A National Census of Birth Weight in Purebred Dogs in Italy
Simple SummaryBirth weight is a key factor for neonatal mortality and morbidity in most mammalian species. The great morphological variability in size, body weight and breed, as well as in skeletal and cranial conformation makes it challenging to deﬁne birth weight standards in dogs. A total of 3293 purebred pups were surveyed to study which maternal aspects can determine birth weight considering head and body shape, size, body weight and breed in bitches, as well as litter size and sex in pups. In our sample, multivariate analysis outcomes suggested that birth weight and litter size were directly proportional to maternal size. The maternal body shape inﬂuenced both birth weight and litter size, whereas the maternal head shape had impact only on birth weight. Sex differences in birth weight were found. Birth weight and litter size also varied among breeds. The results of the present study could have practical implications allowing one to identify pups in need of admission to intensive nursing care, as occurs in humans. A deeper knowledge of the factors that signiﬁcantly inﬂuence birth weight could positively affect the canine breeding management helping to prevent and reduce neonatal mortality.
AbstractDespite increasing professionalism in dog breeding, the physiological range of birth weight in this species remains unclear. Low birth weight can predispose to neonatal mortality and growth deficiencies in humans. To date, the influence of the morphotype on birth weight has never been studied in dogs. For this purpose, an Italian census of birth weight was collected from 3293 purebred pups based on maternal morphotype, size, body weight and breed, as well as on litter size and sex of pups. Multivariate analysis outcomes showed that birth weight (p < 0.001) and litter size (p < 0.05) increased with maternal size and body weight. Birth weight was also influenced by the maternal head and body shape, with brachycephalic and brachymorph dogs showing the heaviest and the lightest pups, respectively (p < 0.001). Birth weight decreased with litter size (p < 0.001), and male pups were heavier than females (p < 0.001). These results suggest that canine morphotype, not only maternal size and body weight, can affect birth weight and litter size with possible practical implications in neonatal assistance. View Full-Text
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Groppetti, D.; Pecile, A.; Palestrini, C.; Marelli, S.P.; Boracchi, P. A National Census of Birth Weight in Purebred Dogs in Italy. Animals 2017, 7, 43.
Groppetti D, Pecile A, Palestrini C, Marelli SP, Boracchi P. A National Census of Birth Weight in Purebred Dogs in Italy. Animals. 2017; 7(6):43.Chicago/Turabian Style
Groppetti, Debora; Pecile, Alessandro; Palestrini, Clara; Marelli, Stefano P.; Boracchi, Patrizia. 2017. "A National Census of Birth Weight in Purebred Dogs in Italy." Animals 7, no. 6: 43.
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