The responsible breeder is obliged to prepare the bitch for future motherhood by conducting antihelminthic therapy (deworming) and vaccination against infectious diseases a month before the alleged estrus. At the same time, born puppies receive, with the first portion of mother’s milk (colostrum), the most important basis for passive clostral immunity – ready-made antibodies that protect them during infancy. Thanks to this natural mechanism, the safety of suckling puppies from viruses and bacteria is ensured. If the necessary vaccinations have not been given to the mother, the amount of antibodies (antibody titer) in the puppies’ blood is markedly reduced, which affects the viability of the babies.
At the age of 4 to 12 weeks, the puppy’s immune system goes through a critical period of development. The number of immune bodies transmitted with breast milk (colostrum) is gradually decreasing, while their own immune defenses are not yet fully formed. In such a vulnerable condition, the baby stays until the full program of preventive vaccinations, which the owner of the puppy is required to complete, is completed. Continue reading