Health and Medical March 19, 2016
The instinct of procreation, as with all living creatures, is well developed in dogs. Every dog owner, especially those who have females, must be familiar with the main points of the breeding process. Lack of such knowledge could lead to unpleasant consequences (infertility, adverse changes in the breed various diseases and so on..).
Dogs develop sexual activity 7-8 months after birth and it continues with some exceptions up to 10 years of age, but sexual maturity. i. e. the right time for first generation occurs after two years of age.
Females come into season usually twice a year. Spring and autumn. Estrus lasts from one to two weeks. During this period external sexual organs swell and currents appear. At first they are slimy, bloody, gradually pass into the red by the end of estrus become transparent and decline. At the beginning of the period the female animal is restless and unnaturally playful. This is the so-called period of sexual excitement. The female allowes to be uplifted by the male during sexual arousal. It occurs at the 4-5th day from the start of estrus, and sometimes between 10-12 days.
How to diagnose pregnancy?
Palpation (method of examination with hands) of the abdomen between the 20th - 30th day after the first fertilization is an easy and affordable method. But not always successful, if the bitch is nervous or are overweight. Ultrasonographic evaluation is most easily and accurately between 21-35 days of the fertilization. X-ray is also a good diagnostic method. Performed around the 40th day of pregnancy, when elements of the skeleton are already formed. It is usually used to determine the number of fruits and their size.
How to care for a pregnant dog?
It is desirable to vaccinate your beloved dog against rabies. In general, vaccination is not recommended during pregnancy. Treatment for internal parasites is also important. During pregnancy you can use anti preparations and your veterinarian will determine which ones. If a fecal sample proved that the pregnant bitch has intestinal parasites, you should use preparations, namely to protect the fruits from infection. In all cases, after birth it is good to investigate the feces.
Parasite control for external parasites is also important and can continue during pregnancy by appropriate means. To avoid organophosphorus and carbamate compounds.
If the bitch must be cured from a disease during pregnancy, the veterinarian will decide which agents to use, but you must inform them about the likelihood that your pet is pregnant.
Nutrition during pregnancy.
The diet of the dog in the first 4 weeks does not have to change - quality granulated food in a quantity corresponding to breed and activity is sufficient. The increase of the amount can start at the 5th - 6th week - initially with 20-25% to reach 50% in the 8th and 9th week and the first week after giving birth. After the first four weeks you should give food formulated specifically for pregnant and lactating bitches. It has a high content of protein, energy and minerals.
Most owners are eager to give calcium and vitamin D, but they are not always necessary and may even be harmful. In the second half of pregnancy and during lactation the need for minerals is indeed increased, but they are covered by an increased amount of food (especially when it's of good quality). An excess of calcium, particularly at the end of pregnancy leads to a predisposition to a small swelling and scrolling of the stomach, prevents the absorption of zinc, manganese, and other essential minerals and may predispose to the female difficult childbirth.
In the last weeks of pregnancy the female must be fed more often and in smaller portions as the capacity of the stomach is reduced due to compression of the pregnant uterus. Do not let overfeeding and obesity - it usually leads to difficult birth.
After birth, the second and third week of lactation are associated with the highest stress for female dogs. Requirements to the calorific value of food are double compared to the period before pregnancy. During the fourth week of lactation quantity and calorific value of food is reduced. Some bitches lose significant weight, while caring a large number of puppies, because they rarely have the opportunity to eat quietly.
Activity during pregnancy
Daily walks are a must. Dogs used to run along with their owners may continue to do so during the first 4-6 weeks of pregnancy. The master should be careful not overworking the animals, especially in late pregnancy.
Usually the birth begins at night and goes smoothly. Provide peace to the animal! Worried, scared or nervous females can disrupt the births! Normally bitches have no appetite soon after birth. Provide continuous access to water and food and maximum tranquility.
This is a normal, instinctive process. Often, if the owners are too nervous and worried, that anxiety is transmitted to the animal and prevents the normal process. If the dog decides to move, hide, or does not like the chosen location, do not disturb it, but discreetly watch if everything is all right.