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:
Worm mum with Drontel the week before she is mated
Reapply her frontline when she comes in season
Worm her every 2 weeks with Drontel once the pups have been
born, and once again when they have left (Pregnancy &
lactation can activate worm eggs that lay dormant within a mum, and when mum ‘cleans’
her nest her pups in turn infect her, and this is also why both mums
and pups should always be wormed.)
Progesterone test her (not only is it beneficial to have
more pups to chose from, but a singleton could be dangerous to mum as it could
rip through her and cause her to pass away from pregnancy complications) even
when we are using a stud dog in our ownership
When using a stud dog who has been used as an outside stud or when considering breeding a girl who has been to such a dog in the past we often give the canine herpes vaccination at 2 different dates. This is not the human disease. It is a dog disease, but as with humans it can be transmitted when mum is taken to the stud dog. Canine herpes can cause pups to be still born or to pass away between around 5 days of age to around 3 weeks of age.
Ultrasound mum to confirm pregnancy (not only beneficial in
finding forever homes, but helpful in terms of maintaining the correct diet for
X-ray in the last week if it looks like she may only have 1
-2 pups (in which case IF the pups looks to be huge and in the vets opinion too
big for a natural birth we would elect a c-section)
Take her usually out of hours (due to the times in which
mum’s give birth) for a check over, an antibiotic shot to prevent infection, an
oxytocin shot to help flush her out, and usually an x-ray and ultrasound to
confirm that she has finished (Sometimes girls get uterine inertia which makes them
appear to have finished giving birth when there are still pups inside of them. Inertia can be caused by a girl having a large litter
and large pups. Both large litters and large pups are common in this breed, and although we
do not expect our girls to suffer from uterine inertia the fact that this breed can experience uterine inertia is why we do not like any chances to be taken.)
Provide mum and her pups with constant heating, and human companionship
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
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.
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.