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Importance of passive immune transfer in puppies

H. Mila, A. Feugier, A. Grellet, J. Anne, M. Gonnier, M. Martin and others

NEONATAL mortality (death within the first three weeks of life) is prevalent in dogs, ranging from 17 to 26 per cent. Passive transfer of immunity from dams to their puppies via colostrum mitigates the risk of neonatal death. This study aimed to assess the relationship between passive immune transfer and mortality, and also to test the effect of oral immunoglobulin supplementation within the first hours of life on passive immune transfer.

The study was undertaken in a French breeding kennel between March and June 2012. All puppies born within this period were included in the study. Puppies were weighed at birth and two days of age, and mortality was recorded. Blood was collected from each puppy at two days of age. Colostrum was sampled from all dams one day after the onset of whelping. To test the efficacy of immunoglobulin supplementation, 17 non-pregnant bitches from the same kennel were vaccinated against various diseases before blood was taken from each and centrifuged. Within each litter of puppies in the experiment, some dogs were assigned to a group that received this hyper-immunised plasma, by feeding tube, on …

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