Spaying and neutering

Spaying and neutering of dogs are highly wanted if you don’t want to breed the dogs and however, these activities need to be carried out by qualified veterinarians specialized in pet care and management. Anesthesia is required along with due surgical procedures for carrying out the spaying and neutering.

One has to understand first the terms like spaying or neutering. Both are related to the surgical approaches of sterilization in case of females and males respectively.  However, the term neutering is also related to such procedures in both sexes.  Accidental pregnancies that are not wanted can be highly minimized by these procedures.

Spaying and neutering helps to prevent occurrence of pyometra, which is a common reproductive disorder-giving problem to the dog owners.  In male dogs, the neutering helps to prevent the occurrence of prostate enlargement or cancer.  Hence, these help to minimize the incidences of reproductive disorders in dogs.

By these spaying and neutering, the male dog’s desire in search of female dog in heat is highly minimized and hence, wandering of male dog is reduced. The animal becomes calm also by these surgical remedies. Territorial behavior of these animals is also highly minimized by these in case of male dogs.

Spaying of your dog before the occurrence of first heat is the best one to avoid the incidence of breast cancer. If the dog is spayed after the first heat, the chances of occurrence of breast cancer in them is more and has been proved by research. Younger group of dogs need to be subjected to these operations to avoid complications in future.

Many veterinarians prefer the spaying and neutering of dogs only at the age of five to six years. However, these can be performed even at the age of three to five years. Postoperative care needs to be followed meticulously to avoid the occurrence of infections by microbial organisms.

Spaying and neutering courtesy Dog Articles.

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Spaying of the Female Dog

Spaying of the female dog is undertaken to control the unwanted pregnancy by crossing of some unknown or country or non-descript dogs. The spaying of the dog reduces the aggressiveness of the dog. By spaying, one can reduce the incidences of the commonly encountered reproductive diseases like pyometra.

Spaying also helps to control the population in case of stray animals and many nations are doing these operations by removing the ovaries from the female animals.  Experienced veterinarians are required to do the spaying in case of female dogs and the postoperative care is to be given more emphasis.  If proper control measures are not taken after the surgical operation for the removal of ovary, then the infections may start setting in and the animal may end up in development of peritonitis and then toxemia sets in, causing unwanted health problems.

Death of the dog may finally occur, if the dog is not provided an effective and proper veterinary care.  A female dog that is spayed before the occurrence of first heat will have almost a zero chance of development of mammary cancer, which is more common with the dogs that are not spayed.

A female dog generally comes to heat once in eight months or so. During the heat occurrence, there is bleeding from vagina and the dog may cross with the unwanted male and the spaying activity prevents all these. In case of aged dogs, the dog may often get signs of increased thirst, anorexia, vomiting etc. that are so common with pyometra.

Pyometra means the presence of pus in the uterus.  Once pyometra occurs, it involves many discomforts to the animal in addition to the cost factor involved for the therapy also. Such pyometra is totally prevented by spaying because in the case of spaying, you are removing both ovaries and the uterus.

Spaying of the Female Dog courtesy Dog Articles.

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Dog Whelping

The whelping process will be easier for both you and your bitch if you know what to expect and plan ahead for any potential problems.

Your bitch will indicate to you that she’s approaching labor. The more obvious signs of laboring behavior are restlessness, panting or shivering, and preparing a nesting area.

It’s a good idea to provide a proper whelping box to keep mom and her babies warm and clean. A sturdy cardboard box lined with clean newspaper is an inexpensive solution, and is easy to dispose of after the pups are weaned.  When your bitch starts to shred the newspaper and arrange her nesting area, delivery is only a few days away. It is  a good idea to have supplies such as tissues, paper towels, clean towels and garbage bags set out ahead of time to prepare for whelping.

Just before whelping, your bitch may lose her appetite and become very clingy. Her temperature will drop in that last day before birth, from a normal rectal temperature of between 101 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit to around 98.5 degrees. She may also begin to leak milk from her nipples.

The birthing process has three distinct stages. During the first stage, regular uterine contractions begin, and become more frequent as her delivery gets closer. Your dog may vomit and she may begin to discharge clear, mucoid fluid from her vagina.

The second stage begins when the bitch’s abdomen starts contracting hard, and pushing the puppies out. She will either lie down or squat to deliver her pups. Normal deliveries usually begin within ten to sixty minutes of the onset of hard contractions.

The puppies may be born in their amniotic sac, and your bitch will immediately begin to break the bag, clean her babies and chew through the umbilical cord. If she doesn’t, you will need to  step in to make sure the puppies are freed from the sac and breathing properly. Once the babies are dried off, the cord can be carefully tied off and snipped  so the mother can continue to care for her new babies.

The final stage of whelping involves delivery of the placenta, or afterbirth, for each puppy. The placenta may or may not still be attached to the pup. The bitch may attempt to eat her placenta, which sounds gross but is quite normal behavior. If she doesn’t want to eat it, that’s fine too, there’s no specific nutritional value in it.

Newborns may attempt to suckle their mother during her delivery. This is a good thing, because it stimulates the production of oxytocin. This hormone helps the uterus to contract, and speeds up delivery of any remaining pups. Keep a close watch on your bitch, so she doesn’t accidentally lie on her newborns as she delivers the remainder of her litter.

This is what happens in a normal delivery. If complications arise, don’t hesitate to call your veterinarian. If your bitch has a fresh bloody discharge from the vagina, a rise in rectal temperature beyond 102 degrees, or hard contractions that don’t produce a puppy for more than thirty minutes, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If your bitch becomes depressed or exhausts herself to the point where she stops delivering, she may need a cesarean section to deliver her litter.

The birthing process can be long and arduous for both dog and owner. By being prepared for any eventuality before your bitch gives birth will help make the process as stress free as possible.

Dog Whelping courtesy of Dog Articles.

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Pregnancy In Dogs

What are the signs of canine pregnancy and what special considerations should be made for pregnant dogs? Here are a few things to consider when caring for your pregnant dog.

The early signs of pregnancy in a dog are vague and non-specific, and include a change in normal behavior, a loss in appetite, weight gain, possibly some vomiting, and perhaps a noticeable increase in the size of her nipples. Your dog may also become more clingy and affectionate. These changes take place during the first few weeks of pregnancy.

If you want to know for sure, you’ll need to visit your veterinarian. A pregnancy test can be performed as early as twenty-six days after a bitch (female dog) has been bred. Your vet will perform a simple blood test to look for a hormone called relaxin, which remains in the bloodstream of pregnant dogs throughout pregnancy and up to two weeks after whelping.

Your vet can often feel puppies in your bitch’s abdomen after five weeks, and an ultrasound can determine whether your dog is pregnant after only three weeks. After seven weeks, the doctor will be able to see how many puppies are there and check their size, to make sure you’re both prepared for any potential delivery complications.

A dog’s pregnancy lasts between sixty-three and sixty-five days. During this time, she may prefer smaller, more frequent meals, since the puppies will be taking up space in her abdomen and there’s less room for her stomach. A balanced diet is important for pregnant dogs, and calcium supplements should be avoided to eliminate the risk of eclampsia while she’s feeding her babies. If you supplement calcium during pregnancy,you switch off her body’s natural calcium regulation system. So, when she needs extra calcium to produce milk, her body can’t meet the demand straight away. This results in trembling and seizures, and can be fatal.

The size of the litter and the size of your bitch will determine how firm or distended her abdomen looks and feels. As the weeks go by, she will gain weight and her abdomen can become quite pendulous. You can often feel the puppies moving during the last couple of weeks of her pregnancy. Her nipples may leak a little milk as she gets closer to her delivery date.

Exercise is important during pregnancy, but it should be gentle and not too strenuous, similar to that for human mothers approaching the final stages of their pregnancy. If any bleeding or vaginal discharge develops, or if your dog stops eating or becomes very lethargic, it may be time to call a veterinarian for advice.

In the final days before delivery, your bitch will become restless and begin her nesting behavior. That’s an indication that it’s time to provide her with a proper whelping box for the birthing process. Towards the end of her pregnancy, your dog’s temperature will drop from a normal 101 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit to between 97 and 99 degrees. This is a sure sign that she will deliver her pups within 24 hours.

Pregnancy in Dogs courtesy of Dog Articles

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