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NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
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absorbing pups

Customer Question

my english mastiff gave birth to 14 healthy pups her first litter on her second litter over a year later she only had one and had to have a c-cetion I took her to our local vet at 63 days pup had heart beat and was large full term vet said well we'll see if she goes into labor on her own she did't and we c-cetioned and vet said pup died inuturo the night before my vet said she should be fine and this was just a flook ayear later we bred them again and this time she aborted at 53 days also, my dane was pregnant at the same time and she gave birth to 12 healthy pups same father what happened to my mastiff why did this happen and what can i do to prevent this from happening again besides spading her How can you go from a large healthy litter to one then absorbing all
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
This can be due to disease or a poor choice of stud and brood bitch combination. If the same stud was the sire for the first litter then I'd rule the last out. Diseases such as herpes can cause problems with pups.
It can also be that your timing on breeding was off for the second litter. You can check on that by doing progesterone tests to tell you the optimum breeding day when your dog comes in season again.
It could be that the c-section left her with adhesions in the uterus. Some dogs form these very easily. The less surface area there is in the uterine lining the less space there is for placental attachment and without good healthy large placentas pups cannot grow correctly. There may only be enough usable space for one pup.
It sounds like in this last litter the dog suffered from uterine inertia. If you want to try another litter with her I would do the progesterone testing to ensure the highest likelihood of fertilization of eggs and then plan a c-section with the vet for 63 days from that breeding and monitor the last few days to see if it must be done earlier.

You may find this online info from Dr Hutchinson (a foremost person in canine reproduction) useful to read.
http://www.dpca-breedered.com/reproseminarhutch.htm
and here
http://www.geocities.com/allrottweilerhealthconcerns/reproductionseminar.html
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: thanks but this was not the answer i was looking for this I already new
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
Tell me what it is you are looking for then and I'll see what I can do to help you.
I've got a lot of breeding experience.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: hi what im looking for is why would the same thing happen twice same father all three times he was the father of the litter with 14 and he also bread my dane every time and she has healthy litters every time. my vet just wants to spade her the first one pup litter came to term the vet just waited to long as i told them there is no window they said they were sorry that they made a mistake she has not had an effection from this or the prior one pup litter the last two were both one pup litters we did exray this last time too and saw one pup then a week latter the pup was gone she eather aborted and ate or reaborbed I quess what Im looking for is someone who went threw this and got an answer of why and how to prevent or just give up and spade she is just 3 years old and she was a wonderful mother the first time.
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
As this happened twice with the same female then I would suspect one of two things - that female has an infection or hormonal imbalance which should be tested for and if possible taken care of before the next breeding, or the c-section on that first one puppy litter impacted her ability to carry another litter of any size.
When they cut the uterus the healing incision can heal cleanly or it can cause adhesions. Adhesions are scar tissues and can even shut off portions of the uterus to implantation.
I had one rescue dog here that was given up as she could not get pregnant at all no matter how often she was bred. When my vet spayed her he said her uterus was so messed up from healing and adhesion creation after a c-section there was no place left for a placenta to be properly attached.
Mastiffs can be prone to thyroid problems and hypothyroidism can impact pregnancy greatly. Whenever breeder has a problem with reproduction, the thyroid should be examined. Among the other symptoms of this problem are
infertility, irregular estrous cycles, and resorption of fetuses after bred. An increased occurrence of abortion, stillbirth, resorption and mummified fetuses have been reported also.
If you've not checked her thyroid function that might be worth doing but do know that the problem is considered an inherited one so that might make you reconsider her as a future brood prospect. Thyroid testing is just one of the many health tests the mastiff club recommends breeders do and they have to be done after the dog is 24 months of age to prove the dog is clear of the problem.
If she is three and this last one is her third litter that could also be the problem. Some dogs just can't handle back to back breedings successfully.
I know if this dog were mine I'd say thanks to her for the 14 healthy pups and spay her so as not to put her through this any more. I'd do the thyroid testing and see if that were the problem so as to know more about the potential in the pups she did raise.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: thanks for your input but she was not bred back to back she was bred once a year she is a little over three and her thyroid was checked and was fine and we also did an ultrasound to check for scarring or any other problems with the uterus before this last breeding which also show nothing out of the norm. before you make statements like back to back breeding you should ask for the facts; for you could insult someone though,im sure with out intention.
Expert:  Joann Canafax replied 11 years ago.
Try skipping a heat or two It helped a friend of mines dog where the first litter was 10 healthy pups and the second with 3 pups 2 stillborn same father both times and he also has healthy pups with another female she skipped a heat next pregnancy was a 7 healthy pups hope this helps!
Expert:  NancyH replied 11 years ago.
A three year old dog, when this breed normally is not bred until it hits two and has had all its health clearances done, would normally have had to have at least one back to back breeding to have three litters in its life so far.
I wasn't being insulting I was offering you another thought. Many breeders will try a back to back breeding when a litter is lost and the mother doesn't have the stress of raising it. Sometimes doing that works well sometimes it doesn't.
If you had mentioned that you had done thyroid checks and uterine ultrasounds that would have been helpful in considering the issue.
Dr Hutchinson (marvelous speaker if you haven't seen him) says that each heat season makes negative uterine changes in the dogs uterus due to the progesterone.
You might want to consult a specialist in canine reproduction - there is one in MA that I have heard of and I believe the person is on the south shore. Your vet should be able to tell you who this specialist is. Or you can check on the list on this site for MA
http://www.whelpwise.com/testing/veterinarian-links.html
The people I know in mastiffs don't breed a female past 5 anyhow. Resting her for a year if she is over three will bring you right up on the edge of not wanting to breed her again.
My feeling is mother nature is pretty much always right. Extraordinary measures seldom seem to do what you might hope when raising litters.
Then if you keep pups for breeding out of such litters as you may get using extraordinary means you can still end up with problems as many more things are genetic than we may be able to test for in dogs.
If this dog is not producing more healthy litters for you there is a reason and spaying is certainly an option even if you cannot figure out just what the problem is.

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