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  #1  
Old 17th February 2001, 09:20 AM
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I have a 2 year old bitch who was recently scanned(ultra sound) and was found to be only carrying 1 pup. This was unusual as i had used pre-mate testing and had a succesfull mating. My Bitch is from a litter of 13 and the stud dog was from 10 he has produced many litters of no less than 8 until the last three. The first two the stud dog owner had used on her own bitches au naturel as it were without pre mates and thought after the first litter of 3 and the second of only 1, with which the bitch did not present any signs of pregnancy to the extent of never going into labour(a cesar was performed) the pup died at 24 hours. She had not been concerned and vowed to return to pre mates in future. The third was Layla.

I am keen to know what people may think the reason is. I am also concerened now about Layla and the birth. Layla is showing all the signs of pregnancy, does this mean she may deliver this pup normally? any experience or advise would be appreciated
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  #2  
Old 18th February 2001, 04:54 PM
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Hello Marna and board,

"Singleton" litters are not uncommon and it's an even money bet whether a bitch can deliver a single puppy normally or not. Many factors are involved. Whelping history is important. Marna's bitch, I assume is prima gravida (first pregnancy)so whelping history for her won't apply directly, but it's important to know the whelping history of her mother, her grandmother, even her great grandmother if the information is available. If these bitches were able to produce puppies normally then Marna's bitch, in better circumstances could be expected to deliver normally. Another factor would be if there is any primary uterine inertia in the bitches heritage. This includes on the sires side as well. If there is a tendency to uterine inertia anywhere in her pedigree then one has to be aware of the possibility that the bitch may have inherited this tendency.

Size of the puppy is also a factor, as singleton puppies are often much bigger than puppies from a normal litter. If this is the case, sheer size can prevent normal delivery. An X-ray at 8 weeks should tell you how big the puppy is.

The simple anatomy and physiology of a bitch is also a major factor. The bitch uterus is actually in 2 chambers. They have one cervix like other mammals but beyond the cervix the uterus actually bifurcates (splits in two) and forms to long sausage like chambers, that in pregnancy can extend right up under the bitches ribs.

In a normal pregnancy, puppies wanting to get outta there will be tossing and turning, "jockeying for postion" as part of the normal whelping process. This stimulation helps the bitch deliver the puppies. With a singleton litter there is obviously only one puppy in one horn of the uterus and this natural stimulation is lost. If there is primary uterine inertia present there is no way the bitch will deliver that puppy.

I have had 2 bitches that have produced singleton litters. Petra, who had 2 out of three litters as singletons, the third being only 2 puppies. A different sire was used for each litter. All litters were delivered by Caesarian section as Petra had primary uterine interia.

Then there was Agnes, who had 9 puppies in her first litter, followed by 2 singleton litters which she delivered normally with the aid of Oxytocin and Calcium injections. CAUTION: Oxytocin should not normally be used until a puppy has been produced. In this case the Oxy was administered by a vet in a clinic.

Point of interest. Agnes' third litter produced one puppy, who was to become Marimat Olivier Duque, named after our dear webmaster at Boxerworld

So onto my advice, which is only my opinion, but it is borne from experience.

Marna, I would calculate the birth date of your bitches 1 puppy and have her booked in for elective C-Section. Mainly so that the vet is on standby and you don't have to go looking for them. I would take her to the clinic on the day the C Section is booked for and get an assessment done at that time. If she is having normal stages of labour and lloks like she can deliver normally, well and good, but if it looks like there could be trouble you'll already be at the vets where things like Oxy and Ca+ injections can be given as a boost. You'll also of course be there to get the baby out ASAP by C Section if needed.

As for the reason for single puppy despite a normal history, I don't think we have enough information to come up with a reason.

How old is this stud dog? Was the bitch "swabbed" pre mating for vaginal or cervical infection. Is the dog regularly checked for penile infection. Infections in either can kill sperm.

Has he had a recent sperm count? Has the sperm been looked at by a Vet and been shown to be normal, even if the count is OK? For example, is the Ph level of the semen normal. Not too alkaline or too acidic? What stage pregnancy are we at with this bitch? She may have conceived 12 puppies and reabsorbed most of them, you'll never know on that but it does happen.

How many matings were done? I have no faith in pre test kits, Bitches only actually ovulate for 2 -4 hours in an entire heat cycle. Actual slides of the discharge where you look for Cornified Cells (pre ovulation) are of far more value.

It's unfortunate I guess that only 1 puppy has apparently been conceived (Ultrasounds can be wrong too remember) but the reason for this can't be speculated on without some investigation.

Hope this information is of value

Matthew


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  #3  
Old 19th February 2001, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bocsirs
Petra, who had 2 out of three litters as singletons, the third being only 2 puppies. A different sire was used for each litter. All litters were delivered by Caesarian section as Petra had primary uterine interia.
Matthew, I don't mean to be critical, but why would you propogate a bitch with known reproductive problems? I can see that you wouldn't know the first time, and you'd try switching sires the second time, but a third time seems like a less than desirable thing to do(?)
I am not a breeder, so feel free to educate me if there's something I'm missing....
Please don't take offense at my question...
-Linda
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  #4  
Old 19th February 2001, 11:54 PM
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Linda,

Because not always are things in our control. The third came after Petra had a "silent" season. She was my first bitch and I had never heard of this phenomenon. So she was running with a new dog at the time and we didn't in fact even know of the pregnancy or the possibility.

In hindsight, this would obviously be an extension of her poor quantatitive qualities and may even been indicative of a more sinister problem that was not in vogue or known of at the time. Hypothyroidism comes to mind.

But, you are 100% correct, it would be folly to knowingly breed a bitch with these sorts of problems which is exactly why I ditched the particular bloodline and started afresh.

Matthew


 
  #5  
Old 23rd February 2001, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bocsirs
Linda,

Because not always are things in our control. The third came after Petra had a "silent" season. She was my first bitch and I had never heard of this phenomenon. So she was running with a new dog at the time and we didn't in fact even know of the pregnancy or the possibility.

In hindsight, this would obviously be an extension of her poor quantatitive qualities and may even been indicative of a more sinister problem that was not in vogue or known of at the time. Hypothyroidism comes to mind.

But, you are 100% correct, it would be folly to knowingly breed a bitch with these sorts of problems which is exactly why I ditched the particular bloodline and started afresh.

Matthew

Are you saying a silent heat is a sign that something is wrong? I'm asking because my girl's first (and only heat so far) was at the age of 10 1/2 months. It was a silent heat and was very weird. No blood and swelling for 2 months. At the end of the second month a smear showed she was just coming out of heat. Surely her heat cycle didn't last for 2 months, any ideas? She's my first female, all I know about breeding and heat cycles is from research, not experience and I have never read of a 2 month heat cycle or a back to back heat cycle (like my vet suggested) in any of my research.
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  #6  
Old 23rd February 2001, 11:15 AM
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I don't have my books with me to check on the "facts" but my bitch starts swelling several weeks before she goes into heat. The actual heat lasts for 21-28 days, and then it's a week or two or three before the swelling is gone. So 2 months of swelling is probably not unheard of (I've never timed from swelling, just from color....)

As for a silent heat indicating something is wrong....again, I don't have my books to check, but I'd think that if it happened one time maybe not. I think what Matthew was referring to was the small litters and the need for a section for each one due to primary uterine inertia.

There are also things called "split heats" - which may be what your vet was calling back-to-back heats, where they build up to ovulation, wait several days, and then ovulate.

Julie

 
  #7  
Old 23rd February 2001, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JulieM
I don't have my books with me to check on the "facts" but my bitch starts swelling several weeks before she goes into heat. The actual heat lasts for 21-28 days, and then it's a week or two or three before the swelling is gone. So 2 months of swelling is probably not unheard of (I've never timed from swelling, just from color....)


I guess that would add up. I haven't refreshed my memory on my readings for a while but I was thinking it said once the swelling starts it takes about a week or a little longer for the bleeding to start. This lasts about 5 days. At this point I figured the vulva would start to shrink. The first vet I took her to act like 2 months of swelling was not possible and wanted to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Our new vet act like it wasn't a big deal.

Quote:
As for a silent heat indicating something is wrong....again, I don't have my books to check, but I'd think that if it happened one time maybe not. I think what Matthew was referring to was the small litters and the need for a section for each one due to primary uterine inertia.
I was wondering if her silent heat had a lot to do with it being her first heat. I guess I'll find out when she decides to come in again. Another thing I thought was weird was my male didn't act interested at all. He never tried or act like she existed, I was waiting for him to show the least bit of intrest before seperating them, he never showed any and I never seperated them. I do have to keep him away from Sheeba though, she is in the middle of her first heat and Tyson has noticed (along with a few of the neighboring dogs).

Quote:
There are also things called "split heats" - which may be what your vet was calling back-to-back heats, where they build up to ovulation, wait several days, and then ovulate.

Julie
It might be, I haven't heard of that either. I have so much to learn.

 
  #8  
Old 23rd February 2001, 11:43 AM
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The Book of the Bitch by Evans is an excellent resource, if you don't already have it. I don't know offhand if it discusses silent heats and split heats (although it probably does) but I've found it very helpful. Also, The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies by Muriel Lee is very good.

 
  #9  
Old 23rd February 2001, 12:04 PM
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Thanks.

 
  #10  
Old 26th February 2001, 10:37 PM
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Any sign of this puppy yet?

Matthew


 
  #11  
Old 2nd March 2001, 04:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bocsirs
Any sign of this puppy yet?

Matthew

No not yet she is due on the 14th but I am taking her for another scan on the 11th so i'll keep you posted. Had a look at your web page have to admit I am very jealous i visited Sydney a couple of years back and would love nothing more than to live over there with a couple of acres and a load of boxers!!!
Marna

 
  #12  
Old 12th March 2001, 05:13 AM
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Hi Matthew
had final scan yesterday at 60 days pup is lying straight but bum first! The lady who did the scan said thta this combined with the fact that it's an only pup and it's size meant that the chances of Layla delivering the pup herself were about 98% against. So I called my vets to book an elective c section for Wednesday (63 days) and was told that they would not perform elective cesarians!
What are the risks if Layla is allowed to go over the 63 days?