Understanding and Managing Neonatal Mortality in Your Dog Breeding Program

What is the neonatal mortality rate in my breeding program?” This is a question many dog breeders ask themselves as it plays a crucial role in puppy rearing and reflects the success of the breeding program. To understand neonatal mortality, it is important to first define it.

A loving mother dog nursing her newborn puppies, showing the importance of maternal care for puppy survival.

Defining Neonatal Mortality

Neonatal mortality refers to the number of deaths of puppies that occur within the first three weeks of life. This period is crucial for puppy survival and growth and any loss during this time can greatly impact the breeding program’s success. Several factors can influence neonatal mortality, including genetics, maternal care, and environmental conditions.

A veterinarian performing a health check-up on a pregnant dog, emphasizing the significance of monitoring the dam's health during pregnancy.

Determining Neonatal Mortality in Your Breeding Program

To determine the neonatal mortality rate in your breeding program, keeping accurate records is important. This includes the number of puppies born alive and the number that died within the first three weeks of life. These records can be used to calculate the neonatal mortality rate, which is expressed as a percentage.

A healthy and well-fed pregnant dog, demonstrating the impact of proper nutrition on the health of both the dam and her litter.

Key Factors Contributing to Neonatal Mortality

The health of the dam (the mother dog) is a significant factor that contributes to neonatal mortality. Proper nutrition for the dam, including balanced caloric intake and necessary supplements, is crucial to ensure the health of both the mother and the litter. Preventing diseases, such as canine parvovirus and distemper, through regular vaccination and deworming, is also crucial for the dam’s health.

A puppy receiving a vaccine shot, highlighting the role of disease prevention in reducing neonatal mortality.

Importance of Management during Pregnancy and Delivery

The management of the dam during pregnancy and delivery is also critical for puppy survival. This includes monitoring the dam’s weight, temperature, and overall health, as well as addressing any complications during delivery. Providing appropriate pain management and a clean and comfortable environment for the dam and her litter is also important.

A clean and comfortable delivery room, representing the importance of appropriate care during delivery for the survival of puppies.

Improving Neonatal Mortality in Your Breeding Program

By keeping a close eye on neonatal mortality in your breeding program, you can identify areas for improvement and take steps to reduce the number of deaths. This can involve changes in dam management during pregnancy and delivery, improved nutrition, and increased efforts to prevent diseases. With proper attention to these factors, you can ensure the health and survival of puppies and maintain a successful breeding program.

The future of your breeding program lies in your hands, and by paying close attention to maternal, pregnancy, and newborn-related factors, you can help ensure its success and provide the best care possible for your puppies. So, what actions will you take to lower the neonatal mortality rate in your breeding program to its minimum possible level?

Your Action Plan to Reduce Neonatal Mortality in your Dog Breeding Program

1/ Assess the neonatal mortality rate in your breeding program: Regularly record and monitor the number of newborn puppies and any deaths that occur in the first weeks of life.

2/ Identify the causes of neonatal mortality: Analyze the data and look for common factors, such as congenital anomalies, hypoglycemia, respiratory distress, and infections, to determine the main causes of neonatal mortality in your breeding program.

3/ Implement preventive measures: Based on the identified causes, take necessary steps to prevent or mitigate the risk of neonatal mortality. This may include providing adequate nutrition and prenatal care for the dam, optimizing the environment for the newborn puppies, and providing timely veterinary care.

4/ Monitor the effectiveness of preventive measures: Regularly evaluate the neonatal mortality rate and track any improvements to determine the effectiveness of the preventive measures implemented.

5/ Foster a culture of continuous improvement: Stay informed about the latest research and best practices in puppy rearing and neonatal care. Regularly review and improve the preventive measures and protocols to ensure the ongoing health and survival of newborn puppies in your breeding program.

6/ Seek veterinary advice: If you are struggling to reduce the neonatal mortality rate in your breeding program, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of a veterinarian with experience in neonatal care. They can provide additional guidance and support to help you achieve your goal.

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 ! 

Success! You're on the list.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s