Hey guys. I wonder if you all can advise me on something. A friend of mine has a chihuahua/sheltie mix that had three puppies born about 8 days ago. One of them is a major runt. She borrowed my postal scale and the other two puppies weigh 14.9 ounces and 11.4 ounces. The runty guy only weighs 2.9 ounces. It stopped nursing about 3 or 4 days ago. At the instruction of a vet, my friend got a puppy bottle, syringe and puppy formula and has been feeding the little guy every 2 hours. She's been stimulating his bowels with warm cotton balls (wiping his bum). Well, he now is screaming (sound like a kitten screaming) and is clearly distressed. I called Bandit and Lizzie's breeder who said this "screaming" is typical for a puppy that isn't thriving no matter what you do and when it is close to death (she thought he'd probably be dead by morning). She said she has learned that if the puppy is very runty and the mother also rejects the puppy, it is usually futile to try to save them since every time she has tried, there has been some medical reason that the puppy wasn't thriving. She told me a couple of heartbreaking cases where she basically willed a puppy to live by using extraordinary means, yet had to put them down weeks, even months later because they were suffering.
My friend with the puppies has asked me if she ought to try to continue to feed him until nature takes it's course or should she go ahead and take him to the emergency vet (45 minutes away) since it is Saturday night and have him euthanized. She wondered if he is suffering badly and didn't want to leave him like that if he is.
What do you all think? What would you do?