Is the weight of the newborn puppy related to its thermal balance?

Karina Lezama-García, Julio Martínez-Burnes, Míriam Marcet-Rius, Angelo Gazzano, Adriana Olmos-Hernández, Patricia Mora-Medina, Adriana Domínguez-Oliva, Alfredo M. F. Pereira, Ismael Hernández-Ávalos, Uri Baqueiro-Espinosa, Ana de Mira Geraldo, Alejandro Casas-Alvarado, Daniel Mota-Rojas*, Maria Cristina Veronesi (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Simple Summary: Newborns experience a significant thermal change at birth, leading their bodies to adjust and reduce their metabolism to survive. In this study, newborn puppies’ weights and their temperatures in different body areas and at different measure times were evaluated to determine if there is a relationship between weight and their ability to reach thermostability. It was observed that there is a positive relationship between the weight of the puppies and their thermoregulatory capacity. Abstract: Hypothermia, a factor associated with neonatal mortality, can occur immediately after birth as a protective mechanism to prevent hypoxic damage in neonates, or to reduce the metabolic rate to improve the chances of survival in the first hours of life. The heat interchange through the superficial temperature of animals can be evaluated with infrared thermography (IRT). However, to date, there is no information on thermal windows in puppies. This study aimed to evaluate, with the use of IRT, the microcirculatory alterations in 8 different thermal windows identified at 7 different times in 289 newborn puppies assigned to different groups. Three thermograms were taken from four zones of each puppy: the facial, frontal, right lateral, and left lateral regions. Newborn puppies were grouped in 4 quartiles according to their weight: Q1 (126–226 g) n = 73, Q2 (227–330 g) n = 72, Q3 (331–387 g) n = 74, and Q4 (388–452 g) n = 70. A total of 8 thermal windows were considered at 7 evaluation times from Wet at birth until 24 h after birth (AB). Two-way mixed ANOVA within and between subjects’ design for each thermal window (eight models) was performed. Results revealed a positive correlation between the puppy’s weight and its ability to achieve thermostability in all the evaluated thermal windows. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.0001) between the 4 quartiles (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) were found. The lowest temperatures were recorded when the pups were still wet and the highest at 24 h AB. Thermal windows with the highest temperatures were abdominal (34.234 ± 0.056 °C), thoracic (33.705 ± 0.049 °C), nasal (30.671 ± 0.110 °C), and upper left palpebral (34.066 ± 0.052 °C), while the lowest were thoracic limb brachial biceps (27.534 ± 0.051 °C), thoracic limb elbow (27.141 ± 0.049 °C), thoracic limb metacarpal (27.024 ± 0.062 °C), and femoral pelvic limb (27.654 ± 0.055 °C). Assessing the thermal response in newborn puppies can help identify drastic temperature reductions or deficient thermoregulatory compensation during the first hours of life, preventing the consequences of hypothermia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3536
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022


  • Article
  • dogs
  • puppy welfare
  • animal perinatology
  • newborn puppy
  • thermoregulation
  • infrared thermography


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