Summary: It is estimated that between 20% and 40% of all puppies born alive do not survive. Most of these will die before they are even weaned. We describe this heart breaking and frustrating illness as a fading puppy.
What is a Fading Puppy?
It is estimated that between 20% and 40% of all puppies born alive do not survive. Most of these will die before they are even weaned. This most disturbing sickness is called ‘fading puppy’. Some information is known about it and yet there are still many questions surrounding it.
A typical case would be that a beautiful and healthy litter is born. All went well with the whelping process. And all is well shortly afterward. The puppies continue to vigorously nurse and appear to be doing just fine. Then, after a day or two some of the puppies become weak and progressively become weaker.
Fading puppies seem to lack the strength to nurse. They may become restless and cry incessantly. The mom of the litter may push them aside. Later their breathing becomes labored and nothing you can do seems to help. It is hard work to even keep them hydrated. When a puppy becomes dehydrated their swallow reflex is not as strong. When puppies cannot swallow liquid properly, the fluid goes into their lungs and pneumonia usually develops.
Causes of a Fading Puppy
Some say it is a bacteria problem, others say a parasite problem, and yet others say it is due to low body temperature or bad mothering. Other specialists just use the term fading puppy for puppies that die when no obvious cause of death is present. It is said that there will be no obvious cause of death in 40% of puppies that die and are termed fading.
If dehydration could be a problem, please read our article entitled Dehydrated Puppies: My Puppies Aren’t Getting Enough Milk. In the article we discuss using Esbilac Powder Milk Replacer for Puppies along with the PetAg Nursing Kit to help re-hydrate your fading puppy. Although dehydration could be only one of many potential issues with a fading puppy.
It is heart breaking for the owners of the litter and baffling to healthcare providers of dogs. Another hard to understand thing is that not all the puppies in the litter are affected and subsequent litters may or may not have fading Puppies.
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