Important Tips On Postpardum Care Of Your Gun Dog
Most of us are aware that when our dog has pups they take care of most of the work all by themselves. For almost all hunting dogs, having the pups and expelling the placenta is a natural process and when followed by sufficient rest your momma dog will be back on her feet and happy and healthy as she ever was. Most dogs that are healthy have absolutely no problems giving birth. There are some complications that as a responsible pet parent you should be aware of (especially if you are a breeder).
Within a day of whelping, the bitch should be taken to a veterinarian to be checked. Most vets will also want to look at the puppies, which is also a good idea. You want to be sure, in the mother’s case, that she is still healthy and that no unborn pups remain in her womb and that her placenta ejected completely. If she retains either, she could get an infection (or worse) and die. Most veterinarians will also offer a shot to help her let down her milk and clear her uterus.
For the pups, temperature checks and physical checks can ensure that the babies are all in good health and that there are no immediate problems. For mom, make sure you watch for fever, lack of appetite and diarrhea after birth as these could be signs of a bacterial infection. Any symptoms should be immediately discussed with your veterinarian so that an antibiotic can be prescribed if needed.
Typically if mom is going to have any problems they will show up within a week of the puppies birth so you’ll want to watch her carefully and make sure that she is in fact returning to her old self.
There are some things you can do as a responsible pup parent to make sure that mom has everything she needs to make sure all stays well. First and foremost make sure that the area where mom and babies are resting is kept very clean – wash all bedding daily and clean up any messes you see immediately. Do not use any harsh cleaning products that can cause irritation to the eyes and noses if the newborn puppies.
Eclampsia is another problem to watch for in the new mother. This is often called “milk fever” and is a condition where her body does not produce enough calcium for lactation. This will occur three weeks or so after lactation begins and is a serious problem. If it is caught early, supplements can be added to her food to give her what she needs to make up for it. Symptoms will include stiffness, pain, and a fever with possible seizures. Take her to a vet as soon as you see any symptom.
Mammary gland infections, particularly the teats, are a common problem so you should them frequently. As her puppies get older and teeth grow in, these infections can occur. Mastisis can set in within a day of birth; watch for purple spots around the glands and check for fever. These and other infections are common and is easily treated with topical creams.
Another potential problem is too little or no milk production which is called Agalactia. Your vet can tell if this is going to be a problem through their examination of your new momma dog and if this is going to be a problem they can take immediate steps to alleviate this condition.
While birth is a very natural and typically a process that requires little intervention on your part to go well, you will want to make sure that your mother pup has every opportunity to stay healthy and keep her pups healthy.
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