Volume 5 Issue 5

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I have covered pet over popula on and the burden society bears from irresponsible pet ownership in previous ar cles. That being said, if you are going to get into breeding, please consider doing it for the right reasons! Having your kids experience birth is NOT a good reason! Prenatal Care Prepare the female for pregnancy by ge ng her a thorough physical exam. Check for parasites both internally and externally and feed a species Appropriate diet with probio cs, essen al vitamins, minerals and fa y acids. Parasite control is vital! Fleas and intes nal parasites can quickly suck the blood from puppies and ki ens, causing an anemia that could result in death! When To Breed Dogs normally ovulate every 6-9 months. The dog's estrus or "heat cycle" lasts an average of 3 weeks with the period of greatest recep vity (best chance to conceive) being around the 10th day a er bleeding began. Signs that a female dog is going into heat include swelling of the vulva and a light bloody discharge. Though males dogs will be highly a racted to her, she won't stand for breeding un l she is closer to ovula ng (releasing an egg from the ovary). Just before ovula ng, she will stand in a way that invites a male to breed, the vaginal discharge will change to a lighter color and the vulva will become so er. For breeders who are serious about making sure their dogs get pregnant, serial vaginal cytologies (taking a swab of the vaginal vault, staining the slide and evalua ng the cells) may be performed to determine the me of ovula on and hence the best me to breed. Morning Sickness? In the early stages of pregnancy, some dogs may have a decreased appe te, a sudden decrease in ac vity, nipple swelling, and behavioral changes. These changes typically resolve quickly. What Can Go Wrong A veterinary evalua on should be done to confirm a pregnancy versus a false pregnancy, also called a pseudopregnancy. A false pregnancy is a common condi on in which a non-pregnant female dog is showing symptoms of pregnancy or milk produc on. O en the condi on occurs a month or two a er the heat cycle is over. A hormonal imbalance is thought to play a key role. Depending on the severity of the problem, the symptoms may last for more than a month. Pyometria A second serious poten ally life- threatening condi on may develop following a heat cycle. Pyometria is a condi on where the uterus becomes infected and can fill with purulent discharge. If not detected, this condi on could result in death. Some mes owners will see a vaginal discharge, but more o en than not, the dog is simply ADR (isn't doing right). Gesta on Period Like people, dogs are pregnant for three trimesters, only a dogs trimesters average 21 days (versus 3 months for humans). A dogs pregnancy lasts between 60-64 days. During a normal pregnancy the female will gain weight and the abdomen will start to distend with puppies. Ultrasound to see the growing puppies can be performed as early as 3 weeks. Fetal skeletons can be seen by day 45. X-rays are helpful to determine the number of puppies. Parturi on A female's temperature will typically drop 1-2 degrees 12-24 hours before going into labor. A temperature chart must be started around day 55 and taken twice daily to catch the drop in temperature. A dogs normal temperature is between 100 and 102 degrees, and the drop will be between 97-99 degrees for a short me. Pet Pregnancy on Purpose Page 12| Abby's Magazine -

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