Friday, January 25, 2013
So Your Pit-Type Female Dog Got Knocked Up....
It's particularly bad for "Pit" or "Block-head" types for a wide variety of reasons. Dog fighting, BSL, etc. etc. etc.
Oh, dear, folks here are going to upset about this one. The pregnant Pit. I can see them with pitchforks, gathering wood for fires and setting up the stake in the courtyard.....they're brushing off the pillory....plucking chickens, heating up the tar....
If I had my cat's "oops pregnancy" to do over again, I'd spay-abort. But she was due in 10 days. (So the vet at the APL said. Not.) Granted, those kittens, (now well into their teens) had good homes and good lives. But I was a total Nazi when it came to homes for them. A She-wolf!
Are you ready to take back any one of those puppies at any time during its life, which can be up to 16-18 years from now? If not, don't do it.
Do you have totally checked and vetted-out homes for at least 2 times as many puppies as she will have? Pittie type litters average between 4-10. If you don't have all those people lined up with large deposits, no "yeah-buts we'll take one".....Don't do it.
Many people from Rescue and Pit advocacy groups will be very upset about this mistake in dog management. And rightly so. I come from a slightly different angle here, having been in purebred dogs for over 20 years. And no, I've never bred a litter or stood my intact dogs at stud. Yes, admittedly you were completely at fault for not being vigilant A solid tie can happen way quicker than you'd every imagine. (And if you don't know what that term means....yikes!)
Yes, she should be spayed and your boy should be neutered. There is no question about that. We're not talking show dogs here. And many people who show their dogs never breed them. And if neither parent has been health tested for hips, elbows, eyes (PRA, DLL), heart, Van Wildebraun's etc. then spay-abort. Does one or both parents have skin issues, severe allergies? These are all genetically carried problems that can impinge on the quality of those pups' lives. If you've never heard of any of this stuff or if you have NO idea what I'm talking about, you should spay-abort.
However....if you are really going to go through with this, I hope like hell you have a clean, quiet, warm house, whelping box, old blankets, towels, tons of newspapers a SUPER great vet, a good ER vet clinic and some super-experienced dog people versed in whelping to help you. If you're going to continue forward with this....please, I beg you: DO IT RIGHT. Find someone reputable who breeds medium to large-sized purebred dogs on a very limited basis. Not a backyard breeder or an "Oops Breeder". Not your friend down that street whose b*tch got knocked up last year. (Whelping Toy Breeds is a whole 'nother story). You need their advice and wisdom.
Momma dog should be going to the vet every week for her pre-natal check up and probably be ultra-sounded as well. If she has a breech pup, it could kill her; she may need a Cesarean. That's at least $1,000 there. If you're lucky.
Some vets will do very early spay/neuters on the puppies. I do beg you, SPEND THE MONEY. please do not let the puppies go without having them fixed, micro-chipped and fully vetted. Parvo kills!
People who responsibly breed dogs (and don't ya'all dare flame me with your "all breeders are scum" vigilante spew) spend a ton of money and never get it back. She's a Pittie type, so you are going to have to be uber-vigilant about who gets those puppies. I'd do serious background checks, check ALL their references, do a pre-home visit and have a contract that says at any time WITHOUT NOTICE you can visit where that dog lives. Are you ready to be their guardian and advocate for the rest of their lives?
You must be prepared to do the "Smart Puppy Program" with these little ones. If you have no idea what I'm taking about, spay-abort. You can Google that and see if you're up to the task. It will make them much better dogs as they grow.
The average responsible breeder of ANY breed, will spend $250-$1,000+ PER puppy on pre-natal, post natal care and puppy care. That's not including testing done on both parents.
It is a full time job 24/7 for 8-10 weeks. By the way, don't let anybody b.s. you....letting puppies go at any age before then (like 5-6 weeks) is totally irresponsible, in my opinion. I know I know, shelters do it. I do not approve. Even though Mom has weaned them she still has a lot to teach them. DON'T DO IT. Once puppies are mobile, they really become a full-time job with full-time, never-ending clean up. Puppies are noisy, adorable, messy, destructive, little heart-stealing monsters.
Since this was an unplanned pregnancy, I would SERIOUSLY consider a spay-abort even at this late stage. She'll be OK. Remember! She and the pups are YOUR responsibility for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. Even when they go to new homes, THEY ARE YOURS ALWAYS. You should be there always for your puppy owners, revel in their accomplishments and cry with their owners when they go to The Bridge, old and grey and loved to the very end.
That being said...puppy breath is pretty special stuff, no denying that. But most people are woefully unprepared for the responsibility, time and expense to do it RIGHT. You must be totally committed to doing it right for the rest of their lives.