Cleft palates are said to be hereditary or environmental.
It is advised not to give fish oil to a pregnant bitch because it can cause cleft palates in pups.
I don’t give any supplements during pregnancy or nursing other than vit. C (Not Ester c)
I purchased a pup years ago and than found out that her sire produced 13 pups in 3 different litters all in 3 different geographical locations.
To me that is hereditary, not an environmental issue.
Thankfully this bitch never produced a cleft pup nor has her daughter.
There are reasons to try and save cleft pups. It depends on the severity of the cleft and the time the breeder has to put into that pup.
There is some great info out there. I think they are worth saving. But it does involve hand feeding – bottle or tube – as a cleft pup is not capable of suckling from their mother. They loose their milk thru the cleft and into and out the nasal cavity and can also aspirate into the lungs killing them.
You need to see the signs immediately to save the pup.
Please see these links for more info:
Here is another link with good info (I do not condone the fact that they offer a “Banfield” coupon – I do not recommend Banfield to anyone – fly by night vets as far as I am concerned.)
But the site has good info for cleft palate pups.
I hope anyone that produces a cleft palate pup takes the time to save that baby.
There are times the cleft is so severe it is more humane to put the pup down.
Please have your vet or a seasoned breeder that has dealt with this make that decision for you.