Breeding problems

Last week, we spoke about the actual mechanics of the intercourse between a male dog and a bitch.  We mentioned that after intromission a knot at the base of the penis, called the ‘glandular bulb’, becomes swollen.  This knot, in turn is held in place by constricting muscles of the vagina.  At this point, the dogs are ‘stuck’.

Well, firstly, I should mention that with some very sexually active dogs, both novices in the art of mating as well as those who know exactly what is coming, the knot (Bulbusglandis) at the base of the penis might swell up before insertion.  This would mean that intromission would become impossible, i.e. no mating will take place.

On the other hand, we have been confronted with conditions whereby right after the insertion, the penis is withdrawn prematurely, not lastly because the glandular bulb never swells or because the swelling is inadequate and/or incomplete.  Furthermore, these are cases where the penis becomes so engorged before the actual sex act commences that there is some difficulty with intromission.  In such cases, such dogs should be removed from the females until the penis reduces in size and then returned to the female shortly thereafter.  However, it is important to understand that, for a successful mating to take place, there must be full erection of the penis.

Finally, and in my own experience as a veterinary practitioner of many years, the most common mating-related problems with which I have been confronted is the case where the post coitus (after the sex act) penis does not recede in size.  This of course, is often due to the forceful withdrawal of the penis (usually because of brutal human intervention) before the sex act has been completed. The blood remains in the penis shaft (it is the blood packed in the penis shaft that cause the penis to be stiff) and cannot flow back from the penis.  In such cases, the dog must often be place under full anaesthesia, so that all sphincter muscles, etc, become relaxed, thus enabling the blood to leave the penis.  Only a vet should carry out such an exercise.

An inquisitive little kitten at the GSPCA, who is waiting for a good home (She is female but has been spayed.)

Before we close off today, allow me to address a question raised by a reader of the column.  The goodly lady wanted to know whether another uninvited (stray) male could mate with the female after the stud dog has done his job.  The answer is yes.  More importantly, she can become pregnant and give birth to offspring from the mating with the ‘stray’, as well as produce puppies from the mating with the chosen stud dog.  Actually, it is not only interesting to see one set of puppies having the characteristics of the pure breed (of the mother and father), and litter mates looking like the mongrels (=mixed breeds) they are.  This often leads to great vexation and hurled accusations by the two owners of the breeding dogs.  Really, the only thing that has happened is that the owner of the female was careless and allowed a roving neighbourhood Casanova to mate with his female dog who was still in heat and receptive.

Another question of a similar nature is whether the veterinarian can abort the accidental pregnancy stemming from the mating with the unwelcome canine Don Juan.  Well, yes.  However, the abortion injection is not selective and will ensure that none of the two matings (the desired one with the chosen stud and the ‘mistake’) will produce offspring.  Further, it must be mentioned that the ‘morning-after-the-night before’ injection (the ‘mis-mating shot’) should only be administered within 72 hours after the successful copulation took place.  Also, the injection used to stop the process really represents a hormonal intervention.  In other words, your vet would have created a hormonal imbalance within the female dog.  All sorts of consequences can emerge, if that ‘mis-mating shot’ is not given correctly.  How often have I not seen the negative, even life-threatening sequelae of hormonal intervention in dogs.  Talk this matter over with your vet or even with other vets.  Sometimes it might be just better to let the bitch give birth to her mixed-up offspring.  Six months later, when she is again in heat and ready to mate, all parties would be more careful to ensure that she produces puppies of only the desired pure breed.

Enough for today, next we we’ll deal with some more problems associated with the actual mating act.


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