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  • Writer's pictureTails 'N' Trees

Help street puppies survive

Updated: Jun 19, 2021


Only one or two survive out of every litter. The majority succumb to infection, accidents, malnutrition, injuries, disease, and poisonings/beatings by humans.

So what can you do if you find a litter of puppies? How can you help them survive?

1. If the puppies have ticks or fleas, which is very likely, keep the puppies free of ticks and fleas by applying a flea powder such as Bolfo dusting powder. If they sleep in one place, such as on a blanket, apply powder there too.

Chemical sprays containing Fipronil are too strong to apply directly to small puppies.

2. If the mother also has fleas and ticks (very probable if the puppies have them) then apply ‘Spot-on’ pipette to the mother. (follow the instructions). It is safe to use on a lactating mother.

3. De-worm the puppies using puppy de-worming liquid such as Drontal. You will need to give the dose to the puppies using the dropper directly in the mouth. Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle.

De-worming tablets should not be given to puppies, but you can de-worm the mother using tablets. The dosage is on the packet. Place the tablets inside a piece of food for the mother.

4. If the puppies are suffering from a mild skin infection (loss of hair or itching), they will need treatment.

For puppies remove ticks and fleas first, then bathe the puppies once every couple of weeks using a joint anti-fungal & anti-bacterial shampoo such as Sulbenz-pet or Ketochlor.

Puppies should be bathed midday when the sun is hot and thoroughly towel dried. They must not be allowed to get cold!

(For more severe skin infection, with bleeding or severe hair loss and itching, it is recommended to take the puppies to the vet as oral medication may be required.)

5. You can feed the mother to give her the nutrition she needs to provide milk for her puppies. Vitamin and mineral supplements can be added to her food to boost her immunity. Puppies can be given a liquid multivitamin with a dropper to boost their immunity too.

Also provide a waterbowl and keep topped up.

6. If there appears to be sickness in the puppies such as fever, shaking, paralysis, loose motions, severe congestion of eyes or nose, or dehydration, then the puppies will need to be taken to a local vet for diagnosis and line of treatment. Shelters will rarely accept sick puppies as they both catch and spread disease readily. You will either need to treat the puppies on-site, or find a foster. Be *very wary* of taking street puppies home as once puppies get used to a home environment they cannot go back on the street.

7. Getting the puppies vaccinated against diseases such as parvo, distemper and other infections is a good idea, although vaccines can be expensive. Please at least get the puppies vaccinated against rabies. Enquire at your local vet or NGO for subsidised rabies vaccines and schedule for vaccination.

All lotions and medicines are available from your local vet. Oral medications (with the exception of de-worming tablets), should be given only on the advice of a vet.

Lastly, when the puppies have stopped feeding from the mother, get her sterilised!

THANK YOU for helping to save street puppies from needless suffering!

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