Maximizing Your Bitch’s Fertility
1. Have your bitch in top physical condition.
a. Your bitch should have a recent normal physical exam, and correct any correctable abnormalities prior to breeding.
b. Complete all indicated health screens, such as OFA, CERF, and brucellosis.
c. Have current vaccines and be parasite-free (internal and external)
d. Be in good body condition, neither under or overweight.
e. Be on an excellent quality diet.
2. Be in communication with the owner of a compatible, healthy, quality male dog who will be available, either locally, with travel arrangements for one (or both) of the animals themselves in mind, with a fresh chilled semen arrangement made, or frozen semen available.
3. Arrange to have quantitative progesterone levels run, preferably at Marshfield Laboratory. This usually requires an outside laboratory. there are no in-office test kits available at this time with the accuracy we are seeking. Your veterinarian can collect the blood and submit it for you, faxing us the results or we can collect and run the sample here.
4. Contact our office as soon as your bitch comes into heat to arrange an appointment if we are going to assist with timing your bitch and coordinating the breeding. 5. If you are doing a natural breeding or a remote breeding, contact our office upon breeding your bitch if you are planning for us to assist you in whelping your bitch.
6. Arrange for an abdominal ultrasound to be done after 24 days of gestation OR for an abdominal x-ray to be done between day 55 and day 61.
This aids in:
a. Early assessment of pregnancy to allow for appropriate nutrition and arranging for whelping assistance (equipment, time off of work, friends, veterinary intervention, WhelpWise).
b. Assessing number and size of puppies, helping to predict the need for C-section intervention c. Accurate assessment of whelping progress and completion.
7. Collect all whelping supplies in 1 convenient location, preferably in a portable container should it be necessary to move the whelping area or bitch. Learn to use the supplies such as the DeeLee mucus trap and feeding tube.
8. Contact our pet hospital or leave a message upon the initiation of labor. Arrange for a C-section plan in advance.
9. Arrange for a post-partum examination of the bitch (to be sure she has delivered all the pups) and a health examination of the puppies within 12 hours of whelping.
10. Arrange for dewclaw removal and tail-docking in breeds indicated.
Thanks to Dr. Marty Greer for sharing this valuable content from her Breeder’s Library
Her book “Canine Reproduction & Neonatology” is invaluable to breeders and is available on Amazon.