Do you own a purebred female canine that you'd love to see rear a litter of pups? If you don't have any experience with dog-breeding, this may not be such a good idea. While plenty of dog pregnancies go perfectly well, certain breeds are prone to complications that could endanger the life of your beloved furry companion. If your dog is on the below list of difficult-to-breed bitches, consult a veterinarian before taking the lunge and hiring a stud.
Breeds Susceptible To Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is a condition in which the body is deficient in a type of plasma protein that works to clot the blood. While this disease can be present in pigs, cows, equine, and cats, it's mainly seen in humans and canines.
Von Willebrand disease varies in severity. The more lethal types of the disorder (type 2 and type 3) are prevalent in German pointers, Chesapeake Bay retrievers, Scottish terriers, and shelties. Type 1 Von Willebrand disease, the least severe type, has been seen in more than 50 different breeds. Type 1 Von Willebrand disease causes no symptoms and often goes undetected until the affected canine sustains an injury that fails to form a scab.
Von Willebrand disease is especially dangerous for dogs giving birth; the smallest laceration caused by delivery of the pups could lead to uncontrollable bleeding. Any pregnant dog who carries this disease should not give birth at home; they should deliver their puppies in the presence of a trained veterinarian who can monitor clotting and administer blood transfusions if necessary.
Brachycephalic breeds are the breeds with short skulls. Dogs that fall into this category include all breeds with short, powerful jaws such as pit bulls, boxers, and mastiffs, and also all breeds with faces that appear to be pushed in or compressed, such as pugs, shar-peis, and Brussels griffons.
Because the skulls of brachycephalic dogs are wide, the heads of puppies often cannot fit through the mother dog's birth canal. This condition is known as dystocia, and it is detrimental to both the mother dog and the pups. In many cases, the only way to save a dog who is experiencing dystocia is to perform an emergency cesarean section to deliver the puppies -- a procedure with its own host of risks and potential complications. To make matters worse, cesarean sections require anesthesia, and brachycephalic breeds don't handle anesthesia well because it stresses out their airways.
Breeds With Merle Coloration
The term "merle" refers to a dog's coat pattern. Merle coats are mottled, meaning they have spots and/or smears of color that are different than that of the animal's base coat color. Dogs that have merle coats are often described as looking red or blue in color, and they sometimes have blue eyes or brown eyes that are partially colored blue.
A merle dog that is bred with a solid-colored dog will usually fare fine during the delivery of their puppies, but a merle dog that is bred with another merle dog can produce puppies with a devastating coloration, referred to as "lethal white". Lethal white puppies are often born with hearing and vision problems, and are sometimes born completely blind and deaf. And it should be noted that just because a dog doesn't look merle doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't merle. "Cryptic merle" is a term used to refer to dogs with so little of the merle color pattern in their coats that it's nearly impossible to detect.
It's perfectly understandable that you want to carry on the legacy of your perfect pup by letting her have a litter of her own, but if your dog is on the list above, you may want to reconsider your decision to breed her. If you've done your research, understand the risks, and still want to breed your companion pet, make sure you've got a veterinarian, such as Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care, on standby to assist with any complications that may arise.Share