Preparing for birth (Whelping)

I have always advocated that bitches should give birth to their offspring in an environment (human ‘family,’ yard/house, etc) in which they feel comfortable and secure, and with which they are acquainted. 

General care during pregnancy

Pet Corner

Those who have had to experience my ‘lecturing’ about fat dogs will know that I have a fixation about emphasising the need to have our pets look lean and well conditioned, instead of fat from over-feeding. 

Pregnancy

Pet corner

Continued Let’s continue with the matter of pregnancy in our companion animals.  In last week’s column we listed the gestation periods (lengths of pregnancy) of many animals. 

Gestation

Pet Corner

Now that we are finished with the series of articles on “Fertility/Infertility” in our companion animals, we can now turn the topic of pregnancy.

Infertility in the female dog

Pet Corner

(continued) Over the last few weeks, we departed from our theme of “Infertility” and dealt with the topic of “Spaying and Neutering” as a method of stopping fertility (pregnancy).

More arguments for spaying and neutering pets

Pet corner

Last week’s column entitled ‘Spaying and neutering makes sense’ provoked an outpouring of support for the premise, and many callers and e-mail letter writers added further comments on the issue, most of which I will include in this week’s TPC.

Preventing pregnancy

Pet Corner

Continued from last week We have arrived at the point where we may discuss the final and most reliable method of birth control – the spay.

Preventing pregnancy

Continued from last week

Tubal ligation As promised last week I will now deal with tubal ligation as a surgical method for birth control. 

Preventing pregnancy

Pet Corner

We are at the end of the series of TPC articles dealing with ailments associated with reproduction, and with the male and female reproductive organs. 

Pyometra – re-emphasized

Pet Corner

Events occurring over the past week dictate that I continue to dwell on this topic which appeared in last week’s column (not for the first time). 

Female infertility revisited

Pet Corner

Pyometra Today, I would like to return to an aspect ‘female infertility’ which we have already previously touched upon, but which needs to be revisited and dealt with in more detail. 

Orchitis

Pet Corner

Continued Last week, we began with an ailment which impacts upon fertility/reproduction, and which is associated with an inflammation of the testicles (orchitis).

Infertility in the male dog

Pet Corner

Continued Inflammation of the testicles (Orchitis) We are still discussing infertility in the male, and within this context physical injuries and infections (from bacteria, fungi and viruses) of the testicles are very common causes of the inability of males to breed.

Infertility in the female dog

Continued Vaginal infection (Vaginitis) Bacterial infection of the vagina often spreads to the urinary tract causing a burning sensation on urination and increased frequency in the voiding of urine. 

Infertility in the female dog

Continued Up until now the discussion has centered on infertility of the bitch based on hormonal, metabolic, management related, genetic or anatomic (congenital or acquired) disorders/ deficiencies. 

Fertility problems in the female dog

There are several causes of infertility (inability to conceive) in the bitch, but most times it is due to an infection in the womb or in other parts of the reproductive tract (cervix, vagina, etc). 

Infertility in dogs

If, after the successful completion of the physical sex act (called the ‘tie‘ in dogs), the bitch fails to conceive, you may be faced with an infertility problem – in either the male or the female, or both. 

Breeding problems

Continued Unwilling breeders Last week we commenced with this topic and explained that, in most cases, dogs who are deemed to be ‘shy breeders’ might have in fact been brought together for mating at an incorrect time during the mating season.

More breeding problems

Prolonged mating We had mentioned that the actual act of canine intercourse is called the ‘tie.’ Some-times it can happen that the male and the bitch are ‘stuck’ for over an hour. 

Breeding

Continued Further preparation This week, we’ll continue with the preparation of the two actors in the drama of canine reproduction.

Breeding problems

Continued The actual mating act (the tie) The process whereby the male dog introduces his penis into the bitch’s vagina and then gets ‘stuck’ is called the ‘Tie’.

Breeding

Continued Preparation Only healthy dogs must be taken for mating.  This means that both the male and female must be free of mange and ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice, etc). 

Breeding

Continued The most important consideration relating to breeding is when to breed. Before reading this week’s TPC, you may wish to refer to some of the other Sunday Stabroek TPC articles, especially those printed on July 8th and 29th, August 5th and 12th.

Breeding

Continued The stud dog Last week, we dealt with the brood bitch. Of course, the other main actor in the breeding drama is the male dog. 

Breeding

Continued Today, we will continue making some more general remarks on this matter of breeding companion animals. 

Breeding

Today, we commence with a whole new chapter in our discussions on the well-being of our companion animals. 

Ailments of the urinary system

(Continued from last week) A reader of this column called me and requested to know the difference between ‘nephritis’ and ‘nephrosis’ – terms, which she had seen in a medical book.

Ailments of the urinary system

Continued from last week

How do you know if there is a urinary tract disease? You may recall that last week’s ‘Pet Corner’ stated that the urinary tract is composed of the kidneys, the ureters (tubes from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder and the urethra (tube from the bladder, via the penis/vagina, to the outside).

Musculoskeletal problems

HOD (Hypertrophic osteodystrophy) – swelling of the bones at the joints

Continued from last week This disease affects puppies of the large, rapidly growing breeds, especially those three to seven months of age.