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What is puppy fading syndrome?

Puppy fading syndrome, also known as fading puppy syndrome or neonatal mortality, is a term used to describe the condition in which a seemingly healthy puppy fails to thrive and eventually passes away within the first few weeks of life. The causes of this syndrome can be complex and may involve genetic factors, infections, environmental conditions, or nutritional deficiencies.

Young puppy with it’s eyes closed

To reduce the risk of puppy fading syndrome, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Responsible breeding: Ensure that both the mother and father of the litter are in good health and free from genetic conditions that could be passed on to the puppies.
  2. Prenatal care: Provide the pregnant mother with proper nutrition, regular vet check-ups, and a clean, stress-free environment to ensure the puppies are born healthy.
  3. Monitoring the puppies: Keep a close eye on the puppies during the first few weeks, monitoring their growth, activity levels, and overall health. If you notice any signs of illness or lack of growth, contact your vet immediately.
  4. Proper nutrition: Make sure the mother is producing enough milk to feed her puppies, and that each puppy is nursing adequately. If supplemental feeding is needed, consult your veterinarian for guidance on proper techniques and formulas.
  5. Environmental factors: Maintain a clean, warm, and comfortable environment for the puppies. Cold temperatures, drafts, and dampness can contribute to fading puppy syndrome. The temperature should be maintained between 29-32°C during the first week of life and can be slowly reduced as the puppies grow.
  6. Regular vet care: Schedule regular check-ups for the puppies to monitor their growth and development, as well as to address any potential health issues early on.
  7. Vaccinations and deworming: Ensure that the puppies receive appropriate vaccinations and deworming treatments according to your veterinarian’s recommendations. This will help protect them from potentially life-threatening infections and parasites.
  8. Socialisation and stress reduction: Provide the puppies with appropriate socialisation opportunities and a low-stress environment to support their emotional well-being.

Puppies taken away from their mothers too early are at a high risk to puppy fading syndrome.

Remember that even with the best care, not all cases of puppy fading syndrome can be avoided. However, by following these guidelines, you can help to reduce the risk and give your puppies the best chance for a healthy start in life.

Updated on April 6, 2023
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