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Educational Articles

Breeding

  • A caesarean section, or C-section, is major surgery performed to remove puppies from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth.

  • Chronic egg laying occurs when a female bird lays more than the normal number of eggs or, more commonly, lays repeated clutches of eggs, especially in the absence of a mate. The persistent laying of eggs may lead to malnutrition induced by the chronic depletion of calcium from the body for the production of the egg shells.

  • Designer breeds combine registered, pure dog breeds that are mixed on purpose to create designer breeds. Intentional mixing of breeds optimizes the best characteristics of each parent. Sometimes the dog may have more than two pure breeds in his bloodline, but unlike a mutt, his lineage can be identified.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • Egg binding is not uncommon in birds and may be resolved easily if treated early. Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body. If a prolonged period has elapsed since the bird began attempting to lay the egg, she may become critically ill. Birds with egg binding may or may not have passed an egg more than 2 days ago, are usually weak, not perching, often sitting low on the perch or on the bottom of the cage, and are straining as if trying to defecate or to lay an egg. Treatment varies depending upon how sick the bird is, as well as the location of the egg and the length of time the bird has been egg bound. Critically ill birds are first treated supportively for shock, and then attempts are made to extract the egg. If your veterinarian cannot see the egg through the vent, surgery under general anesthetic may be necessary to remove the egg from the abdomen. A hysterectomy (removal of the oviduct and uterus) is typically the last choice therapy, when medical and egg extraction through the vent are not possible.

  • The estrous cycle in cats occurs seasonally and is variable with the amount of daylight. Most cats become very affectionate, even demanding when in heat. They persistently rub against their owners (or objects such as furniture) constantly wanting attention and they become very vocal. Tomcats that have never been seen before in your yard or neighborhood will appear and may spray urine on the house to mark the territory or may even attempt to enter the house to mate with the female. To avoid the noise of a heat cycle, unwanted tomcat visitors, and prevent unwanted pregnancies, it is best to have your cat spayed.

  • The estrous cycle in dogs on average happens twice a year once a dog reaches sexual maturity. On average a dog will be in heat for 1½ to 2 weeks but this can be shorter or longer. In many cases, a bloody vaginal discharge is the first sign that a pet owner will notice when their dog comes into heat. In some cases, the discharge will not be apparent until several days after heat has begun. There are no valid reasons for letting a dog have a litter of puppies before being spayed. If you want to keep your dog from having any accidental pregnancies, it is best to have her spayed.

  • On average, dogs go into heat about twice a year or every six months, although it varies from dog to dog. The most obvious sign of heat in dogs is vaginal bleeding. The time of mating is extremely critical and it is highly recommended that you have your female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. This will improve your chance of success. If mismating occurs with your dog, contact your veterinarian to discuss options. Before breeding your dog, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the female is healthy and also to discuss the risks.

  • False pregnancy, phantom pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy or pseudocyesis are all terms that refer to a display of maternal (mothering) behavior combined with the physical signs of pregnancy following estrus ("heat") in a female dog that is not actually pregnant. A false pregnancy may occur in a dog, regardless of whether or not she was mated.

  • The various stages of reproduction—heat (estrus), pregnancy, lactation, and weaning— provide unique stresses to the body. Each creates specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both queen and kitten health.