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When you are breeding your dog, you spend a lot of time making sure she is in the best of health, and choosing the right stud dog for her. After a successful mating, you should be able to relax and enjoy her pregnancy, shouldn’t you? That’s not necessarily the case, and there are several things that can go wrong during the 63 day gestation period.
1. False Pregnancy. Some dogs show all the signs of being pregnant, but they are actually not carrying a litter. They show nesting behavior, try to mother soft toys and they may even start to produce milk.
This is a normal phenomenon in dogs, because their hormones do exactly the same thing whether or not they are actually pregnant. There isn’t anything you can do about it, except to wait until her next heat period and try again.
2. Death of the puppies. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, dead pups can be resorbed, they can be aborted or they can stay in the uterus. When pups are resorbed, the mom’s body absorbs all fetal material and she is no longer pregnant.
With abortion, pups are born prematurely with no chance of survival.
Pups that die in the uterus and are retained can become mummified, or can cause an infection in the uterus, which can be potentially fatal for the bitch.
Pups can die because of infection, hormonal problems, and trauma to the mom’s abdomen or even the use of drugs during pregnancy.
This is a devastating event for any breeder, but it’s important to work out the reason for the abortion to avoid it happening again when you next breed your bitch. This can involve sending aborted pups to a laboratory for testing, and performing blood tests on the mom.
3. Difficult birth. Some dogs have a perfectly healthy pregnancy but have complications during the delivery. Your bitch may need veterinary assistance to give birth to her pups. Cesarean sections can be lifesaving for both mom and babies if a normal delivery isn’t possible.
In Summary – If you have any concerns about your pregnant bitch’s health, or that of her pups, see your veterinarian sooner rather than later. Don’t take the chance of losing the litter you have worked so hard to produce.
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