problems. i suggest waiting for two well-bred cycles that “miss” before reaching out for an intensive workup, as this takes some effort and expense. if a bitch misses repeatedly, we usually advise having a uterine biopsy at around the time she would have her pup- pies, as the cervix becomes open. i perform this procedure with sedation using an endoscope to take a tiny biopsy of the endometrium. Biopsy samples are sent for laboratory analysis to assess her future fertility. the most common reports we receive back are normal and inflammatory or cystic conditions. sometimes after great financial input, everything is normal and there is nothing to fix. Q: If you are planning to breed a bitch when her annual vac- cinations are due, should these vaccines be postponed? Is it safe to give her rabies, distemper, adenovirus (hepatitis), parvovirus, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis vaccinations? Dr. Hesser: the importance of staying up to date on vaccines cannot be understated. in general, it’s best to update vaccines ahead of time if you know your bitch will be due for vaccina- tion around her estrus cycle, pregnancy or even into lactation. rabies is a non-negotiable vaccine and is a killed vaccine, meaning the virus has been inactivated. We don't tend to see a negative impact using this category of vaccine even

No matter how experienced you become at dog breeding and whelping litters of puppies, you may sometimes face scenarios you have not seen before. Purina Pro Plan turned to experts to answer questions related to dog breeding. purina senior research Nutritionist Arleigh reynolds, DVM, phD, DACVN, a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, and Andrea hesser, DVM, DACt, a board-certified veterinary re- production specialist who practices at Josey ranch pet hospital in Carrollton, texas, share their insights here. Q: What should you do if you have trouble getting bitches pregnant and then carrying their pregnancies to term. Dr. Hesser: Ovulating timing, breeding to quality semen from a proven stud dog, and monitoring the pregnancy properly are key to success. Bitches can have a multitude of primary conditions, ranging from inflammatory to cystic to cyclic associated diseases. Consulting with a specialist may reveal a very clear primary abnormality. i find it amazing the positive impact that comes from prac- ticing good basic pregnancy management, feeding a healthy diet and monitoring body condition, allowing moderate exercise throughout pregnancy, and adhering to deworming regimens. After all these things have been considered, we look at uterine testing to determine the cause of pregnancy

when administered at the last minute. We try to avoid giving the rabies vac- cine during pregnancy though a bitch is much more at risk to go unvaccinated. As for the distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus combination vaccines, being overdue for these vaccines may not result in any detriment. the veterinarian could check titers to ensure the bitch is pro- tected for an upcoming pregnancy. ideally, vaccines for leptospirosis, parainfluenza, Bordetella, and Lyme disease are up to date; however, exposure to these patho- gens is less frequent when a female is isolated and her traveling is limited, as in the case of pregnancy and lactation. Q: Is it safe to give heartworm and oral flea and tick preventives during breeding, pregnancy and lactation? Dr. Hesser: it is absolutely paramount to keep your dog on preventive medications during this time. i regularly see heartworm positive pregnant dogs and breeders who make unfortunate mistakes in judgment not giving heartworm preventives. heart- worms don’t care that you are breeding


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