If you read last week’s post you’ve probably already spayed your pet, or you are on the way to the vet right now (stop reading and driving), or you have decided you want to have puppies. Hopefully, you really just want your dog to have puppies. If that’s the case, you already know some of the pros of having a litter (cuteness, puppy breath, etc.) So let’s take just a second and make sure we have considered all of the possible drawbacks.
Let’s take this form the top. The actual act of breeding a female dog can be expensive and risky. If the plan is to simply let the two dogs hang out together while the female is in heat that is one thing. But let’s say you want to breed your English Bulldog. In this case, they are gonna need some help. We have to determine when the female has ovulated, and the egg has matured and is ready for fertilization. This requires a series of hormone tests and cytologies. If we breed too early or too late it can affect the success and the size of the litter. Each of these trips costs about 100 dollars and depending on the results may need to be repeated four or five times to accurately time the breeding. Just gonna throw the two dogs together? Have they both been tested for brucellosis, are they both up to date on vaccines, is the female receptive, or are you going to end up having an emergency vet visit for both dogs to receive sutures?
Breeding an older dog increases the risk of a pyometra. Instead of puppies you get a big infectious bag of puss, and your pet will need an emergency surgery in many cases, just to survive.
Now let’s assume all of the above went perfectly smooth and as planned. You know, or should know, your dog will be having puppies in 60 +/- days. You expect that she will go into labor around 5:00PM when you get off of work on a Friday (Do you know what signs to look for?). Instead it is 3:00AM on a Tuesday and you have to be at work in 4 hours. On top of this they have been in labor for 5 hours and nothing, or one was delivered but now it has been several hours since the last. Do you know how many to expect? Is she done? How long do you need to wait before you frantically try to find someone to answer these questions? If you wait until the next morning will the puppies still be alive? If a puppy becomes breached, or stuck, what should you do? These are all real scenarios that occur, as often as not, when trying to breed dogs, especially for the first, and what you may have planned to be the only time. If you have to be seen for an emergency, are you prepared for the cost of x-rays, injections to increase or strengthen contractions, or even a c-section?
You have done all of your homework and were completely prepared for any of the above possible complications and your pet delivered 8 healthy Malti-Chi-Spaniels. Now you have a swimming pool full of feces and urine on your back porch. These are your new children for the next 8 weeks. You get to check on them, obsessively, every day and night including lunch breaks. You make sure mom doesn’t lay on them and you bottle feed the one she neglects 5 times a day. You postpone any trips to leave town and only go to the grocery store if absolutely necessary. Congratulations on making it to the toddler stage.
Raising puppies can be a lot of fun, but is always time consuming and rarely without cost. Breeding dogs often goes smoothly when proper preparations are taken, but has the potential to become a nightmare. Always know what you are getting into before you consider breeding a pet. Her life depends on it.
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Waycross, GA 31501
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