The death of a puppy of any age is a tragic event. Newborn puppies are susceptible to a number of complications during and after birth that can sometimes cause death. Knowing what to do in this situation is critical in order to save the lives of the remaining puppies and the dam. Always have deceased or sick pups examined by your veterinarian.
Remove the Puppy
If you notice a pup in your dog's litter has died, remove it from the whelping area immediately. According to the Pet Education website, canine herpesvirus is a common cause of death among young puppies, and it can be transmitted from the mother to the pups or from one pup to another. While you may not know whether the canine herpesvirus is the cause of the pup's death, taking this precaution will help prevent the spread of the virus -- which can be inhaled by newborn pups -- to the rest of the litter.
Take the Pup to the Veterinarian
The Mar Vista Animal Hospital notes that having an autopsy conducted on the deceased puppy will help you better care for the remaining puppies in the litter by determining a cause of death. The website suggests carefully placing the deceased puppy in a Ziplock bag and refrigerating it if you are unable to get to the vet for several hours.
Have the Dam and the Other Puppies Examined
In all cases of puppy death it is important to have the remaining littermates and the mother dog examined by your veterinarian. This is especially true if the cause of death of the one puppy is determined to be canine herpresvirus, but it is also necessary in other cases. Your vet will be able to detect congestion issues, birth defects and determine the overall health of the puppies and their mother.
Say a Final Goodbye
After having the deceased pup examined for a cause of death, you can choose to either have your veterinarian dispose of the puppy or you can ask for its remains and hold a burial ceremony for the pup. You could also have the remains cremated. Ask your vet for advice on any of these three options.