fading puppy syndrome - questions to ask the breeder - Page 1

Pedigree Database


by tmccoy82 on 18 April 2021 - 10:04

We are on the list to adopt a male GSD from a breeder. Two dams by the breeder had litters about a week apart. The breeder told us last night that a number of pups from both litters have died, and the remaining pups had to receive IV fluids at the vet, as well as supplemental feedings by the breeder every 3 hours. The second litter was good sized and low birth weight was not an issue. The deaths in the second litter occured at about 1 week following birth. I am unclear how many were originally in each litter. He thought it was related to the dams having c-sections. He has sent one of the deceased pups from one of the litters for post-mortem evaluation, and will be sharing this evaluation with us. We were told that the remaining pups are in good health, and we should expect to be able to adopt our pup in about 7 weeks. Are there specific questions I should ask the breeder going forward related to this situation? Or things I should watch for concerning the remaining pups' health? Thank you in advance for your suggestions, particularly from experienced breeders.


by Koots on 18 April 2021 - 11:04

I'm not a breeder, but as a purchaser I'd like to know if this is a genetic issue or not. Has the breeder done any genetic testing of any of the pups or is he willing to do so? Otherwise, genetic testing of sire and dam would be needed.


by Sunsilver on 18 April 2021 - 12:04

Yes, I'd be wanting to know if the litters were closely related, which might mean there is a genetic problem being passed on by either the sire(s) or the dams of the litters.

If the litters are unrelated, there could be a bacterial or viral infection that was spread to both litters, and now that the pups are older, this shouldn't affect them in the future.

by ValK on 18 April 2021 - 15:04

i would recommend to that breeder do not use those bitches for breeding at all.
if pups dies at that rate, it should be obvious - genetic foundation of those specimens isn't good and need to be washed out of breed.
also think for moment - if life of pups beginning like this, what other health troubles you may expect for years to come with such dogs and what it will cost you?


by Koots on 18 April 2021 - 18:04

Valk - you are quick to 'blame' the bitches, but if it's a genetic issue the sire could be just as much 'responsible' for the fate of those pups.  Without genetic testing the sire could not be ruled out as the source of the problem.  It takes two to tango...


by Sunsilver on 18 April 2021 - 22:04

Exactly right, Koots!

by tmccoy82 on 19 April 2021 - 12:04

Thank you everyone for the responses. The sire is the same for both, so it makes sense that genetics could play a role. Would it be more likely to be a viral issue if most previous litters have not had losses of this nature? Would the post-mortem evaluation be helpful in identifying genetic issues versus infection? If genetic testing has not been done, is it appropriate to ask for this?

by tmccoy82 on 19 April 2021 - 12:04

So I just examined the mothers' pedigrees, and there is also shared lineage on that side. 


by Sunsilver on 19 April 2021 - 12:04

Yes, a post-mortem exam might determine if it's disease related vs. genetic. The vet can see if there's a physical anomaly in the pups that is inherited which might have caused their death. A disease might cause inflammation in the lungs or sores somewhere (herpes) that the vet can see when doing a PM.

There are genetic tests for DM but many other genetic problems can't be diagnosed with a simple test.


Texas Templar

by Texas Templar on 20 April 2021 - 10:04

It could be genetic or environmental, the post mortem should answer a few questions or at least open the door to some new questions. Curious - how many pups from each litter died and did they die at approximately the same time relative to birth or same time as each other?


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