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Whelping Puppies Congenital Defects


Some puppies are born with congenital defects. This toy-breed newborn pup was born missing a toe and the bone before the toe. Time will tell if it will affect the way he walks or if he will need surgery.

The underside of the paw—there are only three toes as opposed to four.

This puppy grew up to be completely normal and could have been a show dog. Once the hair covered the foot no one noticed and even most vets would not have seen it unless it was pointed out to them. It was a happy ending and the dog has no issues.

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This puppies weight was around 370 grams. Her littermates were from around 85 grams to 175 grams, so she was really big. This puppy unfortunately was born dead. It is common for a puppy in a litter to be still born. It had bulging eyes, an open fontanelle and a deformed head structure. The guts were on the outside the body and there was mild swelling

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Comments from a vet regarding the pictures, "There are two possibilities to the diagnoses for this puppy. One is a condition called gastroschisis and the other is an omphalocele. The difference between the two is that when a pup is born with an omphalocele, the intestines are covered by the lining of the body wall called the peritoneum. In gastroschisis there is no lining covering the intestines that are exposed. I think that looks like Omphalocele. Many times puppies that have one of these genetic defects will have other defects and so even if they do survive the surgery they often don't live for very long, it is obvious, that this puppy has retained some water, and has some other defects noticeable on her head."

Many times a x-ray on day 56-58 is the best whelping tool you could ever have. Taking a x-ray late in pregnancy after day 55 will not only tell you the count of puppies, so you are sure to get them all out, but will also show you if any large pups are inside or if there is a singleton. It will also help you determine if a c-section is necessary.

Although this section is based on a whelping of an English Mastiff, it also contains good general whelping information on large-breed dogs. You can find more whelping information in the links above. The links below tell the story of Sassy, an English Mastiff. Sassy has a wonderful temperament. She loves humans and adores children. An all-around mild mannered, wonderful Mastiff, Sassy, however, is not the best mother toward her puppies. She is not rejecting them; she will nurse them when a human places them on her to feed, however she will not clean the pups or pay any attention to them. It is as if they are not her puppies. This litter is getting mom’s milk with major human interaction, manually giving each and every pup what they need. In return, the pups will be super socialized and will make remarkable pets, however the work involved is astounding. It takes one dedicated breeder to keep this situation healthy. Thankfully this litter has just that. Read the links below to get the full story. The pages within include a wealth of information that everyone can appreciate and benefit from.


Whelping: Close-to-Textbook Case