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Puppies dying soon after birth

Discussion in 'Labrador breeding & genetics' started by Mrm1996, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Mrm1996

    Mrm1996 Registered Users

    Mar 12, 2019
    I am looking for advice about one of my breeding females.

    She has had two litters. Her first litter was 8 pups. Only 5 survived the first week. She recently just had her second litter of 8 and only 3 have survived so far. She had both litters during the night so we haven’t been able to tell if she’s having complications during delivery.

    What would be the issue causing the pups to die? The puppies in her first litter grew to be very large, healthy pups. I just can’t figure out why they’re not surviving.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. pippa@labforumHQ

    pippa@labforumHQ Administrator

    May 10, 2011
    There are so many potential causes of death in young puppies no-one could begin to help you understand this sad situation unless they were able to examine your dog and know a great deal more about your circumstances, including the age and health of the mother, the whelping environment etc. Infection, inadequate or inappropriate mothering behavior by the female dog, prematurity, inadequate heating, etc, can all affect puppies’ chances of survival.

    You need to seek veterinary help urgently to reduce the very real risk of the rest of the litter dying. If any more puppies die, an autopsy may help determine the cause.

    Can I also suggest that if you continue to breed from your dogs, you involve your vet closely, find an experienced mentor and take advice on the signs of labor. Female dogs need to be observed closely during the last week of pregnancy so that they are not left to give birth alone. You’ll also need to take veterinary advice on the risk of this problem recurring, in any of your dogs. I hope you get the help that you need and that the remaining puppies survive and thrive.
  3. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute Forum Supporter

    Feb 8, 2016
    Portland, Oregon & Mt Hood Oregon
    When we dropped Cooper off at the Kennel last week one of their Goldens was whelping a litter and at least one of the kennel owners stayed with her the whole time, which was quite a few hours.
  4. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Aug 25, 2018
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    Are you in the US or UK?

    The two main causes of multiple neonatal deaths, are either brucellosis or CHV. (Canine Herpes Virus.)

    If you're in the UK, we don't have brucellosis. If you're in North America, you do - and all breeding stock should be tested for brucellosis before breeding via a blood test at the vet. It is incurable, and once a dog has it, she has to be essentially confined to her own property. It is highly contagious via sexual contact, so both stud and bitch should be tested before breeding.

    CHV is present in both the UK and US and is a major cause of neonatal death. In Europe, there is a vaccine - Eurican Herpes - for it, but it is unavailable at the moment even in Europe and it has never been available in the US. It would be unlucky to have two litters affected by CHV though - it requires the bitch to get infected and during pregnancy or just before. It is important to avoid dog shows, parks, or places where dogs frequent since CHV can be transmitted just through dogs sniffing each other.

    To get a definitive diagnosis, you should submit one of the deceased puppies for a necropsy.

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