What is fading puppy syndrome?
It is a term used to describe puppies that are apparently normal at birth but gradually "fade" and die within the first two weeks of life.
During the first two weeks of life, puppies are very vulnerable to illness and stress since they are unable to regulate their body temperature independently. They have poor ability to regulate fluid and energy balance. In addition, their immune systems aren't fully functioning and they have limited protection from infections.
The clinical signs are vague. It is often too late to save a puppy once the clinical signs are apparent. The common findings are a low birth weight or failure to gain weight at the same rate as their siblings, decreased activity and inability to suckle. These puppies have a tendency to remain separate from the mother and the rest of the litter. They cry weakly in a high-pitched tone.
There are many factors that contribute to fading puppy syndrome. Some of the more common factors include:
Lack of adequate care from the mother
Lack of milk production or poor quality milk
Inadequate milk consumption
Congenital defects in the puppy, which may not be immediately apparent
Low birth weight
If the puppy does not get the first milk, it is more vulnerable to infection. It is important that the mother be examined immediately after giving birth for abnormal teat discharge,mastitis (breast infection), metritis (uterine infection) or other illness. Viral infections can cause fading puppy syndrome. If the mother is carrying a virus or isn't properly vaccinated, the puppies are more likely to contract an infection from the mother or have an even weaker immune system. Canine parvovirus, adenovirus and canine distemper have all been implicated as causes of fading puppy syndrome. Intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks can also weaken a puppy by taking vital blood and nutrients away from the developing puppy. Infested puppies often fail to gain weight and slowly "fade" and die.
It is important to ensure that the puppy receives adequate fluid and is kept warm. During the first four days of life the environmental temperature where the puppies are kept should be maintained at 85 -90°F (29.5-32°C). The temperature may then be gradually decreased to approximately 80°F (26.7°C) by the seventh to tenth day. It is not necessary to heat the whole room to these temperatures. Heating over the whelping box with the aid of a heat lamp is usually all that is necessary. If bacterial septicemia develops, antibiotics may benefit the puppy, but strict hygiene and good management procedures are also critical.
My cat throws up after taking her meals. She doesn't seem ill otherwise. It seems more like a behavioural problem. What should I do?
Food allergies, poor diet or she eats too fast. Change the food and give her smaller quantities more often.
My cat has put on a lot of weight and passes extremely smelly faeces. What should I do?
Flatulence is defined as excess gas in a cat's stomach or intestines. Flatulence is more common in dogs than in cats, but cats can develop gas when food ferments in the digestive tract when they swallow air after eating too fast or too much, or if there's a disorder of the stomach, small intestine or colon.
The following are some common causes of flatulence in cats:
Diets high in wheat, corn, soybeans or fibre, Dairy products, Spoiled food, Overeating, Food allergies, Poor food absorption, Eating too fast, Hairballs, Intestinal parasites
Flatulence can be discovered with the smell as 99% of intestinal gas is odourless.
The following additional signs may alert you that your cat is having a digestive problem:
Rumbling in the gastrointestinal tract, Excessive passing of gas, Abdominal pain, Bloating/distended abdomen, Vomiting, Diarrhoea.
Treatment: You may want to write down what your cat eats within a 24-hour period in order to see which foods might be causing gas. Offer smaller, more frequent meals. Feed cats in multi-cat households separately to avoid food competition. Keep your cat away from spoiled food, i.e. the garbage. Make sure your cat gets regular exercise.
It is important to ensure that the puppies receives adequate fluid and is kept warm, during the first four days of life