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484 – Five Ps in Passport to Successful Reproduction
5th July 2021 • Pure Dog Talk • Laura Reeves
00:00:00 00:37:54

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Five Ps in Passport to Successful Reproduction

Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, joins host Laura Reeves to discuss the five Ps in the passport to successful dog breeding.


“We need to start progesterone testing early enough and repeating the testing often enough and long enough to make sure that she's ovulate plus one test beyond that. So ovulation in most people's labs is going to be between four and eight nanograms per mil. “Be sure you start early enough and you go long enough that you've got one progesterone past five. If you stop at 4.7 and then she doesn't get pregnant, we don't know if she actually did or not (ovulate)… It's not only to get the breeding done successfully, it's also so that you can time when she's doing to whelp. “I cannot overemphasize the importance of progesterone timing. If nothing else, you're going to have the vet clinic on your side when you call, (instead of) saying, ‘Well, really I have no idea when she’s actually due.’ I don't know if you're overstating the crisis that you're in, if you're underestimating the crisis you're in, but without that data we really, as a veterinary community, don't have the information we need to start initiating early care to save your bitch to save your litter.

Prenatal Care

“We know from the human side how important good prenatal care is. There's a reason that women that are pregnant go to the doctor frequently. We need to monitor the bitch during prenatal care but even before she gets pregnant, we need to start folic acid 6 to 8 weeks before she comes into heat. We need to have her in an ideal body condition. We need to make sure she's on an appropriate diet that doesn't contain legumes, peas and beans. And we need to make sure she's on a diet that's got the macro and micro nutrients that she's going to need to be pregnant and sustain a pregnancy. “We want to make sure vaccines are up to date, because you can't vaccinate during pregnancy and if she comes due during the time she's pregnant, we cannot vaccinate. We want to make sure she's an appropriate heartworm and flea and tick preventives that are safe for breeding dogs. “We want to make sure that we've brucellosis tested her well enough in advance that if she comes back positive we can do the confirmatory test, because up to 10% of the brucellosis test will come back positive, and that can be a false positive. Now, that being said, it's easy to say ‘Oh yeah, brucellosis doesn't happen in the United states anymore.’ And guess what that's not true.

Puppy Count X-ray

“Take the X-ray somewhere between day 55 and a 60 of her pregnancy. “People say, ‘oh I'm not going to do that… it's not safe or it's not accurate…’ I'm going to give you some tips that can make it accurate. If you are taking X rays with a digital machine … it's very safe. The exposure to X-rays is very, very low. In fact if you live in Denver, where the altitude is high, you have the equivalent from sun exposure and radiation of five to 10 chest X-rays a year, just living in that environment. “Go to a vet that has a digital X-ray machine. Take your bitch fasting. She needs to not have breakfast the morning you take her in for the X-ray. (Make sure she has a bowel movement) before you go in, so her hair colon is empty because the more food and the more stool in the colon the harder it is for us to see the puppies on the X-ray. “We take two lateral X-rays, meaning that they lay on their side. We put them on the right side down and we put them on the left side down. I don't care what order you do it in, but I don't take them on their back. What's really cool about it is, many times you'll see seven puppies on first X-ray and you roll them over and an eighth puppy appears. (Most likely) they were perfectly aligned in the uterus and you missed one but that roll, that repositioning of the uterus by putting her on the opposite side, will illustrate another puppy.

Preparing for Whelping

Supply and Equipment List: •       Whelping box •       Puppy Scale •       Rectal thermometer •       Room thermometer •       Vaseline •       Notebook •       Cotton balls •       Method to identify puppies – fingernail polish or fabric paint •       Heat source •       Graph paper •       Exam Gloves •       Starter mousse •       Soap •       Whelping pads •       Towels •       Ice cream •       Brats •       Oatmeal •       Puppy or kitten formula •       Feeding tubes and syringes •       Feeding bottles •       Electrolytes •       Car with a full tank of gas •       Cell phone and charger •       Ice chest or other transport device with heat for taking puppies to and from the vet •       Lubricant – non petroleum •       Hemostat •       Dental floss to tie off cords •       Gauze •       Scissors •       Tincture of iodine •       Chlorhexidine disinfectant and shampoo •       Vanilla ice cream •       Cotton balls •       Tarps or flannel backed tablecloths to cover the floor Drug and medical equipment list: •       Fenbendazole •       Frozen Plasma •       5 Hour Energy •       Dopram •       Vitamin K •       Oral Cal plus calcium gel •       Nuture-mate •       Probiotics •       Forti-cal •       Delee mucus trip •       Bulb syringe •       Feeding tube syringe and formula •       25 g needles •       Oxy momma •       Adaptil or ThunderEase Pheromone collar •       Glucometer and strips •       Oxygen concentrator •       Pulse oximeter •       Pyrantel pamoate •       Stethoscope •       Oxytocin •       Fluids for SQ use •       Eagle Sweetened Condensed Milk •       Needles and syringes •       A great friend who knows about dogs and can remain calm    

Planning C-section

“Planning ahead can make the difference between great puppy survival and heartbreak. If you were planning to whelp (naturally) and things don't go well, then having a plan in place can turn a bad situation around. You need to have a vet that you know you can call. You need to have an emergency clinic that you know is available. Find out before you go in what kind of anesthesia they use, if they're going to hold your bitch hostage and only do the C-section if you let them spay her. Which is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea. I never spay at C-section because bitches lose up to 30% of their blood volume and can go into shock."



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