canine herpes virus is a viral disease that affects many puppies , causing sporadic deaths and occasionally the death of an entire litter. The virus lives in the reproductive and respiratory tracts of both male and female dogs and can be sexually transmitted. the virus persists in the female vaginal secretions and the males semen. Puppies can become infected several ways. The virus can cross the placenta and infect them while they are still within the uterus or can be exposed during birth.
Generally symptom stake about one week to appear, this is why 1-3 week old puppies are the highest risk. Not all puppies at birth become ill and many show no signs at all or develop only a slight congestion and recover within a few days, puppies exposed after six weeks have a better chance of recovery. It appears that the virus thrives best at a temp of around 99 degrees, so this may help to explain why older puppies are at less risk since their body temps are usually 101.5 degrees then that of younger puppies. Currently there is no specific treatment for this.In conclusion, anytime you see upper respiratory infections in puppies less then 8 weeks old, CHV should be considered, also CHV is a leading cause of death in puppies 1-3 weeks old and even older puppies may die. This is especially disheartening when yesterday the litter appeared healthy and happy and today some or all are ill or have already died. There is currently no treatment available for the mother or her puppies.
Before breeding please see a vet and do a blood test on both parents to avoid possible disaster.