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Categories: Breeding

Q. I have been breeding labrador retrievers for 9 years now and within the last year, nearly every litter that I have comes down with some sort of virus. Any ideas?

First I want to say thank you for taking the time to help all of us dog owners and breeders out here. Your information is very helpful.

I wanted to email you to ask you some questions, hoping that you might be able to help in directing me on what I should do...

I have been breeding labrador retrievers for 9 years now, owned them for 14 years... and within the last year, nearly every litter that I have comes down with some sort of virus within the 2nd and 3rd week of birth. I have spent so much money trying to find out what it is within the puppies as well as the mothers and all my vet can tell me is that it is some sort of virus. I'm so tired of trying to figure it out but after this last litter I nearly lost all 10 pups. Only two lived. They will be nursing and doing so well right up until the day they just stop nursing, (no appetite) lethargic and they whimper and cry a lot. Within two days they are nearly dead if not dead already. I administer the IV fluids in the back of their neck, doing 30 ccs every 4 to 5 hours as well as feeding them formula which I'm so glad to have saw your recipe... (I will try this). But it seems like no matter how much I do it is not enough. The bellies even get bluish black looking and bloated. Their is no temperature, house is kept at 83 degrees and they have a heating pad underneath their pool that they sleep in. I do through this nearly every litter and was wondering if you have ever experienced anything like this before with your puppies that young... Any information will be helpful as I'm not getting anywhere with my vets and I have been to three different ones.

What I have done is the IV fluids, formula and in the past I have done antibiotics. I have also used pepto bismol, and albon just in case it is a coccidia problem. My vet did administer yesterday an indo serum that seemed to help my last litter.

Your response would be very appreciated.
Thank you.

A. I’m sorry but we’ve not had anything like this happen in our litters. I will mention that I would NOT use pepto bismol in puppies so young as it contains salicylicates (the active ingredient in aspirin) Vets will tell you it’s safe for dogs but I still would not use it in puppies.

Have you had necropsies done on the puppies that have passed away? I believe that I would do this and figure out what is going on before I bred anymore litters. I’d probably get a reproductive specialist involved.

I’m sorry I’m not more help. :( Let me know if you find out anything conclusive. I wish you all the best.

Cindy Rhodes
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