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Breeding

  • A caesarean section is a major surgery usually performed in an emergency to help deliver puppies. As with any anesthesia, the dog may be sleepy but should be able to eat a high quality diet and nurse puppies within a few hours. The dog should be monitored for fever, abnormal vulvar discharge, and abnormalities at her incision. It is important to ensure that puppies are able to nurse well. If not, or if the dog can not produce enough milk, then commercial milk replacer is recommended. Colostrum ingestion is important for immune protection. If puppies are not nursing within the first 24 hours, then they will need additional veterinary care. Ambient temperature is important in the first 2-4 weeks after birth as puppies cannot regulate their temperature well.

  • Chronic egg-laying occurs when a female bird lays one egg after another or lays repeated clutches of eggs. Chronic egg-laying may lead to malnutrition and egg binding. There are both behavioral and medical interventions to stop chronic egg-laying.

  • This handout discusses the growing trend for designer dog breeds – the crossing of pure dog breeds to create dogs that combine “the best of both worlds.” The pros and cons of this practice are highlighted, along with some of the more common designer breeds currently available.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • Egg binding is not uncommon in birds and may be resolved easily if treated early. Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body. If a prolonged period has elapsed since the bird began attempting to lay the egg, she may become critically ill. Birds with egg binding may or may not have passed an egg more than 2 days ago, are usually weak, not perching, often sitting low on the perch or on the bottom of the cage, and are straining as if trying to defecate or to lay an egg. Treatment varies depending upon how sick the bird is, as well as the location of the egg and the length of time the bird has been egg bound. Critically ill birds are first treated supportively for shock, and then attempts are made to extract the egg. If your veterinarian cannot see the egg through the vent, surgery under general anesthetic may be necessary to remove the egg from the abdomen. A hysterectomy (removal of the oviduct and uterus) is typically the last choice therapy, when medical and egg extraction through the vent are not possible.

  • The estrous cycle in cats occurs seasonally and is variable with the amount of daylight. Most cats become very affectionate, even demanding when in heat. They persistently rub against their owners (or objects such as furniture) constantly wanting attention and they become very vocal. Tomcats that have never been seen before in your yard or neighborhood will appear and may spray urine on the house to mark the territory or may even attempt to enter the house to mate with the female. To avoid the noise of a heat cycle, unwanted tomcat visitors, and prevent unwanted pregnancies, it is best to have your cat spayed.

  • The estrous cycle in dogs on average happens twice a year once a dog reaches sexual maturity. On average a dog will be in heat for 1½ to 2 weeks but this can be shorter or longer. In many cases, a bloody vaginal discharge is the first sign that a pet owner will notice when their dog comes into heat. In some cases, the discharge will not be apparent until several days after heat has begun. There are no valid reasons for letting a dog have a litter of puppies before being spayed. If you want to keep your dog from having any accidental pregnancies, it is best to have her spayed.

  • On average, dogs go into heat about twice a year or every six months, although it varies from dog to dog. The most obvious sign of heat in dogs is vaginal bleeding. The time of mating is extremely critical and it is highly recommended that you have your female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. This will improve your chance of success. If mismating occurs with your dog, contact your veterinarian to discuss options. Before breeding your dog, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the female is healthy and also to discuss the risks.

  • False pregnancy refers to a display of maternal behaviors combined with the physical signs of pregnancy following estrus in unspayed female dogs that are not actually pregnant. Signs include mammary gland enlargement with or without the production of milk, lethargy, periodic vomiting, and fluid retention. Mild cases typically are not treated; however, if your dog appears physically ill or the behavioral changes are severe enough to cause concern, treatment may include tranquilization and treatment with diuretics. If your dog will not be used for breeding, ovariohysterectomy is recommended.

  • This handout discusses the need for ensuring your pregnant cat is receiving adequate nutrition to make sure both she and her kittens thrive during this time of increased demands on her body. Feeding and diet suggestions are provided.