Den (dewhitton) wrote,


I spoke to the zoovets today, and was rather shocked to discover that whatever I do to raise the puggle will be pretty much cutting edge. There is not as yet an approved method or any "best practise" for raising puggles so small. The zoo has a 50% success rate but they have started with larger puggles. The woman who is considered the country's top echidna rasing expert tube feeds her babies, and has a <40% success rate.

This all lead me to think: "Well... shit. Who do I talk to for advice?" The zoovets and my fellow rescuers have been helpful but have all ended their advice with "Let us know what you did if you're successful."

This is a bit worrying. So here is what I'm doing, and you're reading it here first: Den Invents Very Young Puggle Rearing


Making It Up As I Go.

Tube feeding is out. I don't have the confidence to do that, plus it's totally unnatural. I tried feeding puggle the way I fed Fipps and Rexie, but the puggle kept trying the roll onto its back and ended up covered in milk. And so did I. I had a long think about how it's done in the wild: the puggle clings to the hairy pseudopouch and licks up the milk from the mammery patches. Pseudopouch and oozy mammeries were body mods I was not going to try. I had to fake it.

Puggle needssomething to cling to so I wear loose latex gloves. He clings to the latex while I hold him upside down. Then I use a syringe to put drops of milk on his mouth, a target about 5mm long on the end of a wildly thrashing head. When he tastes it, he stops thrashing. If I'm lucky I can get him to take about 2mls. So far he's staying hydrated (mostly) but he is losing weight: 100g when I got him, 89g today. This isnormal until the puggles get used to the new milk, then they start drinking. New puggle is so tiny that any weight loss is a worry.

And the puggle's name is Snorkle. Photos to come.
Tags: echidna, puggle, rescues

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