If you don't know about canine herpes virus in newborn puppies, learn symptoms and the veterinary meds that could save your litter.
WHELPING: A DATE WITH DISASTER
Sherry L. Shivley, Journalist Award Winner © TheDogPlace.org
You have studied pedigrees, pictures, star charts, consulted the witch down the street. You know the match between Muffy and Butch will produce a fabulous litter. Now you wait.
Your precious Muffy goes into labor, and pops out those adorable blue ribbon babies you dreamed about. Everything is textbook. Until one baby starts gasping and screaming. Then another. And another.
You watch helplessly as they all start going downhill. You notice some of them have genital sores. They have Canine Herpes Virus. CHV can be picked up by your dog at shows, dog parks, anywhere an infected dog has been. Older dogs show symptoms of nasal congestion and possibly runny eyes, cold-like symptoms but nothing suspicious. Your heart sinks, there is only one treatment for pups with this disease - euthanasia.
Wait! You find an article by Dr. Rachel Peeples, DVM about Canine Fertility, Reproduction and Neonatal Issues. The veterinarian had a canine Herpes Virus outbreak and she found a way to save her pups! While searching for a miracle, she came across an article about a litter of Labrador pups that were treated with a human anti-herpes virus medication called ACYCLOVIR.
Dr. Peeples knew that she had to increase the puppies core temperature to help destroy the virus as it cannot survive in an environment above 100 degrees F. She raised the environmental temp to 100 degrees for 72 hours, 95 for 4 days, 90 for a week, then 85 for 10 days. This gave the puppy’s internal heat regulators time to mature.
She monitored the pups every 2 hours, if their internal temp was below 101 degrees F they were placed into a hotbox, an enclosed box with heating pad, until their temperature went back up. She supplemented nursing with liver water and gave sub-Q fluids if any sign of dehydration became apparent.
Each pup was given an injection of Covenia, a long acting antibiotic, as well as the Acyclovir 10mg/kg every 6 hours. The Acyclovir short circuits the herpes virus, keeping it from spreading.
Dr. Peeples only lost one puppy, the first to show symptoms.
If your Vet has any questions about this veterinarian’s protocol, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The story in its entirety is in the Files. I encourage you to read it and share with your Vets.
My Thanks to the Admins at the Canine Fertility, Reproduction and Neonatal Issues and Dr. Peeples and all the others who share their years of experience with us. Your devotion and love of all dogs is greatly appreciated, as is the calm help at 2 a.m.
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