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Sandragon

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I thought if we started a thread on all the links and things for whelping and when someone has a problem it would be easier to find and aslo when someone had a problem they could go here and not have to wait for someone to respond..

Here are a few I have. If everyone wants to add to it it will be a great sorce to have on the board.


 
This is where you can get a dura welp box
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Thanks Lori This thread will be very useful and helpful.

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Hi Lori

Great thread - I would suggest however that you substitute another article for the one you have on pyo - I think it incorrectly implies that surgery is the only choice -

Some possible alternative articles:

http://www.angelfire.com/biz4/MastiffBreeder/pyo.html

http://vetsurgerycentral.com/pyometra.htm

http://www.vin.com/proceedings/Proceedings.plx?CID=WSAVA2002&PID=2686


Erika M.


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Sandragon

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Everyone can post the links that they feel are useful to someone new, or having a problem. I know when someone has a problem it seems like a couple hours before someone responds. This way it here for everyone and it may help save some ones puppies..

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Sandragon

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Reply with quote  #5 
another good site with tons of info!

Pet Health Articles | Dog Diet, Nutrition, Feed Programs | GREATDANELADY.COM

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Reply with quote  #6 
Remember coming into this that everyone has an opinion and what works for one person may not work for someone else.  This is a topic that many breeders get confused with because everyone has had things that have scared the crap out of them and it's an easy way to get scared as I am about breeding.  Things do happen!  Things that we can change with knowledge and things that we can't unfortunately.  We've all had heartache and pain but also pure happiness when we've watched our babies come into the world and turn into the amazing creatures they become.
I think that this will be a very knowledgeable thread with many idea's and opinions.  There are so many knowledgeable breeders that have experienced so many things over the years and if I get a moment to breath I look forward to checking everything out.  Newbie's take it all in " I'm loving it "
I have been in the breed for 12 years and I never get tired of learning.
AW SOME IDEA LORIE
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I am posting this information in several places because I don't want anyone to miss it. These baby bottles are so easy for the puppies to nurse on - NO ASPIRATING!! No milk coming out the nose, hardly any burps at all.. they are just wonderful. Be sure to get the slo-flo nipples...









  


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Linda Greeson Rice
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The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".

bandamastiffs

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BOTTLE/TUBE FEEDING PUPPIES

 

 

          Having gone through two bitches now, who were poor, (and even non-existent), milk producers, I have learned a lot about bottle and tube feeding puppies.

 

          Of course, the bitch’s milk is best for her puppies. Let Mom eat a couple of placentas, in order to get the hormones needed for good milk production. (Try this before any shots of oxytocin, particularly if your girl has had a section – the uterine contractions are painful!) Puppies and kittens, unlike some other mammals, do not get their immunities exclusively from the colostrum – that thick creamy looking milk they have in the first couple of days. Immunities are also passed through the placenta, while they are in utero. Another way in which to help pass on immunities, is to take blood from the bitch, spin it down to just the serum and inject that right into the remaining umbilical cord on the puppy.

 

          With all babies, they do tend to lose a bit of weight in the first couple of days, as they adapt to this new world they are in, and while Mom’s milk comes in. Keep them on her 24/7, while under close supervision. You don’t want Mom to accidentally squash anyone. Within a day or two they should start to gain again. If Mom’s milk is still not coming in, there are homeopathic and naturopathic remedies to help.

 

          So, next, if there is still no milk, you’ll have to decide how you are going to deal with the situation. Bottle or tube feed? Bottle feeding is time consuming, but many people are uncomfortable with tube feeding. If it is large litter, you may not have a choice!

 

          If you decide to go with tube feeding, you may need to feed less and more often – you don’t want to overfeed, as they can vomit and aspirate – which can then cause pneumonia. Go to your Vet and have them show you how to do it properly. There is also a video on YouTube which shows you how to tube feed correctly. 

 

          Some puppies do not take to bottle feeding very well, and it is a struggle at every feed. There is also the danger of puppies aspirating when you bottle feed as well, so neither way is totally without its hazards. As for the amount to feed a puppy in a day, you can go to http://www.talktothevet.com/ARTICLES/DOGS/Pfeedorphanpups.HTM 

 

         And finally, what to feed a puppy? I have tried several homemade recipes over the years, and been advised to use goat’s milk. There are a couple of things you need to know before you proceed!

 

1)    A bitch’s milk contains 8.3% fat. A goat’s milk contains 3.5% fat. A sheep is 5.3% fat. So, if you are going to go with a more natural type of milk for your puppies, sheep is the best way to go. Esbilac has 6% fat.

2)    Next problem is the missing ingredients in various supplements. Taurine is an amino acid which is essential for the development of eyes, heart and brain. You do need to add it to either sheep or goat’s milk. And, for whatever reason, many of the dog food manufacturers recognize the importance of Taurine and add it to their products, but the makers of dog milk replacement formulas have yet to do so!?!?!? So again, you need to add it to any formula that you may use.

 

Go to http://animsci.agrenv.mcgill.ca/courses/450/topics/2.html

 

          Yours,

Bev Molloy,

Banda Mastiffs (Perm. Reg.)

Naturally Raised

 


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LindaGreesonRice

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Reply with quote  #9 
Here is a link to the gal I get my ID bands from. They are soooo nice!

http://www.whelpingidbands.com/



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Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
Harmony

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Reply with quote  #10 
Those i.d. bands are awesome.

Linda I have a question about the bottle recommendation you posted above.  Does the particular flow on those bottles work from 0-3 weeks, if that time period of bottle feed is necessary, or do you need to go up to an easier flow as they get older?


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LindaGreesonRice

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Reply with quote  #11 

I used the slo flow 0-3 months nipples the whole time. Never had even one puppy ever have a milky nose.


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Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
Harmony

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Reply with quote  #12 


Thanks Linda!


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Sandragon

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These bottle are the best. You dont need to change the flow size. I have even used these bottles with baby wildlife. Pups and other babies do not aspirate with these bottles. They are the only ones I have found that work with animals. I even gave one to Maria for her baby lamb she was having problems feeding. The lamb loved it and drank her milk when she was fighting the other bottles.


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Harmony

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Reply with quote  #14 
This is a great thread and I have admittedly not read over here in awhile until recently and really appreciate what is shared here.

With Maggie's and Dreamer's litters I was poking holes in nipples with hot needles, cross clipping with small nail clippers, etc.  These nipples and bottles will be on hand for next time!

Thank you. 


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bump for Linda to repin


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LindaGreesonRice

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Breeding procedure –

 

First – make sure the semen used is good. If using fresh semen, have the male collected just prior to the breeding to make sure he is producing good semen.. have a vet look at the semen under a microscope to make sure all the swimmers are going in the right direction – also make sure the semen LASTS at least a day when extended and fed. Often semen looks great on collection and dies too fast to do any good. If fresh semen is collected it should be spun down and extended using a good feeding medium. This allows the semen to last 2-3 days instead of  24 hours inside the bitch.

 

 

1 - As soon as the bitch comes into heat we put her on Baytril

 

2 - Do a progesterone test at 5-6 days and do a thyroid at the same time

 

3 - If the thyroid is below 2.5 we supplement to bump it up to 2.5 - 4.5

 

4 - Continue progesterone testing as necessary to find out when the level goes above 5.0

 

5 - Breed 72 hours after the level goes above 5.0 (level should be between 15 and 20) via surgical implant for frozen semen .  If  using frozen semen, do additional progesterone testing to get target date exact.  (breed 48 hours after the 5.0 surge if doing a natural or AI, or a surgical implant using fresh or fresh chilled semen))

 

Give hormone shot at the same time as the implant to help release more eggs. 

 

6 - Keep bitch on Baytril for 10 days after implant, then switch to Clavamox until the 28 day exam – using the Clavamox only if you have trouble with absorption in the past.

 

7 - At 28 days after implant, check for pregnancy. (Use manual palpation and/or blood test - No ultrasound) If pregnant, redo thyroid to make sure the level has not dropped (it often does) and supplement accordingly. Schedule C-Section. Keep on  Clavamox, if there have been absorption issues in the past, for the whole pregnancy, including two weeks after the C section.

 

Results - very high pregnancy rate, healthy puppies, no Mastitis.


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Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
Sandragon

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Breeding the Difficult Mastiff
By Robin M. Smith, DVM

Over the years, I have worked with a lot of breeders and their mastiffs. While having reproductive problems is not the norm, it does occur and can cause much frustration to all those involved. And over the years I have developed a diagnostic routine to help determine if there truly is a problem. I hope to be able to help you and your veterinarians by discussing how I approach a Mastiff that is having difficulty being bred.

I know a lot of you are not breeders but hope that you will read this anyway because it will discuss some general health problems of the Mastiff breed that concerns all of us. I in no way want to tell anyone how to run their breeding programs, as I know there are many of you that are more knowledgeable than I when it comes to breeding the Mastiff. I just hope to be able to give you some guidelines to follow if you do encounter a problem in your kennel.

There is a lot of discussion about whether we should even be interfering with the breeding of our dogs. Some say that we should not be artificially inseminating and nature should take its course. My opinion is that with the increasing testing we are doing to eliminate the problems in our breed, i.e. hip and elbow dysplasia, and PRA to name a few, we are decreasing our available gene pool. Therefore, I believe to continue to produce good animals, we need to be able to breed dogs that are geographically distant and this requires artificial means. I am not here to debate this issue as there are always differences of opinion.

Why do we have any problems at all in reproduction? One reason is that the canine of all domestic species has a reproductive cycle that is very difficult to control and it is highly variable. The canine reproductive cycle has the largest deviation of normal values in our domestic species. Another reason is that veterinarians tend not to see a lot of dogs with reproductive problems. By the time help is sought, it is usually because the dog is a champion or the last of the line and the people are desperate. Or breeders can be reluctant to seek help for fear that others will look at their problems and think that there is a genetic or infectious problem in that kennel. Also breeders typically select for looks and performance, not fertility. So, we as veterinarians working in the reproductive field are limited as to what we see.

Natural breeding, I believe is the most optimal way to have success. But it is not always the most feasible. Many of you already do fresh artificial inseminations (AI) and some of you do chilled and even frozen AI. I will briefly talk about these but when I am concerned with getting a difficult bitch pregnant, I find my most reliable method is to do a surgical implant of fresh or chilled semen and if necessary, then frozen.

Breeding by surgical implantation is the primary topic of this article. There are several reasons I choose surgical implantation. One is that in human medicine, it has been found that in infertile women, there can be a mucus plug on the cervix that has spermicidal qualities. This has been documented in one veterinary paper. Also, due to the inherent bacteria that inhabit the vagina, there is always an ongoing inflammatory response to some degree in the bitch. With inflammatory responses, we have certain inflammatory mediators that are released and it is a know fact that some of these mediators are toxic to sperm. Also, I have found that when there is a poorer quality sperm count, surgical implantation is the best choice.

When a bitch is presented to me for infertility, I first get a thorough history of that bitch and others in the kennel and of the stud dog. The number one cause for infertility in my opinion is mismanagement of the bitch. Not knowing exactly when to breed. Or not having good sperm. I make sure that the stud's sperm has been checked and/or he is proven. Typically, this is an area that is not checked as often as it should be. Males tend to have a high incidence of prostatitis which can lower sperm counts. I suggest to all breeders to have their males semen and/or urine cultured routinely (every 6-12 months) to insure a good sperm count. With the bitch, I want to know how often she comes into heat, how long she stays in heat, her breeding history and whether she has every whelped a litter.

The next process is to do a thorough physical examination. I know that by the time I see a problem bitch, it has been examined by other veterinarians and perhaps has had an array of tests. But, I want to make sure nothing has been overlooked and I start at zero. Yes, it can be expensive, but the cost of not producing can also be expensive. Again, let me state that this whole process may not be necessary for every bitch, but when it is the bitches last chance or because of age or something else, I feel that the total workup is necessary. I examine the bitch from head to toe. I inspect the vulva and vagina for any abnormalities. I can pick up some underlying disease processes just from the physical exam which may lead to why there is a fertility problem.

I start with a complete blood count, chemistry profile and electrolytes. I pay special attention to the white cell count, which when elevated can indicate bacterial infection or if low can indicate a viral infection. I make sure there is no significant anemia. I say significant, because I have found that the mastiffs' red blood cell count is normally on the low side to even being slightly anemic by the standards. I have found this to be true in the majority of the mastiffs I have checked and now believe this to be a normal deviation. The anemia should not be pronounced or I would tend to think there is a problem. The chemistry evaluates the liver, kidneys, pancreas and the general health of the animal as do the electrolytes. There are many disease processes that can be recognized by their distinctive bloodwork changes. I also do a heartworm test and a fecal at this time. A urinalysis is warranted to again measure kidney function and to see if there is an underlying bladder infection.

I also do a thyroid test. I submit it to Michigan State University as I believe this is one of the best laboratories I have worked with and they are the official lab for the certification process. I know there are many theories about the thyroid and reproduction. I will give you my opinion and how I treat thyroid testing and supplementation.

The only thyroid hormones I am interested in are the Total T4, Free T4 (by dialysis) and the autoantibodies and the TSH. The autoantibodies when elevated over the normal means that the thyroid has an autoimmune process occuring that is destroying the tissue and this is inheritable and therefore the bitch or dog should not be used in a breeding program. If those are normal, I look at the other tests. I have done enough testing on mastiffs prior to, during and after pregnancy to come to some conclusions regarding the Mastiff and the thyroid. I have found that during pregnancy, a Mastiff that tested in the normal to low normal range, will have a significant drop in the thyroid, presumably due to the increased metabolic load of pregnancy. It has also been demonstrated in pregnant women and it has been documented that this is a cause of early abortion and resorption in women. I believe it plays an important part in our mastiffs also. If the Mastiff is below the 50% normal level, I supplement with thyroid even if it is just for the duration of the pregnancy. I give .1 mg/10 lbs. and divide the dose daily. This supplementation needs to begin at least 30 days prior to breeding. One must use the brand name Soloxine, and not the generics. I find the generics are not reliable. I know there are some good ones out there, but there are also bad ones.

Because I do supplement during pregnancy with thyroid hormone, one of the important tests I do in my workup is a cardiac exam. I auscultate the heart and if I feel it is necessary, I perform an EKG or a cardiac ultrasound. Cardiomyopathy can be a problem in our breed and thyroid supplementation can worsen this condition if it is present.

I will ultrasound the uterus and the ovaries. I am looking for an enlarged uterus or one with fluid in it or perhaps a thickened uterine wall which would all indicate some pathology taking place. I try to see the ovaries and most of the time unless they are enlarged or have follicles on them, they cannot be easily found by ultrasound. One can definitely see an ovarian tumor. While I am ultrasounding the reproductive tract, I will take a look at the liver, spleen, kidneys and the abdominal cavity in general.

Another topic of controversy is culturing the vagina and vaginal vault. I do cultures and I feel they are very important. There are normal bacteria in the vagina. But when that growth is heavy or there are bacterial organisms there that should not be there, then fertility can be affected. When culturing the vagina, one must use a long guarded cotton swab to obtain a culture from high up in the vagina and not one of the lower vagina. I utilize equine culture tubes as they work well. I will send the culture to the laboratory and when the results come back I will place the bitch on appropriate antibiotics. The most common antibiotics I use are Cephalexin at 10 mg/lb and Baytril. Baytril is a great antibiotic but expensive and to treat a Pseudomonas infection, one must use 3-5 times the bottle dose. I know many veterinarians utilize the sulfa drugs, like Tribrissen and while they are good antibiotics, they can decrease the thyroid hormones resulting in even lower thyroid levels. So, I do not use them. If the bitch has chronic vaginal infections or has a heavy growth of an organism, surgical implantation is the best route for insemination. I also make sure that I schedule a C-section so the puppies never have contact with the vagina.

If all the testing is done and all things are normal, the next step is timing the insemination. Because I do primarily surgical implantation, timing is extremely important because you only have one shot at it. I utilize progesterone and Leutinizing hormone test kits. Progesterone starts to rise indicating that the bitch is getting ready to ovulate. Once the progesterone rises above 2 ng/ml then the LH spikes indicating ovulation. Once you know the day of ovulation, the surgical implant is done on day 5 or 6. The tests are simple. Serum must be used. I start progesterone testing with the Status Pro ®(1) on day 3 or 4 of the cycle and I test daily until about day 7 where I start testing for the LH surge with the LH® kit. I have found that mastiffs have an extremely short ovulation time. Where most breeds will ovulate over a 24-30 hours time period, I find mastiffs to ovulate in sometimes less than a 12 hour interval. Because of the short ovulation time, it is difficult to see the color change on the LH test. There is a control line that is always pink and you are looking for the test line to become darker than the control to indicate ovulation. I have yet to see this happen. I find that the second line will get darker but not darker than the control and then all of a sudden, it will appear lighter. I extrapolate backwards to determine the ovulation time. That is why I do the LH test every 12 hours until I see this change. If you test daily or every other day as the kit suggests, you will miss the ovulation. I then do a progesterone test on day 4 after the day of presumed ovulation as a check. The progesterone should be rising. I then implant on day 5 after ovulation.

Many of you and the veterinarians you have, rely on vaginal smears to determine when to breed. I think that is satisfactory when you are doing natural breeding because the time window is longer. But the changes in the vaginal smears and the bitch "acting" like she is in heat, are the responses to the hormone estrogen. These occur several days prior to progesterone rising or when the LH peaks so if I have to get a more accurate timing, I make sure I test often.

Prior to breeding, I make sure the male has had a sperm culture and sperm check. Then on the day of implantation, I collect the semen and place it in a warmer. I put an IV catheter in the bitch and utilize the drug propofol for anesthesia. This is one of the safest anesthetics on the market for dogs. I will intubate and place the dog on isoforane gas anesthesia for the procedure. The abdomen is prepared and the surgery starts. Once the uterus is exteriorized, the make a small ½" incision in the body of the uterus. Then I collect the semen in a sterile manner with a small 5 " catheter and insert the catheter into the uterine body and inject the semen. The usual protocol calls for injecting the sperm with a needle into the uterus, but I find that I cannot tell if I am in the uterus or the wall of the uterus, so I open it up. Once placed, an assistant pinches the body of the uterus above where I made the incision to keep the sperm in the uterus while I suture the incision. Even though the bitch is in heat, there is minimal blood loss. I then inspect the ovaries and uterus and obtain biopsies of both for submission to the laboratory. I may also culture the uterus before I suture it closed. Then I close the abdomen and it is done.

I will ultrasound the bitch on day 21 and I will also start progesterone testing. There is a lot of literature in human medicine about progesterone levels dropping after day 30 and causing spontaneous abortion or resorption. There are only a couple of articles documenting this in veterinary medicine. I think it can be a problem. So, in the difficult to breed bitch, I will test progesterone weekly after day 21 and while it should gradually decrease until it gets to 2 ng/ml causing labor, it should not drop too low prior to the due date. If it drops to 5 ng/ml, I will use progesterone in oil to keep the progesterone up. Progesterone in oil will stay in the dogs body for 48 hours and can be redosed if needed. I continue to ultrasound often.

I schedule a C-section on day 62 post implantation. And Wallah!!!! It is done...

Again, this type of extensive workup and insemination isn't for everyone. I have had wonderful success utilizing this method in problem mastiffs. If and when you ever have a reproductive problem with your bitches or males, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would be happy to help if I can.

Robin M. Smith, DVM
Westminster Veterinary Emergency/Trauma Center
269 W. Main St., Westminster, MD 21557
Work 410-848-3363
(Fax) 410-848-4959
E-mail:
RocknRob56@aol.com

1. Status Pro and LH kits are tests manufactured and sold through Synbiotics®.

 


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Lorie
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Reply with quote  #18 

Preparing the Mastiff Bitch and Dog for Breeding
By Robin M. Smith, DVM

Many of us have our Mastiffs as our pets and are not interested in breeding. I do believe that is the majority of us. But for those of you who do breed (or who want to in the future), I think that there are some fundamental basics that need to be addressed. I think that most of you are familiar with most of the topics I am going to discuss and, as you know, I believe a strong relationship with your veterinarian is a must. So some of the topics I will address are not anything new to you. I get calls every day on the breeding management of the Mastiff, so I thought I would tell you how I approach a breeding problem.

Inappropriate management of the bitch used for breeding is the most common cause of infertility. There is an abundance of literature advising breeding on certain days ... or when the color of the vulvar discharge changes ... or there is perhaps a "new moon" in the sky. Although these recommendations may result in pregnancy for the average bitch, many normal bitches are poorly served by these guidelines.

I get many people who will tell me that if one must interfere in the breeding of the Mastiff, then that particular animal should not be bred -- the thought being that we are "creating" problems in the breed if we have to go to artificial means in order to produce a litter. I must disagree with this. As in humans, there are many reasons why a female may not become pregnant. I think that with good testing and trying to rid the breed of genetic defects as much as possible, we are limiting the animals that can be bred. So, why not do a little interference to try to improve the breed? Again, I am not here to argue, but to just give some advice on how to better manage your breeding Mastiffs.

A brief discussion of the canine estrous cycle is helpful in understanding the importance of management. Proestrus begins with vulvar swelling and a serious discharge. Male dogs are attracted to the bitch. This is a time of rising estrogen levels while progesterone stays low. This stage lasts about three to 17 days. When estrogen levels drop and progesterone levels rise, this signals the onset of estrus, or standing heat. The bitch flags, stands for the male and often seeks breeding. The average duration of estrus is nine days, with a range of three to 21 days. Diestrus begins with a continual rise in progesterone. Anestrus is the period of time between the end of diestrus and the beginning of the next proestrus -- the time of endometrial (lining of the uterus) repair. Many breeders believe a bitch should be bred on day nine and 11 of her cycle. Obviously, a bitch with a 14 day proestrus would be unlikely to conceive on day 11.

These hormonal changes can be monitored by the changing of the cellular structure in the vagina. For many years, vaginal cytology was the only way to determine where in the cycle a bitch was. In recent years, there has been the development of easy-to-use test kits that can measure the level of progesterone and LH (leutinizing hormone). When progesterone rises to a certain point, we know that ovulation has occurred; by measuring LH, we can determine the exact day of ovulation and can accurately determine when breeding should take place. This has been fantastic, especially with the increased use of chilled and frozen semen being sent across the country. We can pinpoint the exact day to breed. I have found that through the use of these tests, I rarely use vaginal cytology. I tried to correlate the vaginal cytology with these tests when I first began doing this testing and found that the vaginal cytology really was a very "crude" method to determine breeding, as it did not correspond regularly with the actual hormonal changes in many bitches, especially the hard-to-breed bitches. I start to take blood samples from bitches on about day three to five, and do the progesterone testing every day until I see a rise in progesterone. Then I start the LH testing, and do this testing twice a day until I get the LH surge.

There are a lot of inherent problems with this test if not done this way. For one, many bitches have a very short (less than 12 hour) LH surge. So if the LH testing is done just once a day, you may miss the positive result ... and thereby miss the actual day of ovulation. Using the test twice a day, I have never missed a day of ovulation. Also, the test says you will get one line darker than the other one on the day of LH surge. I have only seen this happen one time in all the tests I have done. Again, due to the short surge in some bitches, you can get a rise and fall of LH within a short amount of time, and while the second line will be seen on the test, you may never catch it being actually darker than the control line (you must also realize that I am usually dealing with bitches that have had trouble being bred previously and never follow the "book"). You must just continue testing and if the line disappears the next day, you know that the previous day was the LH surge. Then you also should check progesterone on day four to five post what you thought was LH surge to confirm that it was not a false surge. You should have a rise in progesterone. If not, then you had a false LH surge and must continue the daily or twice-daily testing. I know this sounds confusing and if anyone or your veterinarians need some help, please feel free to call me (my number is listed at the end of this article). After determining the day of ovulation, I then breed on days two, four and six post-surge. Or, if I am doing an implant, I do it on day five post LH surge.

Before breeding, though, I require all bitches to have a vaginal culture and sensitivity. This will let me know if there is any ongoing infection. There is going to be bacteria in this area just by the nature of the area, but there should not be any heavy growth of bacteria. I prefer to culture approximately two weeks before breeding is going to take place. This is usually just an educated guess as far as time. If you wait until the bitch is in season, you may not be able to breed, because certain antibiotics that may be needed may not allow the breeding to occur.

The way that I culture under ideal situations is to pass a cannula (small tube) up into the vaginal vault, then pass the sterile culture swab through it, so as not to get any of the bugs that are just lurking around the outside of the vulva. Some veterinarians are actually using an endoscope and getting up to the cervix, but I have not done this, and I think personally (even as a veterinarian) unless reasons dictate, the costs would probably be too much, as cultures are expensive already.

There have been studies (Am. J. Vet Res 1992, May), that suggest that culturing the vagina from bitches without signs of genital disease is of little value. In my opinion, I think it IS of value. We are finding more puppies that are born naturally dying as neonates due to strep and Pseudomonas infections (usually of the lungs) and then going septicemic. These are ones that are confirmed at necropsy. I think a lot of these infections are picked up by the puppies passing through the vaginal vault and picking up these organisms. So, I do suggest doing the culturing, and will continue to support this practice.

If you get a culture and it comes back with Pseudomonas, it usually is mixed with a strep or something else. A sensitivity is also given, which suggests which antibiotics will work. So far, Baytril, gentocin, amikacin and the human drug, ciprofloxin, are able to get this bug. Baytril needs to be used at three times the bottle dose in order to kill Pseudomonas. It is also very expensive for the Mastiff dose. So I use gentocin (which is an injectable) and penicillin for five days.

Now, gentocin is a very potent drug and has toxicities. It can cause kidney damage. The kidney and liver function should ALWAYS be checked prior to using the drug. It is also safer to use the drug at six mg/kg ONCE a day instead of the lower dose two to three times a day. It has been found that the pulsing (or the up and down amount of the drug in the bloodstream) when given two to three times a day is actually more harmful on the kidney that the larger dose just once a day. I have yet to have a healthy animal have problems with gentocin. I would also suggest a baseline urinalysis prior to using. I give gentocin subcutaneously. As I said, I combine it with penicillin at a dose of 10,000 U/lb. twice a day. After treating for five days, I re-culture. Amikacin is very good, but very expensive for the Mastiff.

Chronic vaginitis in bitches older than a year of age is most often associated with identifiable abnormalities of the genitalia (i.e. the vulva not sloping down enough, or an inverted type of vulva), or it is identified with urinary infections. Therefore, if you are culturing and find your bitch is having recurrent infections, you should have her examined for possible problems, perhaps with an endoscope. I would also check the ears; Pseudomonas ear infections are very, very common, and the scenario of one dog licking another, etc., can cause spread of the infection, which can get into the genital tract. This could be our most common way that Pseudomonas gets around.

While on the subject of culturing, I believe that all males should be cultured, also. I find that more than 50 percent of the dogs I see have a low grade prostatitis and can benefit from antibiotics. You must remember that there are three fractions to a dog's ejaculate: a thin watery solution (the seminal fluid), then the sperm fraction, and lastly, the prostatic fluid. This last fluid is what you actually want to test. There are ways to collect just the prostatic portion of the fluid by a prostatic wash, but I just use an ejaculated sample. Prostatitis is the number one cause of low sperm counts and low libido in our male dogs. It is EASY to fix, but you must look for it.

I just got through looking at some sperm for a veterinarian friend of mine that she had gotten in from another state to inseminate into her own bitch (NOT a Mastiff ). It had tons of white blood cells, so we cultured it and got back a heavy growth of Pseudomonas. Even though this came from one of the top dogs in that breed, I am glad we did not inseminate. Just think of the infection we could have caused! Instead, we notified the breeder, who took the dog in and got the testing done and put him on antibiotics. MORAL of the story: CHECK THE MALES, also.

There is a downside, though, and that is that being on strong antibiotics can predispose the bitch or male to yeast infections. I usually feed yogurt in heavier amounts while the dogs are on antibiotics to try to prevent this problem.

Besides culturing, the female should also be checked for any anatomical abnormalities as mentioned previously, like vaginal obstructions caused from strictures or an extremely angled vagina which would make breeding difficult.

The bitch and the sire should be thyroid-checked. Not only can hypothyroidism be an inheritable problem, but even if it is not, a low-normal thyroid can cause the bitch to resorb fetuses. The thyroid is the major organ that runs metabolism -- or the energy level -- of the body. During times of stress (i.e., estrus, pregnancy or sickness), the thyroid has to work overtime. In a breed such as ours, a low-normal everyday thyroid level, when put under stress, can drop to below normal, and therefore create some metabolic problems. I will sometimes, based on the thyroid level (and only certain thyroid hormone testing is really relevant), put a bitch on thyroid medication for the duration of pregnancy and then wean her off of it after whelping. I have done many thyroid tests on bitchess not in heat, not pregnant and on bitches that ARE in heat or ARE pregnant, and found that the thyroid level does indeed drop significantly during these times of stress. As long as the bitch is under the care of a veterinarian, the thyroid supplementation cannot harm her. But, notice I do say "under the supervision of a veterinarian," because there are some conditions (such as cardiomyopathy, for instance) where thyroid supplementation can cause problems. Low thyroid levels have been correlated in humans with early resorption and miscarriages.

A brucellosis test must be required of all breeding animals.

I find that many breeders have great practices of culturing and doing all the testing prior to breeding, but fail to check one of the most important factors, the sperm. I require all dogs that are to breed to have a semen evaluation. Not only does this tell about the quality of the semen, but it also can tell if there is a prostatitis or other problem going on. This is the time to complete the culture mentioned previously.

Prior evaluation of the hips and elbows to determine they are free of dysplasia is also a recommended practice in breeding, especially in breeding our Mastiffs.

I also want the dog's vaccination status up to date prior to breeding. A heartworm check and fecal examination is also performed.

I know many of you are thinking that if you have to go through all of these steps, it will cost you a fortune. Yes, it can be expensive, but not as expensive as losing a litter due to infection or other reason, or losing the bitch because she resorbed her puppies and developed pyometra. AND the most important factor: FAILURE of breeding can be expensive in itself.

Once you have successfully bred you bitch, maintaining the pregnancy is the next step. I start to ultrasound on day 21 for confirmation of pregnancy. I usually cannot tell positively until day 28. When I am dealing with a bitch that has had fertility problems, i.e., not maintained a pregnancy or not been able to be bred (at least that they know of), I also will start checking progesterone levels weekly to make sure that progesterone is staying elevated. A common cause of resorption is the progesterone falling and not maintaining the pregnancy. This is an easy dilemma to solve. Progesterone can be given to the bitch.

I also start the bitch on a puppy food halfway through pregnancy to provide the adequate amount of protein and calcium she will need for the puppies. I do not use any other supplements.

I ultrasound weekly, especially the bitches that have had problems prior to coming to me for breeding, so I can keep a close watch on the fetuses. At day 50 or so, I will radiograph to see how many puppies there are and whether the pelvic canal is wide enough. If there are only a few puppies, I will try to let the bitch have the puppies naturally. If the bitch had a previous problem with vaginal infections, or if there are a lot of puppies, I will schedule a cesarean section. The most common cause of loss of puppies in our breed during whelping is uterine inertia, during which the uterus will get tired and give out after having only a couple of puppies, and the subsequent puppies die in the uterus because they are not delivered. I see no reason to put the bitch through this life-threatening problem when I can safely do a cesarean section. Again, I know there are varying opinions on this subject, so I will not delve into it any further at this time.

I hope that this article will help some of you with your breeding practices. If any of you have any questions at all... or concerns... or just want some advice, please contact me. I am always happy to talk with Mastiff people.

Robin M. Smith, DVM
Westminster Veterinary Emergency/Trauma Center
269 W. Main St., Westminster, MD 21557
Work 410-848-3363
(Fax) 410-848-4959
E-mail:
RocknRob56@aol.com

 


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Sandragon Mastiffs
Where Mastiffs and Dragons play!
http://sandragonmastiff.com


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The Care and Fostering of Newborn Mastiffs
By Robin M. Smith, DVM

Editor's Note: The following article first appeared in the Mid-Atlantic Mastiff Alliance newsletter (Fall 1995) and is reprinted here with the permission of the author and the publisher.

I decided on the subject of puppies because the fostering of puppies is very fresh in my mind. I have been involved with taking care of many litters, but never have I truly fostered a litter all by myself until recently. My experience with breeders is than many of you have many good methods of raising your puppies and are very successful. I, in no way, want you to change your ways of raising puppies if it works for you. I have gotten many good ideas from breeders over the years and have incorporated them into the way I try to take care of puppies. As a veterinarian, I have tried to rationalize all these methods by providing scientific reasoning behind why they work. I have accomplished some of this, but some I have not. As they say, "If it works, do it." I want to present certain facts about puppies and their needs as newborns until they are four weeks of age and try to present some of the problems that we, as breeders, have with why puppies die. Again, if you have any suggestions, please write to me; I would love to hear them.

If you have a bitch that is an easy whelper, produces good milk and is a good mother, you probably have few worries. But, most of us are not lucky enough to have all three characteristics. Most of what I am going to talk about will involve puppies that have to be hand-raised due to the bitch not having good milk or adequate milk, or the bitch that just is not a good mother, or, which hopefully will not be the case, the bitch that dies.

Immediately after birth, the bitch produces a special type of milk called colostrum. Colostrum is vitally important for the provision of passive immunity to newborn puppies. Once absorbed by the puppies' gastrointestinal tract, this immunity offers protection from a number of infectious diseases to the litter. In older puppies and adults, normal digestive processes would result in the complete digestion of these compounds, making them unavailable to the body. However, the intestinal lining of newborn puppies is capable of absorbing the intact antibodies that are provided by colostrum. The time period during which the newborn's GI tract is able to absorb the colostrum is very short. In puppies, the time period for absorption is approximately 24 hours. Several forms of colostrum are produced during the first 24 to 72 hours after birth, after which the composition transforms to mature milk. The composition of colostrum is lower in total solids , fat and protein than mature milk.

Besides the immunological and nutritional benefits of colostrum, it has also been postulated that the volume of fluid ingested immediately following birth contributes significantly to the puppies' circulating volume. This indicates that the lack of adequate fluid intake shortly after birth may contribute to circulatory failure in newborns that leads to death. This can be manifested as dehydration in the newborn.

I generally put the puppies on the bitch every couple of hours for the first 24 hours. Since that bitch may not have a lot of colostrum, a milk substitute is also utilized at this time to keep the puppies hydrated. If for some chance the bitch dies, you will need to collect plasma (not serum) from the bitch prior to death, and have it available for the puppies. Sometimes, I collect plasma anyway if I am not sure the bitch will produce much colostrum. It is easy for your veterinarian to do. Then, I give each puppy one cc. of plasma at birth and another one cc in 12 hours orally. The plasma provides the antibodies from the bitch as the colostrum does.

During this first 24 hours, the amount of milk, whether from the bitch herself or as a supplement, needs to be monitored. Most newborn Mastiffs can handle one oz. (30 cc.) of milk per feeding. I have found that I can feed 30 ml. (one oz.) of milk at each feeding to the puppies for the first few days, approximately every three hours. After the first few days, the amount is increased as needed, and I do not really use a formula. You can overfeed puppies, also creating problems such as diarrhea and lethargy (which, of course, is sometimes even hard to tell in an adult Mastiff). I go by skin turgor and urine color to know if the puppies are getting enough milk. The skin of the back of the puppy, not the scruff, will pop right back into place when pinched if the puppy is well hydrated. The urine will be clear-colored, not yellow. Again, this is something you need to vary with each individual puppy. No one said it would be easy, right?

After the first week to week and a half, I increase the time between feedings to four hours, and by the time the puppies are four weeks old, we are feeding every 6 - 8 hours. Again, this may vary from puppy or litter to litter.

What to feed? One of the greatest challenges involved in raising puppies is providing them with adequate nutrition. Several commercial products are available. Most of these products are composed of cow's milk that has been modified to simulate the composition of bitch's milk. Bitch's milk has a large proportion of calories from fat and a low percentage from lactose, with protein intermediate. On a caloric basis, cow's milk has nearly three times the amount of lactose than bitch's milk. For this reason, puppies that are fed straight cow's milk will develop severe diarrhea. There are a lot of replacers out there, and your veterinarian and other successful breeders can help you with the decision. There are also homemade replacers, which is what I choose to use, but make sure that it has adequate nutrition or you will end up with problems.

How do I feed my puppies? There are two methods of feeding: bottle feeding, which is the way I feed; or tube feeding and delivering the milk directly into the stomach. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Bottle feeding can be frustrating because of trying to get the right nipple so the puppies do not aspirate the milk and do not feed too fast. With patience, you can usually get it right. The main problem with bottle feeding is aspiration pneumonia from the puppy getting the milk into their lungs. As far as I know, all bottle-fed puppies develop at least a small amount of aspiration pneumonia. I recommend starting the puppies on Clavamox drops after the amount after the first few days of bottle feeding. With proper nutrition and Ben-Bac (I will talk about later), the diarrhea associated with antibiotics is abated.

Tube feeding is done by many breeders. The advantage is you can prevent aspiration pneumonia and know exactly how much to feed the puppies. The problem is you can feed too much and too fast. The major disadvantage is you need to be experienced with the procedure. Not done correctly can lead to passing the tube into the lungs and causing a severe pneumonia or death. I have used this method on puppies that were sick or weak or have aspiration pneumonia. Again, I implore you not to do this unless you are experienced.

During the first few weeks of life, puppies should nurse 6 - 8 times a day. The two primary activities of newborns are eating and sleeping (the same as their owners). The eyes of the puppies open between 10 - 16 days after birth, and their ears begin function between 15 -17 days of birth (of course, some of us have Mastiffs whose ears never began to function). Normal body temperature for puppies is 94 - 97 degrees F. for the first two weeks of life. Because puppies do not have a shivering reflex for the first 6 -7 days of life, an external heat source is needed. Keeping the environment warm and free from drafts is a must. For the first week of life, the ambient temperature should be between 85 - 90 degrees F. This can be decreased slightly to between 80 - 85 degrees F. during the second to fourth weeks, and then even lower after that. I prefer to use a heating lamp kept about four feet above the puppies. The use of heating pads is not recommended, since the puppies are sometimes not strong enough to get off of the pad, and with the combination of urine and heat, severe burning can occur. It is best to use a temperature gradient so that the puppies can move to warmer or cooler areas as needed. Humidity is important, also. If the environment is too dry, the puppies are subject to dehydration. If dry heat is used to keep the whelping box warm, pans of water should be placed near the heaters to maintain room humidity. A relative humidity of approximately 50% is effective in preventing dehydration and maintaining moist nasal and respiratory passages.

I mentioned the use of Ben-Bac in the puppies earlier. This is a lactobacillus product that, when giving to puppies, helps to begin the process of normal bacterial development in the puppies' intestines. The use of the product helps prevent diarrhea and, therefore, dehydration. I use the product on day two and three, then again in seven days. The directions for use are on the product.

Another important procedure must be done after feeding puppies. The anal/genital area of the newborns should be massaged gently with a damp cloth. This simulates the dam's licking, and stimulates urination and defecation. I do this with a Wet-One, and have a clean, dry paper towel on my lap. This way I can see the color of the urine, and if it is bright yellow, I know the puppy is dehydrated.

Rates of loss among puppies, of any breed in the first 12 weeks of life, usually is approximately 15 - 40%. Most puppy losses will occur during the following times: in utero (abortions and stillborns), at birth (stillbirths), immediately following birth (from birth to two weeks of age) or immediately following weaning (5 - 12 weeks of age). Rates of loss after 12 weeks are generally low.

Puppy losses between birth and 12 weeks of age usually result from problems acquired in utero, immediately after birth and just after weaning. Congenital abnormalities or those present at birth will not be discussed, but many times are the cause of puppy deaths and often go unrecognized, and are thought of as "fading puppies." Poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy can lead to weak and diseased puppies. I put bitches on puppy food about two weeks into their pregnancy. Traumatic injuries also cause puppy losses. An injury while in the birth canal or an injury from a bitch lying on her puppies can lead to death. Adequate supervision and a proper environment can prevent the latter.

Infectious diseases account for the most substantial proportion of puppy losses. Most deaths are attributed to primary infections of either the respiratory tract or the gastrointestinal tract. Neonatal sepsis is usually caused by Staphylococcus, Escherichia, Klebsiella, Enterobactor, "strep," Pseudomonas and a few others. Gram negative bacilli are the most common. Sources from which they can enter the blood stream include the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, skin and associated wounds, and the urinary tract. Proper sanitation can prevent many of these. I wipe the puppies down with Wet-Ones every time I handle them.

Several viruses can also cause puppy deaths. Canine herpes virus infections are thought to be the more common cause of puppy losses than other viruses. Most herpes virus infections are acquired during the late stages of pregnancy and the first three weeks of life. The clinical signs manifested by puppies with canine herpes virus infection may range from mild to severe, depending on age, stress factors, the presence of maternal herpes virus antibodies and the presence of other bacterial infections. Most puppy losses occur during the ninth and 14th day of life. Puppies show sudden onset and severe illness characterized by depression, anorexia (not nursing), persistent crying, abdominal discomfort, bloating, rapid and shallow breathing, hypothermia (low temp), and profound weakness and diarrhea with resultant dehydration. Once these symptoms occur, death follows in 18 - 24 hours.

The symptoms described above are symptoms of any severe infection in puppies. There are some things you can do to help beat the odds. They require 24-hour attention after the first signs appear, but sometimes you can save a puppy. When I have had very sick puppies, I will tell you what I have done to save them, if they were saved. Because I am a veterinarian, I have access to a lot of things normal breeders don't have, and the cost of trying to save a sick puppy can be overwhelming, but very satisfying.

My first indication that a puppy is not doing "right" is that they do not want to feed much or they fight the nipple. I never let a puppy go without some treatment if they do not eat the amount that they should. A puppy can get very dehydrated in a few hours. I first assess their hydration by picking up the skin on the back of the puppy and seeing if it goes into place right away. I also look at the urine and see if it is clear or getting a yellow color. Both of these can tell you if the puppy is dehydrated. I realize that sometimes puppies, as do infants, can sometimes have a stomachache and not feel well for a short time, so I do not get very alarmed if the puppy is hydrated and the temperature is normal for that age puppy. I usually just give some subcutaneous fluids at this time.

If the puppy on the next feeding still does not want to eat, I start looking for problems, especially if the puppy isn't as active as the others that are waking up, or if it starts to cry excessively. I listen to the lungs to see if there is any fluid in them and if they are expanding adequately. I check the color of the mucous membranes. I realize that Mastiff puppies have pigmented gums, so I look under the eyelids. They should be pink. Usually if the puppy has not eaten this second time, they are dehydrated.

Your veterinarian can instruct you on how to use fluids in puppies. You need to know the type of fluids and the type of syringe to use and how much to give. I give fluids under the skin to the puppy, the amount depending on size and how dehydrate I believe the puppy is. I usually use lactated Ringers or normal saline (sterile). I also start antibiotics on the puppy. My first choice is oral Clavamox. I also give some 50% dextrose by mouth, because hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is often the only reason a puppy who has not eaten one time will do poorly and die. Again, the amount needs to be at the discretion of your veterinarian. If the puppy doesn't eat again, it just depends on whether I tube feed the puppy. Again, this is individualized treatment. You can also try to put your finger in their mouths and give them formula by a small syringe. Be careful of aspiration, though.

Sometimes, you can look at the bellies and the pads of the feet, and if they are extremely reddened, this may be a sign of septicemia (or an infection that has spread throughout the system). These sick puppies are also very susceptible to hypothermia (low body temp) and need to be adequately warmed.

There is some controversy as to whether to separate the sick puppy from the rest of the litter. I, personally, do not. I like the stimulation that the other puppies give to the sick puppy. All the puppies are exposed, anyway. Again, that is your choice.

If the puppy continues after about 6 - 8 hours of being lethargic and starting to cry excessively, I usually will tube feed a small amount to get some nutrition into the pup. I continue the fluids and antibiotics. Many times, stimulation is what is needed to keep these puppies going. I have seen a couple puppies that were very sick, but with the persistence of the owner rubbing the puppy and keeping the puppy stimulated, have made it through. This can be very tedious, but can help. Usually, with all this attention, the puppy comes around in about 24 hours and will begin eating.

I also worry about diarrhea. I have found that using Biosol works well. This is a liquid large-animal antibiotic and is not approved in small animals anymore. There used to be a small animal counterpart. I use 1 - 2 drops orally once a day for a maximum of two days. I am also giving supportive fluids. If the diarrhea continues, I use Kaopectate ... 1/4 of a cc. per puppy twice a day. Between both of these, the diarrhea usually subsides. I stress again not to use the Biosol longer than two days. You can use it again if you need to, but give at least five days between doses.

If a puppy dies ... I immediately have the puppy sent in for necropsy (an autopsy to find out the reason for death) and if any other puppy looks even suspectingly sick, I begin a more aggressive approach to my treatment. I think this is where a lot of people wait and see if other puppies get sick or die and the wait is what causes further losses. I usually start amkacin and penicillin. The amkacin can be very toxic, so I dilute it with sterile saline and inject it into the peritoneum (belly) of the puppies. Again, this antibiotic should only be used with adequate fluids given also, and should be prescribed by a veterinarian and administered by one, also. The penicillin can be given under the skin. Fluids, dextrose and tube feeding may become necessary. If there are further puppy deaths, these are sent for necropsy, also. You usually get the results of the necropsy in a couple of days, and you can use the correct antibiotic for the bacteria isolated then. But, again, if you wait for the results, you may lose more puppies. Yes, I am aggressive. I did not use to be. I also did not save the amount of puppies that I save now.

Please feel free to call me or write with questions. If you have a problem with your puppies, I would be happy to help if I can. The Mastiff is a wonderful breed, and the puppies are so exciting to raise. I must say, though, that after 3 1/2 weeks of feedings and all-nighters, I sure am happy the litter I fostered is eating on their own!!!!!

One last thing: I worm all the puppies with Nemex or Strongid at two weeks of age. At four weeks, I will use a three-day dose of Panacur. Many of these puppies with diarrhea have roundworm infections from the dam -- even if the dam was checked for parasites previous to whelping. If I have a (pup with) diarrhea, one of the first things I do is a fecal. Many times there are coccidia infestations that can be treated with Albon.

Another last thing: I start vaccinations at six weeks with a combination distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and coronavirus, and an intranasal bordatella. I have never had a problem giving all these at once. I vaccinate every two weeks until 16 weeks of age. We like to have three vaccinations given before the puppy leaves the premises.

In conclusion, I just wanted to say that I wrote this article several years ago, and have since then been involved with a lot of litters, but none truly all by myself as I did with the batch that gave me the idea for this article in the first place. All I can say is that at least "this" veterinarian now really understands how much work you all do with some of these litters, and I especially understand all the worry and tears that go along with raising puppies. I hope that this will help some of you, and if you ever have any questions, please contact me.

Robin M. Smith, DVM
Westminster Veterinary Emergency/Trauma Center
269 W. Main St., Westminster, MD 21557
Work 410-848-3363
(Fax) 410-848-4959
E-mail:
RocknRob56@aol.com

 

 


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Lorie
Sandragon Mastiffs
Where Mastiffs and Dragons play!
http://sandragonmastiff.com


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Reply with quote  #20 

Here are some more good links.

http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/Genetics.html


http://www.wonderpuppy.net/1breeding.php


http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/

http://www.doghobbyist.com/DogBreeding.html


http://www.irishdogs.ie/Breeders/Developing_Healthy_Breeding.htm
 
 
http://www.bulldoginformation.com/breeding-quality.html


http://www.canismajor.com/dog/puppymil.html

http://www.netpets.com/dogs/healthspa/demyst.html

http://www.learntobreed.com/

http://www.kismetsighthounds.com/breederresource.html



Many articals on Coefficient of Inbreeding

Coefficient of Inbreeding

http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/Genetics/Inbreeding.html

http://www.netpets.com/dogs/healthspa/demyst.html


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Lorie
Sandragon Mastiffs
Where Mastiffs and Dragons play!
http://sandragonmastiff.com


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Reply with quote  #21 
When my pups start sucking on each other I put them in their own baskets. I had a male puppies Urethia rupture due to the sucking problem so they can hurt each other. I make them sock buddies to snuggle up to. I take a quart plastic bag fill it with 3 cups of rice zip it up leaving a tiny gap so the bag can breath as you heat it. Than I put it in a sock and sew the end warm it in the microwave and they have a warm littermate to cuddle up to.

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Margo Lauritsen
LAMARS Mastiffs
lamarsmastiffs.com
mdh05

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Reply with quote  #22 
Hello, I just wanted to share my puppy nursing station to the individuals that may need one in the future. We hope all puppies can stay and eat off there mom, but we know sometimes its not possible for reasons such as, lack of milk production, mastitis, orphaned puppies or even supplementing. You can find out more information on my website at http://www.pupnursing.com . The price has been lowered to $75 to help people in need and to make it more reasonable for breeders to purchase. This puppy nursing station may not be for everyone, but everyones opinion is heard/read and appreciated. Thanks again!!

p.s. Buyer pays for shipping. Bottles not included, but Dr. Brown 4oz bottles are recommended to help prevent aspiration, due to the internal easy flow vent!

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Matt Hess

LindaGreesonRice

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Reply with quote  #23 

I do a similar thing with rice and socks ..

 

I take a long tube sock and fill it with rice, then tie a knot in the end. Heats up in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.  The puppies love them and I do not have to worry about them being burned. Seems like the heat lasts about 3 hours.. when the socks get dirty I just dump the rice into a bowl (to be reused) and wash the sock.

 

Hint - when filling the sock, put the sock in a tall glass and stretch the opening over the top so you can fill the sock easily.


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Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
butterflyridgemastiffs

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Reply with quote  #24 
I found this great website with some great info on bottlefeeding and a good recipe for puppy milk.

http://leerburg.com/bottlefeeding.htm

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Socialize, socialize, socialize. One of the most important parts of being a puppy parent is socializing your puppy!
emma520

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Reply with quote  #25 
That would be great I think. Thank you very much.
LindaGreesonRice

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Reply with quote  #26 
I have used Breeders Edge Milk Formula with my last two litters - it is fantastic stuff. Loaded with calories, grows the babies very well - absolutely no diarreah at all.. I buy the 20# bucket and will ALWAYS have this stuff on hand! 31/46 - very close to bitches milk.

http://www.revivalanimal.com/Breeders-Edge-Foster-Care-Canine-Milk-Replacer.html

Breeders' Edge® Foster Care Canine Milk Replacer is a nutritional source for both puppies and adult dogs. Made with the latest advancements in milk replacer formulation and technology, Foster Care provides the full, correct balance of essential nutrients for puppies from birth to 35 days of age. Whenever possible, puppies should receive colostrum (mom's first milk) for the first 2 days, since this colostrum milk supplies extra nutrition and important antibodies essential for disease resistance in early life.

Breeders' Edge® Foster Care Ingredients: Dried Whey Protein Concentrate, Animal Fat and Vegetable Oil (Preserved with BHA and BHT), Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Whey, Sodium Caseinate, L-Arginine, DL-Methionine, Lecithin, Potassium Sorbate, Spray-Dried Egg Product (IgY), Psyllium Seed Husk, Calcium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Yeast & Brewer's Dried Yeast (Bio-Mos), Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Oxide, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Cobalt Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopheral Acetate, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Activated Animal Sterol (source of Vitamin D3), Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, L-Lysine, Mono and Diglycerides of Edible Fats or Oils, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Artificial Flavor

What do the ingredients do:
  • Bio-Mios is a natural solution that will promote growth of good bacteria in the intestinal tract and support the puppy's natural defenses against disease. Healthier puppies are less likely to suffer from disease and therefore need therapeutic treatments.
  • IgY is an immunoglobulin that will boost the immune system and stabilize immune defenses to protect the puppy from disease. It will also support intestinal immunity and balance intestinal flora for a healthy GI tract, which will minimize potential for diarrhea.
  • Vitamin A is essential for eye and skin health, immune system function, and bone health. It also plays an important role in reproductive health.
  • B-Vitamins are used to metabolize protein and fats within the body. They are essential for healthy hair, coat, skin, eyes, and liver and encourage the proper function of the central nervous system.
    • Thiamine, also known as Vitamin B1 is essential to the body to process carbohydrates. It is also important for the development and operation of nerves, muscle cells, and brain functions.
    • Riboflavin, Vitamin B2, helps the body by stimulating metabolism and assisting in the digestion and absorption of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
    • Niacin, Vitamin B3, is a powerful vitamin used to manage cholesterol problems, prevent diabetes, and help the body process fats.
    • Pantothenic Acid, commonly known as Vitamin B5, helps convert carbohydrates into fuel inside the body and produces energy.
    • Pyridoxine, Vitamin B6, is necessary to maintain the balance of sodium and potassium in the body, and encourages red blood cell production. It also assists the body in converting carbohydrates to glucose, which is used as the body's energy source.
    • Folic Acid, Vitamin B9, helps the animal stay healthy by supporting the body's ability to produce red blood cells.
    • Cyanocobalamin is commonly referred to as Vitamin B12. This vitamin is required for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, the production of red blood cells, and normal brain functioning.
  • Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C, is essential to the body's processes. It helps produce collagen and is necessary for the function of almost all major organs.
  • Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is actually a hormone that is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D3 is necessary for optimal calcium absorption, which helps build strong bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin E, iron, manganese, zinc, and copper are antioxidants that support the body's natural defenses.
    • Iron, or ferrous sulfate, is an essential mineral in the production of red blood cells and will help to prevent anemia.
    • Zinc works with over 200 enzymes in the body for proper cell health and metabolism.
    • Copper facilitates the absorption of iron and helps transmit electrical signals in the body.
    • Manganese promotes good muscle and bone health, aids in the production of cartilage, and helps normal bone development.
    • Vitamin E provides important protection for damaged cells in the body and is believed to be an important tool against aging.
  • Calcium and Magnesium are minerals essential for the body to stay healthy and active.
    • Calcium is a mineral that makes up bones, teeth, shells, and other hard body parts. It is carried by the blood and plays an important role in the body.
    • Magnesium is concentrated in the bones and promotes good muscles and bone health.
  • Essential fatty acids help move oxygen through the bloodstream to all parts of the body. They aid in cell membrane development, strength, and function, and are necessary for strong organs and tissues. Essential fatty acids will help keep skin healthy and prevent early aging, plus, help the body process cholesterol.
  • Chloride provides the body with electrolytes and helps muscles relax.
  • Selenium helps remove toxins from the body and helps regulate the function of the thyroid gland. It is ideal for maintaining healthy blood pressure and overall general heart health.

Foster Care Canine Milk Replacer
Analysis (per teaspoon):
Crude Protein, not less than31.0%
Crude Fat, not less than46.0%
Crude Fiber, not more than0.2%
Moisture, not more than5.0%
Ash, not more than9.0%
Calcium, not less than1.0%
Calcium, not more than1.5%
Phosphorus, not less than0.9%
Vitamin A, not less than5,000 IU/kg
Vitamin D3, not less than1,500 IU/kg
Vitamin E, not less than50 IU/kg

Storage: Store at room temperature away from moisture, sunlight, and excessive heat. Keep container tightly closed to preserve freshness.

Cautions: Intended for use in puppies and dogs only. Safe for use in pregnant animals and dogs with food allergies. Always consult your veterinarian before using this product in dogs with chronic medical conditions, such as a clotting disorder, diabetes, or urinary tract disease. Consult your veterinarian for specific advice on the appropriate treatment and care of your dog. Keep out of the reach of children and pets to prevent unwanted consumption.

Please click on "Articles" for a list of articles, FAQs, and other helpful information and tips about Breeders' Edge® Foster Care Canine Milk Replacer.

__________________
Linda Greeson Rice
AKC Breeder of Merit

The Mastiff Sweet Spot
http://www.bluequaker.com/Mastiffs.htm



We do not breed often, but we do our best to breed top quality mastiffs
with excellent pedigrees to back them up. All breedings are carefully planned to produce
the very best mastiffs, sound in both body and mind, beautiful and strong,
representing the true mastiff standard.

We fully test our dogs. We believe that a person that "just wants a pet" has a right
to own a beautiful, well bred dog that is sound and healthy
every bit as much as someone wanting a "show dog".
r005t3r78

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #27 
Question

I have heard all different weights and and how much is to much and how little is to little for a pup. What is a good average amount that a puppy should be weighing at birth though 8 weeks of age. I've heard that puppies go home weighing in at almost 60 lbs! And I've also heard puppies going home at 20lbs Im just not sure which to go with. What are the lowest you seen with being healthy and whats is heavist you seen or have/had in the past. Thanks!
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