Sadly this is the last entry that we will be making into
this puppy diary.
Tragically all the puppies in this litter are now dead.
A post-mortem on the 3rd and 4th puppy that died confirmed
that they had contracted canine herpes virus. The final
four puppies were all dead by the evening of Thursday 16th
July and now we have passed on this horrible news to the
puppies future families, we feel able to post it on our
As you can imagine, we are devastated at this loss; to lose
all these beautiful puppies after three weeks of growing
from helpless new-borns to active little people is heartbeaking.
Roxy is also confused as to where her babies have gone and
ironically, after her problems earlier in the week, she
is now full of milk. It will take a long time to get over
the disappointment of this loss and are so very sorry for
the people who were looking forward to having one of Roxy's
puppies and have been getting excited about meeting them
for the first time.Unfortunately this is one of the disadvantage
of breeding dogs. We have had over 20 years of breeding
healthy and problem free litters and the law of averages
meant that one day this type of thing would happen. Canine
Herpes Virus (CHV) is a virus that is present in about 90%
of all adult dogs and only causes a problem when a dog comes
under stress, (similar to the human cold-sore herpes virus),
such as in whelping puppies. The virus cannot survive in
a temperature exceeding 101 deg F and in adult dogs that
can control their own temperature the virus cannot thrive.
In puppies under three weeks, they cannot control their
own body temperature and this allows the virus to take hold.
Unfortunately our puppies did not show any classic signs
of the disease and by the time the autopsy confirmed the
reason for death, it was already too late to save the others,
as the time between showing signs of the illness and dying
was only a matter of hours. Every future litter that we
breed we will have the mother vaccinated against the herpes
virus.We had done this in the past, but due to a shortage
of the vaccine a year or two ago, we had not carried this
on; the bitch has to be vaccinated for every litter as the
vaccine only lasts a few months in their system. Hopefully
someone reading this will take note of our experience and
vaccinate their bitch when they mate her. At least our experience
may help save future puppies.
Thank you to all of you who have followed our puppy diary,
we know from the site counter that it is very popular and
we hope that we can publish another one when we have our
next litter. It would be easy to just give up after an experience
like this, but we enjoy having puppies too much to let this
sad event stop us enjoying our hobby and the pleasure that
our puppies bring to their new owners.