Alda's - Breeding
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  Pregnancy - Frequently Asked Questions - Observations and suggestions

Alda at 8 weeks pregnant


  • Observe urine, watch flow - Should stay same yellow color the whole time. If red blood is seen in stream, she might have a bladder infection. Call breeding or vet clinic right away.

  • Vulva - It will still be slightly swollen, like she was in season. She might also have whitish, stringy drips. If her vulva smells nasty, call breeding or vet clinic right away.
  • Ears - Look in ear canal for brownish wax. Clean 1x or 2x a week to prevent build up. Clean with blue ChloriHexi solution on cotton ball. If wax build up returns within 1-2 days after cleaning, call vet clinic.
  • Teeth - Brush 1-2 times per week. While pregnant she doesn't chew on bones, so her breath starts to stink.
  • Nipples - Clean off dirt and old skin with warm water on cotton ball. You can add ChloriHexi blue solution to the water if you need to cut the grease. Her nipples get dirty when she starts expressing milk and they get sticky. She will start milking sometime after the ultrasound date.
  • Eyes - She may start to get more goo in the corners of her eyes as she approaches her due date. Usually the moms go on an ointment a week before their due date. If the goo is lime green or the whites of her eyes are blood shot, call breeding or the vet clinic.
  • Toe nails - I usually cut her nails once a week and since she doesn't chase balls or run around while pregnant they don't wear themselves down. Usually at night while she is really tired is a good time.
  • Buckle collar - Loosen to other hole, when you notice that it has gotten snug. She will gain weigh everywhere and her collar gets too tight.
  • Hair Loss - She will loose all the hair on her belly by her due date. Hair on other parts of her body will remain thick.
  • Ultrasound - Bring her to the vet clinic with a full bladder. They will ask questions about her behavior, physical condition, and then you take her to the small office with the ultrasound. With your help (or not) Alda will be flipped belly up in a big blue foam wedge. Pet her head and talk softly, to steady her after the flip. They will raise the table, squirt goo on her belly (the coolness will startle Alda), and stick the probe on the goo. The image shows on the monitor screen. They will attempt to count the pups, and also look at other organs. They can give you a print out of a pup if you want. After the ultrasound, they will ask for the Pregnancy Care papers. They will fill in the food chart, increasing her food about 1 cup a week for the next 3 weeks. She will also change to SD Puppy food.

  • Food
    Before ultrasound - She will be on Science Diet Maintenance. 1.25 or 1.5 cups twice a day. I raise her food so the pups can grow up big and strong and she usually will eat less about 10 days before her due date, so I like her to have some fat stored up on her.
    After ultrasound - She will switch (in 5 day period) to Science Diet Puppy and they will increase the amount of food by about 1 cup a week.
    Loss of appetite - She will loose her appetite about 2 weeks before her due date. Do all that you can to get her to eat. Try only 1 cup per meal, try canned food, dry kibble instead of wet, dog sausage log, dog biscuits, any dog food product on the store shelf. You can switch foods without having to worry about loose stools. Her nutrition is more important than a soft serve stool. I will buy 1 can of food from each dog food company (Iams, Purina, Natural Balance, etc). She will tire of a flavor after one meal, so variety is important. Sometimes she will only eat kibble, other times she will only eat canned food. Sometimes holding the bowl up off the floor helps. Sometimes going for a walk before eating. It is best to stay with dog food and not use people food.

  • Daily walks - Her walks before ultrasound (4 weeks) will be just about the same as she always does. After ultrasound she starts gaining weight and her pace slows way down. Begin doing shorter walks multiple times a day, she will also be pooping more, so try to get a business on each walk. If she poops she will eat more at the next meal. At the start of her pregnancy on a typical day, she will ride with me in the car while I run errands in the morning. Nap in the afternoon, go on a brisk hour long walk (2 miles) about 5 pm, then eat dinner about 5:30 pm A typical day about 2 weeks before her due date, starting at 6 am, she will do business, eat only about 1 cup of food, sleep, then 4 hours later, take on short walk to get her to poop, and feed her another cup. She will sleep gain. After 4 more hours, take her on a short walk to get her to poop, feed her another cup of food, you can see how this pattern is repeating itself. She will probably need to do business in the middle of the night, sometimes twice a night. Last pregnancy, our schedule was 9 pm, midnight, 3 am, 6 am.
  • Discomfort from the pups - As the pups gain weight, it puts pressure on her, so she will begin to whimper and sigh pitifully. Some times she will whimper on every exhale. I try to ease her discomfort by petting her belly, getting her to reposition, or just distract her from what ever she was thinking. She wakes me in the middle of night during that last 2 weeks of pregnancy, either that I am sensitive to her or that she gets loud. If she doesn't calm down (fall asleep) after repositioning her, take her out to do business.



Website links
- Guide Dogs for the Blind Breeding Program
- Contra Costa East Guide Dog Raisers

  website updated on June 14, 2006  
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