Expert Assistance for Dog Breeders in Chandler AZ

K9 Reproduction Assistance From The Staff at Kennel Care Veterinary Hospital

KENNEL CARE CANINE BREEDING GUIDELINES

The successful protocols for dog breeding involve good science, veterinary expertise and the unknown proclivities of each individual dog. When all forces come together the breeder client has a litter on the ground and with careful neonatal care will successfully wean and place their healthy puppies.

DETERMINE THE OPTIMAL TIME TO BREED THE BITCH

The availability of frozen and/or chilled semen makes it possible to use a stud dog from anywhere in the world. However, in order to justify

the expense entailed, one must understand the canine estrus cycle to best utilize the semen.

The cycle begins with a rise in the hormone estrogen. The brain is triggered to produce luteinizing hormone (LH) into the bloodstream. Eggs then mature and progesterone is released in preparation of maintaining a pregnancy. Typically, alternate days of bloodwork in the bitch will track the rise of progesterone. Most bitches ovulate 2 days after the LH peak and eggs mature, ready to accept fertilization by sperm in another 2 days. Generally, a bitch’s fertile period is 4-7 days after the LH peak.

Bitches are different and each cycle can be different even in an individual dog’s breeding life. We recommend seeing your bitch within 5-7 days from the START of her cycle so as to examine her and acquire baseline information.

TYPES OF BREEDING

Kennel Care can assist with live cover, artificial insemination and surgical implant with fresh, chilled or frozen semen.

  • Vaginal insemination is most similar to live cover breeding. The vet places the sperm in the vaginal vault on the cervix rim.
  • In a surgical implant, the dog is placed under general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the abdominal wall, the uterine horns are elevated and the semen is injected directly into the horns. Patients recover quickly and seldom experience complications, but do need to be kept quiet for 10-14 days.

The method of insemination will depend on several factors, including but not limited to the type and quality of the semen used, the age and reproductive history of the bitch and risk factors for the bitch.

PREGNANCY AND ULTRASOUND

When Kennel Care is involved in impregnating your bitch, we will have you schedule an appointment to check for pregnancy and give you an approximate whelping date. WE RECOMMEND AN ULTRASOUND BETWEEN 28-30 DAYS FROM THE BITCH’S FIRST BREEDING. Ultrasound allows the doctor to assess the well being and stability of the pregnancy by visualizing puppy heart rates, placenta health, developmental stage and approximate puppy count. Oftentimes, if we detect a problem early in the pregnancy we can take measures to sustain a pregnancy to term.

If radiographs are requested, we prefer doing them no more than 1 week from the whelp date to better see the puppy skeletons. We also provide elective scheduled C-sections when indicated for specific breeds or for bitches with a history of whelping problems.

WHELPING

The signs of imminent whelping occur 12-24 hours before labor starts.

  • Drop in bitch’s temperature. The owner takes the rectal temperature of the bitch every 12 hours starting 5-7 days prior to her whelp date. The temperature will drop to 97-98°F about 8-24 hours prior to delivery.
  • Loose stools, vomiting
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Nesting, digging
  • General restlessness
  • Increased mucoid vaginal discharge
  • Milk in glands

WHEN TO CONTACT YOUR VETERINARIAN AT SIGNS OF A PROBLEM DURING WHELP

  • You think the bitch is OVERDUE and nothing is happening
    • 63 days from ovulation ( NOT from breeding)
    • 24 hours since dropped rectal temperature ( 97-98 degrees F)
  • Bitch has been restless, nesting or digging longer than 12 hours with no other signs of labor
  • Water breaks and no sign of puppies or labor within 2 hours
  • Dam is pushing hard for 30 minutes and no puppy is seen or palpated in the canal or puppy is not progressing through the canal.
  • Longer than 60-90 minutes between puppies
  • She stops labor and you know there are more puppies (based on ultrasound or X-rays)
  • Vaginal discharge is:
    • GREEN indicating placental separation
    • Bright RED indicating hemorrhage
    • BROWN and malodorous – possible infection
  • Something just doesn’t seem right

Often the start of the whelping process will be indicated by a clear fluid discharge. The bitch will begin pushing as a puppy enters the birth canal and the intervals between contractions will lessen as the strength of the contractions increase. Keep people and other pets away from the laboring bitch.

Puppies are born with a placental sac around them. The mother usually breaks the sac and cleans the pup to stimulate breathing. A first-time bitch may require your help. Break the sac and remove all membranes from the nose of the pup. Suction out the nose and mouth with a pediatric nasal bulb syringe and rub the puppy vigorously with a warm towel. This stimulates breathing. You can also pinch the nape of the neck to help it take a deep breath. Do not swing the puppy; that action can cause a shaken baby syndrome effect.

Once the neonate is breathing well, attend to the umbilical cord if the mother has not. Using dental floss, tie the cord off ¾” from the body and again 1” from the body. Snip between the two ties with iodine-dipped scissors. Dip the remaining cord of the pup in iodine also. It is important to bonding to let the bitch lick her pups. Put any straggling puppies on a teat. The first nursing provides colostrum for antibody protection and stimulates more uterine contractions to assist with continuing labor.

Be certain all puppies have been born when the bitch appears to be done. If you are unsure bring her in for an X-ray to confirm.

NEONATAL CARE

Successful conception, gestation and whelping are over! Neonatal puppies are vulnerable during their first 3 weeks of life. Kennel Care staff can counsel breeders on proper nutritional requirements of the nursing bitch, monitoring for the prevention or treatment of mastitis, treating for intestinal parasites and the methods of optimal weaning. We can help with those puppies that exhibit the “failure to survive” behavior. Your goal, of course, is 100% survival of healthy puppies through weaning and beyond.

If you are considering using our reproductive services, we encourage you to complete this Breeding Questionnaire and bring it with you to your dog's first appointment.

If you need more information on our reproductive services, please contact us.