Treating Fading Puppy Syndrome


One Important use of blood plasma is to provide a source of globulins (plasma protein antibodies) to protect weak, fading, or orphan newborns against the common infectious agents to witch they are exposed. Plasma treatment [canine fresh-frozen plasma (FFP)] for orphaned puppies or for those receiving only minimal colostrum after birth should be given three times in the first 24 – 48 hours of life (1st at birth, 2nd in 12 hours, and 3rd time in 12 hours).

Treatment for healthy newborns may be repeated at 5 – 14 days of age and then again at 3-4 weeks of age. For sick newborns, more frequent transfusions of FFP may be necessary. These transfusions are usually given intrapertionally (IP), but they can also be given orally (by mouth) in the first 24-36 hours of life [as FFP is salty, it should be followed with a little drop of honey or syrup on the tongue]. When puppies are two days of age or older, the route of administration must be IP (or IV or subcutaneously) and not oral as the antibodies in plasma will no longer be absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. For kittens the same protocol is followed using feline FFP.

The recommended dose is 3-5 ml per pound of body weight:

0.25 x weight of puppy in ounces = The amount of plasma given in ml or cc.

This is given to each puppy orally, IP or subcutaneously. Do not give more then 10 ml at one time.

DO NOT mix FFP with and solution, including formula, lactated ringers, water, ect. The plasma by itself is very stable, but addition of any foreign solution may adversely affect the chemical composition of the plasma.

FFP can be refrozen after thawing without loss of viability. Check the screw top of the tube while thawing as it can loosen and drip contents. After thawing, a tube can be refrozen as long as it has not been left out at room temperature for more then 1 hour. Similarly, if only part of a tube is used or needed, the remainder of the tube can be placed in the refrigerator and then should be refrozen. There will not be ant loss of albumin and globulin activities for up to 5 years, however coagulation factors, which are typically used for bleeding disorders not found in newborns, diminish after 1 year.