Breeding Precautions

No bitch should be bred from before she has finished growing, never before her second heat, and better at her third. Very few breeders will agree with the last statement, mainly because it does not fit in with the general economics of kennel management.
A good many bitches are kept intact until after this age so that they may be shown, and they are often bred from quite successfully, later even than the third season.
Prior to the time when she is expected to come into season the bitch needs regular exercise and suitable nourishment. She should remain lean and active rather than become fat and lethargic.
A bitch should be wormed a few weeks before she is due in season, and following this she should be isolated as far as possible to avoid reinfestation from worm eggs passed out in the droppings of other dogs or puppies. The dosing should be repeated between the 5th and 6th weeks following the mating. The choice of the anthelmintic is important. Your veterinary surgeon will supply a safe and effective vermicide that will not cause purging or bowel irritation. A few of the worming medicines in common use may be too drastic for use during pregnancy.
Vaccination is a matter that needs consideration in the bitch of, let us say, two or three years of age, from whom it is intended to breed, because a bitch that has been immunised as a puppy will, in two or three years, have lost her immunity unless she has been the round of shows or mixed freely with other dogs outside the kennels. But it is not worth the risk just keep the annual vaccines up to date. For the bitch and the potential puppies.
A booster dose should be given ideally at least a month before the expected time of mating.
Vaccination should not be carried out after mating, or certainly not before the 40th day of pregnancy. If for any reason it becomes absolutely necessary to vaccinate the bitch after the 40th day or at any time after this, and before the birth of her puppies, it is essential the puppies should be vaccinated with a modified live virus at the 8th week, and again at their 10th week, with an annual booster after that. The reason is that when the bitch is vaccinated during pregnancy her milk will contain antibodies that may nullify any living vaccine that can safely be injected into them. The result may then well be that the puppies will be entirely dependent upon the original antibodies in the milk, and when these diminish and disappear from the puppies’ systems they will be wide open to infection. This is why the second injection at ten weeks and the booster annually become so imperative.
If leptospiral or virus hepatitis should appear in the kennel during the period of pregnancy, the bitch should be injected against these two diseases with a killed vaccine, not with a living one. The veterinary surgeon will, of course, be quite aware of this.
Radiography, in an attempt to determine the existence or otherwise of pregnancy, may be helpful to prepare you for the amount of puppies expected and the size of the puppy might help you decide it a caesarean. Earlier diagnoses can be done with ultrasound but please be aware that it is not always possible to give you the amount of puppies.
One of the tools that is getting used more often is progesterone levels.
1. To narrow down your best mating date.
2. To get your puppy number up to as high as possible
3. To know if your bitches due day is true ( if you are planning a C section)
4. To make sure abortion is not due to low progesterone.
For more information http://familypetvet.com.au/progesterone-test/

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