Whether you’re a new kennel manager or a seasoned veteran, reviewing basic procedures can provide fresh insights and helpful reminders. This article touches on a variety of topics including nutrition, deworming, common diseases, and new breeding dogs and connects you to strong resources and practical products for further exploration.
Basic Nutritional Recommendations for Breeding Dogs
Breeding Females: Keeping your breeding female dogs on vitamins will help them cycle regularly. Most dogs need extra vitamins in their diets to cycle consistently every six to seven months. Use Doc Roy’s Daily Care for large breeds, and for smaller breeds – Bulldog and smaller – use higher B-Complex and Iron in Breeder’s Edge B Strong for best results.
Pregnant Females: Once your females are bred, Revival recommends Breeder’s Edge Oxy Mate Prenatal for the next 60 days. This product is formulated for pregnant dogs and includes ingredients that aid embryo development. This prenatal vitamin should replace your dog’s daily vitamin during pregnancy.
Lactating Females: Breeder’s Edge Oxy Momma helps bring moms into milk and increases their production. Too little milk in the first few days stresses newborn babies, and some stressed newborns may not make it. Labor should release Prolactin and tell the mammary glands to produce milk, but planned C-section moms do not go into labor! For planned C-sections or for moms who have had difficulty starting milk production in the past, start Oxy Momma seven days prior to whelping. If you need additional help with milking, we suggest checking out When Cats and Dogs Won’t Milk.
Males: Bump up sperm production with Breeder’s Edge Oxy Stud. For best results, start two months before mating season. If you are breeding your stud dog to multiple females, keep him on Oxy Stud year round to maintain high sperm count. During the summer months, remember to keep stud dogs cool as high temperatures can kill sperm!
Basic Deworming Recommendations
Adults: Manage parasites in adult dogs with a fenbendazole dewormer (Safeguard) in the spring and fall. This dewormer is administered once a day for three days in a row at 1cc per four pounds body weight. Safeguard covers roundworms, hookworms, and whip worms, helps with some rodent-borne tapeworms, controls Giardia, and is safe for pregnant dogs. Fenbendazole does not fully cover tapeworm from fleas, which come from eating a flea or rodent. A Praziquantel dewormer such as Worm X Plus will target and remove tapeworms.
Pregnant Dogs: Deworm pregnant dogs with fenbendazole (Safeguard), labeled pregnant-safe, 10 days prior to their whelp date. Deworming before whelping prevents round and hook worms from transferring from mom to baby through the milk. Parasites are most active in heavily pregnant dogs, as hormonal changes in the mom lowers her resistance. Parasites want to get into the next generation, and your job is to stop them! Be sure to check your dewormer to make sure it’s safe for pregnant moms. Do not use dewormers containing Praziquantel, as they cause mom to cramp, and she may lose the pregnancy.
Puppies: Puppies need to be dewormed at two and four weeks old with Pyrantel or Nemex (the same drug) to prevent roundworms and hookworms. Deworm puppies even if their mom was dewormed, as there is still a chance roundworms or hookworms could get past us and into the baby. Nemex is a less concentrated form of Pyrantel Pamoate, but it contains the same active ingredient.
Use Safeguard, when puppies reach six and eight weeks of age. Dose 1cc per four lb for three days in a row. Using two families of dewormer in puppies Pyrantel then Fenbendazole) prevents roundworm resistance from developing.
Common Issues in Kennels
Coccidia: Coccidia parasites are always present in adult dogs’ intestines, and puppies are introduced to coccidia through their mothers. While coccidia is rarely the initial cause of the diarrhea, these parasites proliferate when diarrhea occurs. Coccidia spreads through feces, and younger animals are more susceptible to the disease because of their underdeveloped immune systems. Coccidia causes major issues for babies under eight weeks old and can even kill them if left untreated.
Giardia: A tiny, one-celled parasite that lives in the intestine of affected animals. It is difficult to diagnose as not all infected animals show clinical signs. Symptoms of giardia are more visible in younger and older animals. The first clinical sign of Giardia is usually diarrhea with a strong odor or excessive mucus. Giardia commonly lives in wet areas and is transmitted from drinking contaminated water, mutual grooming, or from mom. Dehydration is always a concern with any diarrhea.
Upper Respiratory Infections: Also known as Kennel Cough because of the honking, dry sounds made by infected dogs. URIs spread easily among dogs who share close quarters, making ventilation and timely vaccination vital. URIs begin with bacteria or viruses attacking a dog’s mucociliary escalator, destroying its ability to remove toxins and foreign material from its airway. This allows additional infections to develop. Strep, E-coli, and Staph infections are all possible, as is bronchopneumonia if left untreated.
Bringing in New Breeding Dogs
- If you bring in any new dogs, always isolate for three weeks until you are sure they are healthy.
- Always worm new animals with Safeguard for five days to eradicate any parasites.
- Always adult or puppy: Boost vaccination for common viruses and Kennel Cough.
- Always test for Brucellosis. To be considered Brucellosis-free, a dog requires two clean tests 60 days apart. Remember if the animal has been on an antibiotic, a test may show negative! Two tests 60 days apart avoids a positive slipping past us.
- Be sure new additions are not introducing any external parasites; watch out for ear mites, mange mites, lice, and fleas!
If you need information our Pet Care Pros are also available to answer your questions and help you find solutions. Call us at 800.786.4751 to speak with someone about your particular needs.
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Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM
Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.