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Thread: What can cause full term delivery of dead/undeveloped pups?

  1. #1
    Senior Member caesarlabrador's Avatar
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    Default What can cause full term delivery of dead/undeveloped pups?

    Hi, just had a full term female deliver a litter of puppies. Of the 10 puppies only 2 were alive and were only 180g and 200g each. Of the others about 4 were small in size but formed normally other than being dead and the other 4 were very small and looked like aliens. Puppies were decomposing and the placentas were blackish brown. Both the puppies that were born alive are still hanging in there about 13 hours but are not terribly strong.

    I am thinking some type of bacterial or viral infection?

    Female has had one litter before. All puppies were normal. This is the first litter for the male. Not likely to be brucellosis as it is not very common here in Canada and since the female had a normal litter the first time and this is the male's first litter I am doubtful. But I guess anything is possible. Any other ideas on what could have happened? Female is acting normally and never had a discharge during pregnancy.

    Would I find out more by running some tests on the female or by sending in a couple dead pups? Put the mother and 2 living pups on antibiotics.

    Thanks,
    Danielle

  2. #2
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    I can't help with an explanation but I am very sorry for what you are going through.

  3. #3
    Kristie Wilder
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    I had this exact same thing happen. Very heartbreaking...

    The best conclusion we could come to, from very experienced folks, was early exposure to parvo. We lost 7 out of 10. It was awful...

    My husband (vet) said you can send them in, have them do a viral isolation, but they normally can't find anything conclusive.

    We did full necropsies on all of our's, still have the pictures. One actually had a fully formed and open eye... We were very disappointed because we felt that a couple could have been saved had we known what was going on inside.

    The very saddest part was that they all appeared to be alive because I had 10 heartbeats prior to whelping. With these puppies, most of the 7 had either open abdomens or craniums or both... it was awful. They were alive, I believe, until they got in the birth canal. The first one born had just an umbilical hernia, with some intestine hanging out. It was a strong puppy... The remaining, except for the ones that lived, were born dead. It was absolutely tragic for me and I hope to never experience it again.... I'm sorry it happened to you.

    -Kristie

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    Default Dead pups

    Have you checked for brucellosis?
    Do for others with no desire of returned favors. We all should plant some trees we'll never sit under.

  5. #5
    Senior Member caesarlabrador's Avatar
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    Hi everyone, thanks for all your advice and nice wishes. It is definately the worst thing that I have ever gone through as a breeder and I hope that I will never have that horrible experience again.

    The 2 little pups are hanging in there. Have been feeding them all day and now are trying to suck a little on their own. Still very small and weak but still alive.

    Had the mom tested the first time she was bred as well as our sire. Both were clear. Didn't test her this time as Brucellosis is so rare in Canada and the stud dog was his first time being bred and I thought that they only got it from breeding so assumed he was clear since he has never bred. Am I wrong?

    So if I ever breed this female again. How can I prevent this? Would a vaginal culture before breeding and during pregnancy help? Any other ideas.

    As I mentioned earlier her first litter was fine.

    Anything genetic that can cause this?

    Thanks again everyone for all your help and support.

    Danielle

  6. #6
    Kristie Wilder
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    If it was exposure to parvo or something else viral, there's not much you can do...

    My husband said that next time we breed, we'll have a bleach bath at the door where people have to rinse their feet. Parvo is nasty. I guess that would keep it out of the house, but they can still come into contact outside...

    So it's just something that can happen. Unfortunately...

    With our litter, there was no reason to suspect anything. Their heartbeats were strong and normal. A couple slowed badly as they got into the birth canal... Which wasn't a good sign. The whole thing is just so damn sad...

    -K

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    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    I thought that they only got it from breeding so assumed he was clear since he has never bred. Am I wrong?
    "Brucellosis is a disease of the reproductive tract which may cause abortion in females, infection of the sexual organs in males, and infertility in both sexes. It is caused by a bacteria of which there are several different types that infect specifically cows, goats, pigs, horses, sheep or dogs. Though there have been isolated incidences of dogs becoming infected by contact with livestock infected with one of the other species of Brucella bacteria, the bacteria that infects dogs specifically is called Brucella canis. It is spread by contact with the semen or vaginal discharge of an infected dog or bitch (most commonly during mating), by contact with mammary secretions and aborted puppies, and can also possibly be spread by contact with urine or other body secretions. In indoor kennel situations, it may even possibly be spread by the airborne route. It can be contagious to humans, in whom it causes flu-like symptoms.

    Symptoms of Canine Brucellosis
    Females: Abortion of litters, usually between 45-55 days after breeding, litters with some pups born dead or dying immediately after birth, and pups that die at the embryo stage and are reabsorbed -- in such cases it may appear that the bitch didn't take."


    Because of the seriousness of Brucellosis I would have the sire and dam tested to rule it out.

    Your veterinarian can inquire what testing could be done on the fetuses. You may never find out what it was. Here is one reference with possibilities. Canine Herpes Virus would be a possibility and then your kennel would be immune.
    http://www.antechdiagnostics.com/cli.../1999/2-99.htm

    Good luck with the remaining two. I've never had to face it but it sounds devastating.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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    Senior Member Cleo Watson's Avatar
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    I read or heard somewhere that humans, handling infected fetuses aborted because of brucellious, can become infected. Is this fact or fiction? We always have our females and the sires checked before breeding. Better safe than sorry.

    Any time a pup, let alone a whole litter is lost is so sad. Sorry for your loss.
    A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo Watson
    I read or heard somewhere that humans, handling infected fetuses aborted because of brucellious, can become infected. Is this fact or fiction? We always have our females and the sires checked before breeding. Better safe than sorry.

    .
    "because of the threat of transmitting the disease to humans, if you have a dog that tests positive for the disease in some states the health department can demand the dog be destroyed. The disease is most often transmitted to a human being by handling aborted pups from a bitch with Brucellosis. For this reason, if one should ever have a bitch that aborts or has stillborn pups, the dead pups, membranes, placentas, etc. should be handled with gloves and the area disinfected thoroughly. The bitch that had the pups should be tested for Brucellosis as soon as possible to rule out the disease as the cause for the stillborn litter."
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cleo Watson's Avatar
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    Thanks Nancy. Thought I had either read or heard this years ago. There is and has been a vaccine for cows for many years - sure wish there was one for dogs. Prior to that vaccine whole herds of cattle were destroyed.
    A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

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