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Dr Jacques Charrier
Practical advice on bringing up. Hygiene. Pathologies and their prophylaxis.

According to the inexorable statistical data from the total number of newborn puppies 23% die during the first and 10% during the second week of life. Knowing it, let's try to reduce to a minimum these "sad" figures.

Principal and widespread causes of newborn puppies mortality.
First of all, - various infectious diseases, inherent anomalies of development, excessively small or insufficient weight at birth, also all possible infringements of bitch health, causing agalactia ( complete stopping of lactation), hypogalactia (reduction of milk productivity) and also "sad-known" " syndrome of toxic milk". Rather frequently, puppy death can be caused by bitch itself, better to say,by its inexperience and awkwardness as a result of which it can inadvertently press down a newborn. In most cases it happens by an oversight of the owners that leave their "ward" for a long time without supervision; even and harmless corpulence, that makes a dog awkward and clumsy.

How many puppies should be left under the bitch?
Since bitches, as a rule, have 8 worker nipples/teats it is reasonable and correctly to leave no more than 8 puppies.

What puppies should be rejected as defective?
Certainly, and, first of all, those, which have clearly marked morphological anomalies and disqualifying faults. You shouldn't leave puppies, whose weight is on 10% below than average litter one. It is determined as follows: total weight of all newborn puppies is divided into their number. Rejection of puppies with weight below average of the litter isn't only desirable, but also is obligatory because these puppies are more predisposed to various infections of newborns.

Is supervision for newborn puppies necessary?
Without any doubt, is very essential during first days, for complete reliance that each one receives vitally necessary share of colostrums. It's quite important to keep this rule, because colostrums of feeding bitch is rich in antibodies acquired thanks to done vaccinations and preventive inoculations. Transfer of immunity with colostrums from bitch to puppy lasts during first 36 hours after delivery. Newborn puppy starts to search mother's teat. If its attempts aren't crowded with success, the breeder must help it, because fast colostrums receiving and its assimilation at this stage are very necessary for normal blood circulation.

When and how frequently is it necessary to weigh puppies?
During first months -daily, it is very desirable at the same time. Daily additional weight in the very first days should be about 10% from weigh at birth, which by the 10th day should be redoubled. If weigh curve informs that weigh doesn't increase and demonstrates so -called "calm", so it's urgent to do the following:
  • bitch should be examined to exclude and to begin to treat any disease, the consequences of which is hypogalactia or bad milk quality
  • get concerned that bitch gets enough quantity of food appropriate to all requirements of the organism in the period of posterity feeding
  • begin to feed puppies with substitutes of bitch milk
Puppies were born… They came into the world completely helpless: deaf, blind, absolutely uncapable to independent thermoregulations.

How to avoid puppies overcooling?
Normal temperature of a puppy body:
  • 35.5° at birth
  • 35.5°-37° during 1st week
  • 36°-38° during 2nd and 3d week
  • 38° (normal temperature of an adult dog) since 4th week
It is necessary to know and to remember that:
  • At body temperature 35 a puppy isn't capable to sulk
  • At 34.5 bitch rejects it and refuses to feed it
  • At 22 puppy falls into unconscious state of coma
Preventive measures of overcooling
During first days after birth puppies should be kept at temperature 31, thus temperature in the room is to be 25 and for additional heating it is necessary to use lamps or radiators directed at puppies. By 10th day temperature rate of puppies keeping gradually reduces to 25 and by 1st month to 20. A puppy that is cold whimpers loudly and calms down as soon it gets warm.

How to avoid scratches on and of the bitch
These scratches appear as a result of forward extremities pressure, because of their specific movements. Puppies should regularly have the nails cut, otherwise, the bitch'll avoid them very soon.

What pathologies of newborn puppies do the breeders come across more often?
1. Hypoglicemia
Causes: Puppies content of glycogens is very insignificant, besides this necessary source of energy runs low very quickly, if from the very beginning puppies are short of food
Symptoms: Dehydration, weight decease, cold, atony, languor, passivity and inertness.
Treatment: Sweetened water and glucose serum
Prophylaxis: Substitutes of mother's milk as soon as puppy weight begins to reduce

2 Hemorrhagic syndrome (within first 4 days)
Too shortly cut umbilical cord or its infection and also intrauterine, inborn vitamin K deficit
Symptoms: Various bleedings, hemorrhage, languor, weakness, subsequently - coma
Treatment: Alive puppies must get vitamin K Prophylaxis: During pregnancy bitch should get vitamin K in small doses

3. Syndrome of "toxic" milk (puppies at 2-14 days)
Causes: Metritis, uterus involution, mastitis, as a result, toxins get into milk
Symptoms: Flatulence, tense stomach oedematic anus
Treatment: puppies must be isolated from mother, don't supercool them; puppies should be fed with substitutes of mother's milk; it is necessary to treat the bitch; puppies are to be put under recovered bitch
Prophylaxis: Fast recognition and diagnostics of any infection of feeding bitch

4. Bacterial infections
Causes: Most often - badly cut or carelessly disinfected umbilical cord, mistakes of antiseptic processing of tail cut
Symptoms: Tail and umbilical inflammation of infectious aetology, peritonitis, sepsis.
Treatment: With antibiotics
Exclusive cleanness and strict hygiene, both in the delivery room and in the post -natal room and especially in the "lair" where bitch and puppies are kept Very careful disinfections of any skin or mucous damages

5. Infections of virus aetology:
  • Herpes (at 5-20 days)
    Causes: Affection by virus of liver, kidneys herpes, cerebral-brain affection
    Symptoms: Puppy sulks plaintively and interruptedly, infringement of movements coordination, in the beginning - depressed condition, then exhaustion, breakdown. Usually it dies 18-24 hours later. Alive puppies are detected to have complications on kidneys.
    Treatment: Warm constantly ill puppy
    Prophylaxis: Puppies are to be kept in warm places with necessary air temperature that prevents from herpes introduction and spread.
  • Hepatitis Plague
    These diseases can be excluded at once if bitch was vaccinated before pregnancy.
  • Parobirosis
    (between 5 and 8 weeks) This disease can develop directly when antibodies transferred by previously vaccinated mother, but organism of vaccinated puppy hasn't elaborated its own antibodies. Thus, immune protection in this period is very weak, therefore, this period is called "critical".
    Causes: Toxemia along with bowel and myocardium affection by extremely stabile virus.
    Syndrome: Hemorrhagic diarrhea.
    Treatment: Fight with dehydration, vomiting, and bacterial infection.
    Prophylaxis: Obligatory vaccination at 6 and revaccination at 8 and at12 weeks with appropriate vaccine that contained weakened virus.
6. "Fading puppy complex", "syndrome of weakening puppy": progressing weakness (during first 10 days after birth).
Disease, that the Englishmen call "fading puppy complex" appears because of and accompanies progressing syndrome with no clear aetiology and unknown origin, affects newborn puppy. Externally absolutely healthy puppies suddenly begin to grow sickly, pine, weaken and in the end, die. To a greatest regret, this disease is rather widespread. But , perhaps, the most awful thing is that in 50% of cases the cause of death isn't only ascertained, but even simply supposed, because neither macro- ni microscopic analysis yield results, mark any damages deviations or anomalies of external or internal organs. It seems to us, that aetiology of syndrome of weakening puppy is multi-causative. Though, there is a direct evidence of infectious origin of disease with doubtless influence on cardio-vascular and bronchi-pulmonary systems, aggravated by hypothermia.

7. Ascariasis
Even if mother was dehelminthologied, probability of puppies infecting is still great.
Causes: If infection is intrauterine larvae of helmints ripen gradually and are on different stages, demanded different scheme of treating, while bitch is dehelminthologied according to certain but not individual scheme.
Symptoms: Hyporexia, hoove, diarrhea, cough; puppies don't gain in weight;
Treatment and prophylaxis: Since 8th day and each two weeks puppies should be dehelminthologied. Bitch should be treated with the same medicines as puppies are, because it constantly gets infected by eating puppies defecations.

From 15 to 20 days Puppies open eyes. They already can hear and even try to go instead of creeping, as it was before, from place to place. Puppies get interested in the world around them; with curiosity investigate all things around. In the very period puppies start getting in contact with man; this moment is very important for psycho-emotional development of the dog. It is very important that puppies get used gradually to a touch of human hand and, in this case, that's why it is very convenient to weigh them every day. Iris can be of blue colour, but it is temporary, passing. The true, final colour iris gets a bit later.

From 3rd weeks… The process of excommunication from mother starts. Success of this process is in stress avoidance and frustration of alimentary canal, this process depends on its forward character. Usually bitch itself takes very active part in this process: it belches easy assimilated food. Breeders begin to give additional food as substitutes of mother's milk; it can be industrial ones or home made. Puppies, in spite of initial awkwardness, quickly understand what they are expected to do, because the instinct of licking is inherent and lays on the genetic level. At the following stage puppies are offered liquid dairy porridge: in the beginning -once a day, then twice and, at last three times a day. Then completed manufacture made food -"puppy"(especially for puppies) is mixed with warm water and it makes the process of digestion more preferable.

From 6th week… Puppies start eating independently. They have cut teeth and can eat dry food without preliminary mixing with warm water, food in cans (liquid and half-dry), home made food.

Why do breeders prefer dry food nowadays?
  • In comparison with can (liquid or half0dry) food the risk of poisoning is minimum. Besides, such a food massages gums and cleans them perfectly.
  • In comparison with home made food there is a an indisputable advantage: breeders needn't rack their brains over the question- how to make balanced ration, observing correct doses of calcium, phosphorus, vitamins and especially, microelements -substances that in small doses are necessary for function of any organism. But this questioned must be paid attention to, because the surplus or lack of microelements can cause catastrophic consequences on dog health. Using manufacture made food there is no need to think about additional mineral and vitamin additions. Especially, it concerns vitamin "A" and "D", systematic overdose is very dangerous and does irreparable harm to animals, causing various deviations and deformations of extremities. Manufacture made food is ideal to use, because it is perfectly balanced. It contains complete and sufficient for this period of growing set of proteins, vitamins and mineral salts. For this very reason, any mineral or vitamin additions aren't useful, but, on the contrary, are dangerous, as they upset the balance of organism. During 1st month a puppy of Dobermann is to gain in weight on the average from 100 to 110gr., during 2nd -from 150 to 160 gr.
Modern view of puppy feeding.
Recently veterinaries knowledge of bone anomalies and deviations has broadened consirably. Principal regulations of new view:
1. Never and under whatever conditions don't limit puppy ration only to meat.
2. Abstain from excessive such additions to food as calcium, vitamins "D", "A". Their surplus upsets phosphorus-calcium metabolism and it can cause anomalies of ossification of growth cartilages of epiphysis, that are on joints ends of long tubular bones, can cause curvature of forward extremities, can prevent from mineral salts assimilating, can cause significant growth reduction of growing dog, stomach distention and volvulus. It is natural that lack of calcium, vitamins "A","D" in the organism doesn't pass without causing consequences. It can cause such diseases as rackets, though, objectively speaking, rackets is observed very seldom nowadays.
3. Food of growing dog must be of high energy, at least proteins -29%. The lack of amino acids does irreparable harm to harmonious development of bone and muscular systems and also lowers immune protection of the organism on the whole.
4. Puppy overfeeding is extremely harmful. Overfeeding causes overweight, leading to obesity. Contrary to the belief of many owners, puppy with overweight turned into an adult isn't taller or has better developed bone-muscular system. Moreover, obesity accelerates the process of growth, that, in turn, can cause occurrence and development of numerous and very serious infringements of bone system:
  • deformating osteochondrosis
  • wrong position of feet
  • weak hock joint
  • dysplasia of hip joints
Thus, the main task and aim during puppy bringing up is to supply it with balanced, average for the breed rate of growth and development. It is much more useful to get facilitated, but balanced and of very good quality food rather than to be overfed.
Without any doubt, rate of growth of puppies that get facilitated food is a bit slower, but it doesn't influence on the growth of an adult dog in the future.
5. Non-keeping of feeding scheme, feeding out the scheme and in unlimited portions is forbidden.
In spite of belief of many breeders and owners that the meal "at will" reduces the risk of anorexia and , moreover, meets all food requirements, such a way of feeding usually causes very dangerous overweight. Instead of permitting puppies to overeat it is much more reasonable and useful to accustom it to strict certain scheme of feeding at fixed time and with regulated portion:
  • 3-4 times a day - at the age 6weeks-3months
  • 2-3 times a day-3 - 6 months
  • twice a day - after 6 months
Every time food is left for about 20 minutes.

Ideal puppy feeding. It is very desirable that the puppy'd get balanced food of very-good quality (preferably dry food) specially made for growing organism and not demanding mineral and vitamin additions, necessary for normal growth and development of puppy.
Data of desirable weight parameters for breed Dobermann are adduced in scheme 1 (in the magazine -diagram page 27)
Studying and using the scheme "Weekly weight addition for Dobermann puppies (males and bitches) at the age 0-9 weeks" it is necessary to pay attention to the data of males weight addition and bitches ones are done according to maximum limit. Thus, weight 10-15% below than the abovementioned ones is normal.
By 9th day puppy weight is to redouble and by 1st month to increase in 7 times. 9 weeks old puppy is to weigh 7500-9000gr. (males) and 6700-8000gr. (bitches); average parameters are more desirable.
Scientists believe that rigid control of quantity and quality of food favors correct development, doesn't influence negatively on the growth of adult dog, excludes the risk of obesity and infringements of bone systems, accompanying this disease that is usually observed if dog is overfed.

What are norms of products using for puppy feeding?
Pr.Wolter , one of the most rewarded research workers of feeding and nutrition faculty ENV d'Alfort, carried out unique systematizing research, offered new method and technique of rational puppies feeding.
5 principal types of feeding were assumed as a basis:
  • 3 types of ready-made food:
    • 1. dry food (dry concentrate in flakes or granules of very good quality)
    • 2. half-dry, canned food from meat with cereal
    • 3. Canned food from meat without cereal.

  • 2 types of food that demands additional processing (home-made food):
    • 1. Home made food on the basis of raw meat(mutton) with addition of cereals.
    • 2. Home made food on the basis of raw meat with flakes.
Homemade food is less preferable, because it can't be well-balanced and is of lowered energy in comparison with ready-made concentrates. However, we consider that it is expedient to adduce structure of food made by owners at home:
Mix1 (1000 gr.)
  • Minced mutton - 315 gr.
  • Splintered rice cooked, crumbly - 315 gr.
  • Vegetable mix of string beans and carrots - 315 gr.
  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower or corn oil - 20 gr.
  • 1 tablespoon of vitamin and mineral additions - 20 gr.
  • 1 tablespoon of dry yeast - 20 gr.
Mix2 (1000 gr.)
  • Beef - 400 gr.
  • Cereal flakes or dry rice - 300 gr.
  • 1 table spoon of sunflower or corn oil - 20 gr.
  • 1 table spoon of vitamin and mineral addition - 20 gr.
  • 1 table spoon of dry yeast - 20 gr.
Pr.Wolter distinguished 3 basic periods of food requirement of the dog:
  • Phase1 - "jump" - period of the greatest growth and development of the animal. During this period daily food requirement raises constantly (to 6 months)
  • Phase 2 - period of consecutive development, when the peak of growth and development has passed, but requirements of organism increase because of actively proceeding metabolisms. Puppy needs energy (6 - 16 months)
  • Phase 3 - adult dog, it is a period when dog doesn't need additional food to cover energy expenses of organisms.
Taking into consideration the abovementioned data, Pr.Wolter has worked out on the basis of 5 traditional food rations table of daily puppy ration. The table is unique, because not only breed but age of the puppy is taken into consideration; daily food consumption is done in grammes (instead of kcals)

Looking after orphaned puppies and puppies that are short of milk.
  • Keep them in the warm place (31 С).
  • Place is to be clean - "Replacement" of the mother. Bitch licks its puppies and stimulates them to urinate and to defecate. Breeders are to help orphaned puppies, do them a massage to stimulate abovementioned processes.
  • Feeding with dairy mixes- substitutes of mother's milk of special ingredients. They can be ready made (more expensive) or home made. In any case, mix is to be homogeneous and warmed (35 C).
  • Be attentive: all things used for feeding are to be of ideal cleanness.
  • Use only convenient dummy. (you can buy it, it means, it must have a special aperture of the right size specially made for puppies feeding). Also you can take a usual dummy and do the aperture yourself. The size shouldn't be too small, because a puppy'll get tired very quickly and refuse to sulk. On the other hand too large aperture and, naturally too fast current of milk can cause puppy's choking. You can define the right size of the aperture by turning a bottle upside down. If milk drips slowly, the size is right.
  • Puppy is to get accustomed to the dummy. To achieve it, it is necessary to take it put it in the vertical position (as if it stands on the back feet) Then, handling its head with the large and index fingers try to press on its cheeks in places of lips connection, to semi-open its mouth and enter the dummy. If puppy doesn't sulk you should with you other hand slightly press the dummy and squeeze out several drops of milk. Feeding of orphaned puppies takes a lot of time and patience: approximately 30 min. for feeding a litter of 4 puppies. Feeding with substitutes of mother's milk is to be carried out 12 times a day. Actually, experience shows that 7 feedings during 1st week, 6 - during 2nd and 5-6 during 3rd is quite enough.
  • It is necessary to understand that orphaned puppies can have many psychological difficulties. Actually, bringing up puppy without mother and sometimes, even without brothers or sisters in uttermost isolation, outside of the contacts, appropriate and necessary adequate development can cause serious psychological problems. Such dogs can have difficulties in relationships with other dogs; can be too aggressive or coward. Other extreme is their too excessive attachment to the man. Such a dog depends completely on the man, perfectly feeling it. Such behavior can cause fear of loneliness, lack of self-confidence. Such a dog left alone will whimper, bark. It is very difficult to bring up such an orphan. Nevertheless, even in such a serious situation it is necessary to help puppy to communicate with other dogs. It is very desirable that your puppy 'd communicate with other young animals.
Rules of vaccination.
It is well known that during first 36 hours puppies get antibodies with colostrums from their mother. Antibodies acquired thanks to vaccination or diseases (that mother had) provide immune protection of puppies from various bacterial and virus infections, so-called passive immunization. However, when you start to separate puppies from mother immune protection of puppies becomes weaker and at this time puppies are to be vaccinated to avoid infection. Unfortunately, it is difficult to decide when to do it, because antibodies can't provide immune protection, but at the same time they can neutralize the vaccine. In this case the only way to cease the risk is to follow the certain scheme of vaccination (calendar of vaccination).

Kinds of vaccines.
We use:
  • vaccines with killed virus
  • vaccines with attenuated virus
  • inactivated vaccine
All these vaccines have their own advantages, positive things and faults. However, in the future only stable synthetic vaccines of very high cleanness will be used, that don't cause allergetic reactions, with no residual virulence that causes virus carrying.
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