As a passionate breeder, Sarah has always been dedicated to providing the best possible care for each of her pregnant females and their litters. But this time, things are not going as planned… Sarah’s newest litter of purebred Golden Retriever puppies is facing unexpected health complications that are threatening their survival. Despite her extensive knowledge and experience, Sarah is struggling to understand the root of the problem and find a solution. With each passing day, the stakes are getting higher and Sarah’s concern for the puppies’ wellbeing is growing.
What is the cause of these health complications and how can Sarah ensure the survival and health of her puppies? This is the question that has been haunting Sarah, and she is determined to find the answers. The rest of this blog will provide guidance and practical tips for breeders like Sarah who are facing similar challenges in puppy rearing.
“The road to successful puppy rearing begins with understanding the key factors that impact the health and survival of puppies during their crucial first weeks of life.”
Uchańska et al, 2022
Disheartening statistics show that neonatal mortality affects even the most well-cared for litters. The figures vary, with reported rates ranging from a low of 8% to a high of 20%. Whether you are a dog breeder or a veterinarian, it’s crucial to ask yourself what you can do to help prevent such losses and improve the chances of successful puppy rearing. This blog is an opportunity to delve into the latest research on maternal, pregnancy, and newborn-related factors that determine puppy survival. By exploring these components, you can gain a deeper understanding of the importance of personalized care for each pregnant female, ensure the health and survival of puppies, and take action to prevent or manage any potential health complications.Indeed, puppy health and survival during their first crucial weeks of life are paramount and depend on several factors, including maternal anatomy, health status, nutrition, disease prevention, and proper management during pregnancy and delivery.
Tailored Care for Pregnant Females
The anatomy of the birth canal is a crucial consideration in puppy rearing. Brachycephalic breeds, in particular, are susceptible to obstetric complications, making it imperative to provide tailored care to each pregnant female, especially during more complex births. Factors such as female age, body size, and number of fetuses also play a significant role in determining the number of puppies per litter. For instance, older females, miniature and giant breed females with singleton pregnancies, and giant breed bitches carrying more than 11 fetuses are at a heightened risk for primary and secondary uterine inertia, posing a direct threat to puppy survival and warranting close monitoring and management.
Managing the Health of the Dam
The health status of the dam during pregnancy is of utmost importance, as metabolic or hormonal disorders that arise can have severe consequences for both the mother and litter. Early diagnosis of these conditions and prompt measures to prevent or manage them are imperative. Some complications that may arise during pregnancy or delivery may have long-lasting effects on the offspring’s health, making it essential to provide the best possible care during the pre- and postnatal periods.
The health management of the dam during pregnancy and delivery is another crucial aspect of puppy rearing. Monitoring the dam’s weight, temperature, and overall health, as well as managing any complications that may arise during delivery, are integral. Providing appropriate pain management and ensuring a clean and comfortable environment for the dam and her litter are also critical components of proper care during this time.
Proper Nutrition and Disease Prevention
The pre- and postnatal factors of utmost significance in ensuring the health and survival of puppies are maternal nutrition, disease prevention, and proper management of the dam’s health during pregnancy and delivery. Adequate caloric intake, balanced nutrition, and required supplements are critical in ensuring proper nutrition for the dam and health of the litter. Preventing infectious diseases such as canine parvovirus or distemper through regular vaccination and deworming is also vital in maintaining the health of the dam and her litter.
In conclusion, the complex and multifaceted nature of puppy rearing highlights the need for a deep understanding of the various maternal, pregnancy, and newborn-related factors that impact the health and survival of these delicate creatures. Whether it’s considering the anatomy of the birth canal, monitoring the health status of the dam, or ensuring proper nutrition and disease prevention, every aspect of puppy rearing requires a meticulous and diligent approach.
The success of puppy rearing requires a concerted effort from dog breeders and veterinarians alike. By collaborating and leveraging their unique expertise and knowledge, they can create a supportive and nurturing environment for the pregnant female and her litter, minimizing the risk of any health complications and ensuring that each and every puppy is given the best possible chance at a healthy and thriving life.
So let us embrace the challenge of puppy rearing, not just as a task, but as an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact on the health and well-being of these precious creatures. Let us take the reins and strive towards the goal of successful puppy rearing, one mother, one litter, and one pup at a time.
One of the most common challenge we encounter in breeding kennels is NEONATAL MORTALITY.
It can be very frustrating… even heart-breaking.
Good news though : you can do something about it !
We now have more knowledge than ever in this discipline.
In recent years, new research brought us a much better understanding of what can be done to optimize the health of newborn puppies.
By taking this course, this is what you will learn indeed !