Sent in by a member hoping to save others from this sad scenario!
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let a pregnant bitch get exposed to any other dog for the last 3 weeks of her pregnancy and the first three weeks after birth. I just lost Penny's litter to Canine Herpes Infection.
The pups were 3 days old and went to the vet for their docking. She mentioned that one pup had some bruising in the groin area and a spot in the mouth which I had not noticed before and she thought the mother had maybe pulled on the cord too hard. The docking was successful and I took them home. Within an hour I called the vet back and said something is wrong, they feel limp... rushed back over.
In the meantime she had looked up bruising and called a specialist. The pups' temp had dropped to 90 degrees. We started the warming process and gave fluids and antibiotics but they were gone in 7 hours... never had a chance. It was so fast with no warning. The only cure for this is PREVENTION. I had called another vet about something totally different but asked and he had never heard of it. Following is just a small part of an article you all need to read:
"Herpes infection manifests in pregnancy as resorption of the embryos, abortion of the fetuses, stillbirth, or death of puppies within a few weeks of life. Transmission occurs by direct contact (sexual contact will do it but the usual route is simply normal nosing, licking, and sniffing) between the infected and uninfected dogs. For this reason, it is recommended that a pregnant female dog be isolated from other dogs for the last three weeks of pregnancy and the first three weeks after birth.
Let's say that again: Any pregnant female dog should be isolated from other dogs for the last three weeks of pregnancy and the first three weeks after birth. If she gets infected during this period, the litter is likely to be lost.
Puppies can be exposed before, during, or after birth. Just because one member of the litter is infected does not mean they all are. The incubation period is 3 to 7 days following infection. Once symptoms begin (shallow breathing, loss of appetite, vomiting) death follows within 48 hours. Infected puppies uniformly have low platelet counts and may show red spots called petechiae that actually represent small bruises."
Here is a link to the full article:
The Pet Health Care Library
Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Litter
I was attending dog shows the week prior to her due date. I allowed Penny to play in the yard with her kennel mate when she got home, even though Penny had already been moved to her own room for whelping. I feel so responsible.
I've heard different takes on ever breeding the bitch again. One says never and the other says that she has developed her own immunity and will pass that on to the pups. If anyone can get an expert opinion on that, I sure would like to know.