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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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What are the health issues related to over breeding a dog

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What are the health issues related to over breeding a dog?
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!

Since dogs are genetically programmed to cycle twice annually, we may assume "scientifically" that they are fine to bear young this often. Quality breeders do not breed on every cycle so that their gals can rest, regain weight, and get over the calcium requirements of nursing pups. My concerns about a dog from this type of situation do not run so much to the "breeding use" side of things, but to a host of genetic and health problems found in puppy mill animals in general.

Including, but not limited to:

1) Shih Tzus can carry a genetic kidney defect that can reduce their overall lifespan. Reduced kidney function is detected with blood screens and urine tests.

2) Heartworm disease is found in many adult dogs from mass-breeding facilities since the producers do not bother to test their dogs or give them preventative medication. A blood test is used to look for evidence of heartworms living in a dog's circulatory system.

3) Malnutrition...although this can become a serious problem for an "over-bred" female, nutritional deficits are common in mass-managed stock of both sexes. Cheap foods fed in insufficient quantities can cause malnutrition, and so can intestinal parasites. Stool analysis is used to find intestinal parasites (the most deadly are microscopic). Feeding an extremely underweight dog back to health must be done carefully, so as not to "shock" internal organs. Good advice from an experienced veterinarian is really important if she is bony and without good muscle mass.

4) Reproductive diseases such as uterine infection, uterine cancer, and breast cancer can be fatal. Surgically removing the ovaries and uterus reduces the incidence of breast cancer, but does not eliminate the risk entirely. You should check her mammary glands regularly so that any small tumors can be addressed quickly.

5) Anti-social problems like shyness, inability to house-train and aggression when being groomed are things to consider in such a rescue situation. Mass-bred dogs are usually kept isolated in small cages...they do not interact with other dogs or people on a casual basis and may have never been groomed before. Patience and an ability to not become co-dependent with timid behavior in rescues is vital to success

I very much appreciate your interest in this subject and in this poor Lady...if you need additional support at this time, please click "Reply".

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you so much! You answer was very helpful. I know she is 11lbs and had is being treated for a tapeworm. Luckily she is very social as this mill did not keep them in cages, but in a back room. SHe has been checked by a vet and spayed and is getting a teeth cleaning Tues. I feel much better knowing that the actual breeding usually doesn't cause future problems. I was unaware of the risk of kidney defect, I will inqquire about that. I really appreciate your time and will be clicking "accept". Thanks.
Sounds like a case of Handle-with-TLC! lol Most veterinary offices run blood screens before doing procedures under anesthesia, but I'd make sure to ask about this...this link discusses the genetic form of disease...there's a lot of "jargon", but this is what you want to discuss with the vet:
Shih Tzu Renal Dysplasia Info Here.

Eleven pounds is quite respectable for a small-framed female, but find out if there are specific recommendations about improving her health condition if she is thin. Again, most veterinary surgeons put off procedures if reliable indicators of poor health are present. Sounds more like a situation of someone not understanding what they were getting into rather than a hard-core mass-breeding environment.

I hope you develop a vey close relationship to enjoy for many years!