The article presents the results of the clinical evaluation (Apgar scores, AS) and umbilical cord blood gas analysis (UCBGA) obtained from clamped umbilical cords of newborn pups delivered by the elective Caesarean section. The study was planned as a controlled clinical study, the newborns were allocated into one of the groups, I-critical neonates (severe distress, AS ≤ 3), II-weak neonates (moderate distress, AS 4-6) and III-healthy neonates (no distress, AS ≥ 7). The following parameters were evaluated: pH (pH units), carbon dioxide partial pressure (pCO2; mmHg), oxygen partial pressure (pO2; mmHg), actual bicarbonate (cHCO3-; mmol/L), total carbon dioxide (cTCO2; mmol/L), base excess of extracellular fluid (BE(ecf); mmol/L), base excess of blood (BE(b); mmol/L), oxygen saturation (csO2; %), lactate (Lac; mg/dL), hematocrit (Hct; %PCV), hemoglobin (cHgb; g/dL), glucose (Glu; mg/dL), ions (Na, K, Ca, Cl). The majority of puppies had low AS at birth (AS 4-6 in 38.1% and AS ≤ 3 in 57.1% of the neonates), but most of them (85.7%) improved by the 20th min. reaching AS of 7 and more. Moreover, puppies with lower AS (≤ 3) were at higher risk of death within the first 24h (20.8% did not survive). The positive correlation was found between Apgar score measured at 0 min and pH (r = 0.46, p = 0.01), and between Apgar score (at 0 min) and base excess in whole blood measured [BE(b)] r = 0.36, p = 0.03). Whereas, a negative correlation was detected between Apgar score at 0 and 5th min and glycemia (r = -0.42, p = 0.05, r = -0.34, p = 0.02 respectively. Overall, the puppies with higher glucose levels had lower Apgar scores and were at higher risk of death. Furthermore, in our study, the newborn puppies had mild acidemia with elevated pCO2 levels and the HCO3 at the lower range of normal limits, suggesting the mixed component in the acidemic state. Adaptation to extra-uterine life is crucial and any practical improvement in neonatal diagnostics and care would be beneficial for newborn puppy survival.
Keywords: Apgar score; Cesarean section; dog; neonate; umbilical cord blood.