of the other rare parasites that can affect young puppies.
Margo enjoyed the bland food, tucking into it hungrily, and within a couple of days, her digestive system returned to normal. She’s now starting onto her long term diet, which is a dried biscuit made from chicken and brown rice. She seems to be over the stress of her move, and has already settled in well with Emilia and Pearl.