The puppies are still taking in colostrum and will for another couple of days although the effectiveness of the antibodies wane after the first 24 hours. Through the colostrum they are getting a potent supply of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals from it but most importantly they are acquiring mom’s antibodies. These antibodies will set a foundation for future immunity by encouraging the development of memory cells. Some researchers are starting to believe that memory cells remain for life eliminating the necessity for booster shots. For the most part, however, most vets still encourage us to measure the amount of antibodies via a yearly titre. There is lots to learn.
Fresh Frozen Plasma.
FFP is a source of antibodies and other protiens which give a new puppy a little jump-start. Since for the first 24 hours after birth the puppies are able to absorb nutrients directly through the stomach lining it’s possible to easily administer. After 24 hours it would be digested just like everything else and the plasma would have to be injected. Why would I give FFP in the first place?
This FFP is from antibody rich blood and is just another way to boost the new puppies immune systems without causing any stress. The research has shown that puppies given FFP were more resilient and more active than puppies not given the dose.
The FFP is shipped overnight from the blood bank and can remain there until delivery. The instructions are to give 1 ml per puppy by mouth but I don’t feel comfortable putting liquid into the mouth of such a young puppy (hours old). There’s too much of a risk for pneumonia if it gets into their lungs. So, instead I rigged up a system with a cut down feeding tube and syringe. As the puppies nurse I slowly bath the nipple with the FFP and the baby sucks it up. It’s labor intensive but a lot more safe.
I purchase plasma from Dr Jean Dodd’s canine blood bank. http://www.hemopet.org/
Feeling like her old self
For the first time, Ally trotted out to the yard. She was pretty exhausted after her rapid fire delivery but she felt good enough this afternoon to play a little.
It must feel really good for her to stretch her legs.
Preparing for the future
It’s never too early to get things rocking and rolling. Actually there is but in our case the timing was just right. Ally is getting her energy back and the puppies are settling in. Mom was taking a nap and the puppsters were nursing so I decided it was time for some background noise. The more they can be environmental stimulated in the next 16 weeks the better and I always start with NOISE. It doesn’t necessarily prepare them for specific sounds (running the vacuum isn’t to get them accustomed to a vacuum) but its great to lightly stress their neurological development and stimulate mild startle responses. I love to introduce them to new sound, scent, touch and visual while they’re nursing because at this time they are taking in powerful endorphins and they associate the startle with something very pleasant.