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As can be seen on our ‘what do we feed’ page and ‘litters’ page we do not only:

 

Attempt to feed mum the best diet suited to her stage of pregnancy, lactation, and recovery from nursing, etc. but we also have mum inside with her pups (including having her give birth inside)

 

We also ensure that mum experiences the following:

 

 

 

Breeders can commonly leave things to nature, but we would prefer to incur expenses, as personally we think that no price can be put on the health, life and safety of a mum of a litter.  

 

A lot of good breeders do worm and give flea prevention to mum and her pups, and a lot of good breeders do use the more expensive brands such as Drontel.

 

It is less common to progesterone test every girl that is going to be bred from.  Most breeders only do so when taking their girl a considerable distance to a stud dog.  But as we believe that progesterone testing can help in the prevention of whelping difficulties all girls are progesterone tested.  If a progesterone test taken on a Saturday states that a girl should be taken to a stud dog on a Sunday when the laboratory is closed we will take her, but we also sometimes re-test again on the Monday just to ensure that the prediction was correct.  This in a lot of respects can be an unnecessary expense, but sometimes girls can have a split season, and appear to be working their way towards a progesterone peak, when in fact they may not peak for another week or so.


Some GSD breeders do give the canine herpes vaccination.  But once again this can be an expensive option, as it costs us around £52  plus a consultation fee for the 1st vaccination and around £60 for the second vaccination (totalling approximately £132 plus veterinary consultation fees).  If the girl fails to become pregnant this can be further money lost.  So a lot of breeders do not take the risk of incurring an additional cost. 

 

It is not common to x-ray a week before birth in the GSD breed (which we would only do if we thought that the girl only had 1 - 2 pups inside of her), as most breeders would take the risk of the girl giving birth.  But as we are aware of breeders who have lost bitches in such circumstances we would rather x-ray IF we suspected this.


It is also even less common to take mum to the vets as soon as a breeder feels that she may have finished giving birth for an oxytocin and antibiotic shot alongside an ultrasound and more commonly at least one x-ray. 

 

This is because as most mum’s usually finish giving birth out of hours a vet can easily charge approx. £250 - £260 for such a service (although it can cost us around £400 if mum then goes onto give birth at the vets out of hours as we are charged for their time, and this amount increases further  on the odd occasion were mum may need a c-section).  However if mum has finished giving birth we would rather take the risk of paying for an unnecessary service, or if applicable give mum an oxytocin shot or c-section (which may result in less litters for her) so that the pups inside her could live (as opposed to either taking her in veterinary open hours or even worse not taking her at all). 

 

We feel that it is a breeder’s responsibility to do all that they can to ensure the survival of healthy puppies, as opposed to ‘letting nature take its course’ which can often result in still born pups.


Looking After Mum