Fading puppy syndrome is a term used to describe puppies that are apparently normal at birth, but who gradually fade and die within the first two weeks of life. Normal pre-weaning losses in dogs, including stillborn puppies, can be up to thirty percent (30%), and approximately half of these deaths occur within the first week of life. Newborn puppies are very vulnerable creatures. They are born blind and deaf and by instinct, thanks to their sense of smell, they will learn to feed on their mother's nipples.
By feeding on colostrum, a special fluid that dog mothers produce during the first 24 to 48 hours after giving birth, puppies are able to absorb some very important nutrients that will boost their immune system, allowing them to thrive and most likely resist diseases until they are vaccinated against diseases. All puppies should receive this important milk. It is very important to receive it within 12 hours of birth, as this is when the puppy's intestinal lining is able to absorb it best. Newborn puppies are born with an immature immune system that needs to develop over time, starting with breast milk.
Because of their immature organs and body systems, puppies are prone to various aggressions, including infections and environmental, nutritional and metabolic factors. In addition, young animals do not yet have strong body temperature regulation, and their body temperature can fluctuate profoundly in response to changes in ambient temperature and humidity. Glucose control can also be poor and blood glucose levels can fall below normal ranges in cases of nutritional disorders, leading to a state of hypoglycemia. Neonatal mortality, or fainting syndrome, involves the death of puppies from birth to two weeks of age.
This syndrome is more common in pedigree puppies. About 30% of pedigree puppies die in their first few weeks of life, and only about half of them die from identifiable causes. During the first two weeks of life, puppies are very vulnerable to disease and environmental stress, as they cannot regulate their body temperature independently. For the first two weeks of your litter's life, puppies are vulnerable to disease and stress, as they are unable to regulate their bodies on their own.
So why do some puppies die all of a sudden? One thing is certain, it is not a diagnosis and there are many reasons behind it. If you have a puppy that dies, a necropsy (autopsy) should be performed to determine the cause of death. They can move away from the litter and rest in the corners, while healthy puppies will sleep and crawl against each other. It is used to describe neonatal puppies that are born healthy but that gradually wither and die from unknown and uncontrollable causes.
Puppies are not able to develop disease resistance on their own, so they will need an external source to thrive. In addition, puppies are unable to regulate their glucose, so long intervals between meals leave them at risk of hypoglycemia. One of the main functions of colostrum is to transmit maternal antibodies from dogs to puppies and strengthen their immune system. During the first few weeks of life, puppies cannot regulate their own body temperature and need a source of heat to keep them warm.
For the first four days of life, the ambient temperature where puppies are kept should be maintained at 85-90°F (29.5-32°C). .