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My pitbull terrier has 4 week old pups. She growls at them if they want to nurse and she has shown her teeth to one of them. She has attacked another dog in my home after having the pups. She just is not herself anymore. I am thinking that her aggression will soon cause more damage, I am thinking of having her put down and raising the pups. Is this normal from the mother?
Jae from Germantown, MD
This is not as uncommon as you would think. How old is the mother? If this is her first litter and she's young, the stress of dealing with the puppies may be too much. My German Shpeherd did the same thing when I bred her at 2 1/2 years. I hand-raised the puppies and within a few days she was her normal happy-go-lucky self. Also, be aware that mother dogs teach their puppies to be "easy" as they get older. The new puppy teeth are VERY painful I'm sure! Ask your vet if you are unsure about the behaviour, but don't put her down without exploring ALL the possibilities! She may just not be cut out to be a mother.
This happened to my Pom after she gave birth and at about the 6 week mark. I was told by my vet that it was the dogs way of weaning the pups and that I should be introducing them to puppy food...I would check with your vet for sure, your dog may be hormonally deficient, she may even have some sort of infection in her nipples....it would certainly be worth the vet visit.
I suggest that you find a Pit Bull group on the internet or, better yet, in your area and ask their advice. Also, you should talk to your vet about it. Sounds like you need to do it right away, too! I wouldn't put a loved family pet down until I had tried everything.
Call your vet. Sometimes dogs become so nervous when they have puppies that they are sort of nutty; she may need some dog tranquilizers to calm her down, particularly if this is her first litter. I'd call the vet right away though, because she can harm the puppies.