The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

Whelping Puppies Congenital Defects

Puppy born with a missing toe

Some puppies are born with congenital defects. This toy-breed newborn pup was born missing a toe and the bone before the toe. Time will tell if it will affect the way he walks or if he will need surgery.

Close Up - Missing toe

The underside of the paw—there are only three toes as opposed to four.

Close Up - Person showing the toes

This puppy grew up to be completely normal and could have been a show dog. Once the hair covered the foot no one noticed and even most vets would not have seen it unless it was pointed out to them. It was a happy ending and the dog has no issues.

Close Up - Stillborn puppy on a towel

This puppies weight was around 370 grams. Her littermates were from around 85 grams to 175 grams, so she was really big. This puppy unfortunately was born dead. It is common for a puppy in a litter to be still born. It had bulging eyes, an open fontanelle and a deformed head structure. The guts were on the outside the body and there was mild swelling

Close Up - Stillborn Puppy with its intestines on the outside

Comments from a vet regarding the pictures, "There are two possibilities to the diagnoses for this puppy. One is a condition called gastroschisis and the other is an omphalocele. The difference between the two is that when a pup is born with an omphalocele, the intestines are covered by the lining of the body wall called the peritoneum. In gastroschisis there is no lining covering the intestines that are exposed. I think that looks like Omphalocele. Many times puppies that have one of these genetic defects will have other defects and so even if they do survive the surgery they often don't live for very long, it is obvious, that this puppy has retained some water, and has some other defects noticeable on her head."

Many times a x-ray on day 56-58 is the best whelping tool you could ever have. Taking a x-ray late in pregnancy after day 55 will not only tell you the count of puppies, so you are sure to get them all out, but will also show you if any large pups are inside or if there is a singleton. It will also help you determine if a c-section is necessary.

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