The second pregnancy in dogs, on average comes about six months after the first pregnancy. Particularly, small breeds come into a second pregnancy after six months, and large breeds usually at ten to fourteen months. However, some breeds come in as often as four times a year while others once a year.
The onset of the second pregnancy primarily depends upon 15 factors. Especially, when you expect the second pregnancy in the same year after the first one. Moreover, these are also the testing guidelines that ensure whether your bitch is ready for it or not. Or you should wait more!
1. Recovery of a health condition
4. Perform Stricture Test
5. Canine Brucellosis
6. Test for Studs
7. Delayed Heat for second breeding
8. Split Heat
9. Extended Heat
10. Cystitis – a bladder infection in females
11. Pyometra – a urine infection
12. Infertility in females
14. Sterility – inability to reproduce
15. Sperm Test – It is not always the bitch
Let us discuss each factor in detail
Top 15 Factors that Determines the Second Pregnancy for Dogs:
Small breeds are sexually ready for second breeding earlier than large breeds. small breeds produce younger and live longer than large breeds, but they have smaller litters.
Besides their breeding ability to pregnancy, certain factors are common in all bitches for a successful second pregnancy; unless treated.
1. Recovery of a health condition:
Post whelping period(after a dog gives birth), they remain weak. You should not force a bitch or a stud to breed unless they are in a peak condition.
If your bitch is infested with worms, severely underweight, or recovering from a serious illness or surgery. You should not be bred until she regains her health.
Also, give serious consideration to the breeding partner for months in advance. You should make sure that the bitch is in optimum health.
The dams’s(the female parent) own immunity ensures the pup’s health.
The dam passes immunity into the pup through the colostrum, the first milk. If the dam has low immunity, then the pup is susceptible to diseases.
Before second breeding, bring the dam to the veterinarian to check the current immunization. During pregnancy or while nursing, her shots may fall. Thus, it is better to give them early to ensure high immunity.
Because it is not advisable to inoculate(vaccine to increase immunity) bitches in whelp. and preferably to do so before the breeding season.
Although rabies is not a disease that young pups are liable to catch, airborne. Other infectious viruses are extremely debilitating or fatal if pups catch them.
It is most important that all dogs, particularly dams and puppies, must be inoculated against parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and leptospirosis and distemper.
Keep in touch with your vet about the latest vaccines to ascertain that your bitch has all the protection available for herself and her brood.
To avoid uninvited guests like worms, bacteria, ticks infesting your bitch(female dog), you should have her stool checked for evidence of parasites before she is ready to breed.
If the test is positive, you should perform deworming treatment prior to breeding. Deworming treatment may be toxic and not advisable during pregnancy. Perform it early.
What happens if you don’t perform deworming treatment?
Nevertheless. many puppies are born with roundworm infestation. This is due to the larvae which lie dormant in the dam and reactivate during pregnancy. At that point, they enter the bloodstream and thus the fetuses.
Parasites may also be transmitted while nursing, which proves that all is not pure, even in mother’s milk. If the mother is infected, her condition is not good.
Pregnancy and lactation will weaken her further. Thus, the pups would not be as robust as they would with a healthy mother. and these weakened pups soon become infested themselves.
Of course, keeping a stud dog currently inoculated and worm-free is important as well. His health is advantageous to himself and his owner. ensuring his producing ability.
If heartworm is a problem in your area, give your dogs an annual blood test to determine if they are clear, followed by administering the preventative during the danger season.
4. Perform Stricture Test:
Stricture is a tough ring at the end of the vaginal canal that an aggressive stud can sometimes tear. It may be stretched by the veterinarian using sterile gloves and petroleum jelly.
Occasionally it is necessary to cut off the band. However, it may be painful to the bitch and can even put her off from breeding.
Furthermore, breeding can take place shortly after surgery, so that scar adhesions do not prevent a later mating.
5. Canine Brucellosis:
Brucellosis was a widespread disease during 1962. Also called canine VD. It is an infectious disease that transmits mainly through sexual contact.
Test your bitch for Brucellosis if she has been infected since her first breeding. It is a type of blood test that is convenient to conduct in conjunction with the annual heartworm exam. If tests positive, the dog should be isolated and mated while suspect.
Don’t panic. Results are obtained quickly in the vet office. Then, follow up with your vet for treatment.
More about the disease:
In active cases, the bacteria is present in vaginal discharge, urine, and fetal fluids. Due to habitual licking and sniffing. the disease is disseminated throughout a kennel and can sterilize all inhabitants.
An eruption of brucellosis in a breeding kennel is tragic since the only way to overcome it is to eliminate all positive dogs, isolating others until a safe period is passed, and then preferably move to new premises.
An infected bitch suffers spontaneous abortion around the seventh week of pregnancy. In some instances. pups are carried to term, but are either stillborn or succumb shortly.
Although the disease is not fatal to adults, treatment is not always successful and most adults become sterile. The best prevention is to demand proof of health from the stud’s owners.
Bitches usually have a discharge, and males suffer painful swelling of the testicles. Eventually, testicles can atrophy.
Glands and joints may also swell and ache. Don’t take this disease lightly, especially if you have more than one or two dogs.
6. Test for Studs:
Males often have a creamy discharge. If you find the discharge appears to be abnormal in color or amount, bring him to the vet.
If the male misses on three or more consecutive bitches, particularly proven bitches, to check the sperm samples.
The stud owner should keep records of all litters produced, including any defective pups.
7. Delayed Heat for second breeding:
Breeders who have plans for a bitch in their breeding program prefer to know whether the COY bitch will ever cycle normally.
Professional breeders should discuss the treatment with their veterinarian. The hormonal treatment may kick-off routine cycling. The first initiated heat period might not be fertile, but the bitch can be bred in the second season.
Treatment with hormones should never be taken lightly. Sometimes all that is necessary is biding your time. If the family line shows late sexual maturity, don’t panic.
8. Split Heat:
Occasionally a bitch appears to come into a normal season but ceases discharging after just a few days. Stress or trauma can cause such an anomaly.
Similar cases have been noted during weather changes or extremes. and in bitches who are shipped to the stud. Although the delay is frustrating, these bitches often come back into season again in a few days.
If there is a lapse of a day or two, it is safest to count from the first day of the first season.
However, if there is a span of several days to weeks, ovulation occurs normally during the “second” heat.
9. Extended Heat:
An extremely long season may indicate hormonal problems. One treatment is megestrol during the season.
The use of “birth control” pills to skip a season often helps return the bitch to sync next time.
Further, examine the bitch for other irregularities.
10. Cystitis – a bladder infection in females:
Cystitis is a bladder infection commonly found in females. Frequent urination is a common symptom. The urine may be bloody, a strong fishy odor, painful urination.
These problems also arise after first whelping and needs treatment.
Dogs with cystitis may have a spontaneous loss of urine. such as when sleeping or walking, or may have the sensation of urination without voiding. Victims often lick their genitals and may have a discharge.
A specimen will determine which antibiotic is effective.
Catch the urine in a flat pan and transfer it to a clean jar. This is easier than trying to divert the flow at midstream into the jar! Bitches with a predisposition to cystitis can have flare-ups following or prior to a heat period.
Treatment is necessary to prevent kidney infection, as well as for the sake of your rug.
11. Pyometra – a urine infection:
There are two types of uterine infection. The open cervix form, showing discharge, is more easily treated. The discharge is sticky reddish pus, often appearing after a season or up to three months postpartum.
It may be foul-smelling. If the dog is pregnant, she will abort. The closed-cervix type pyometra contains pus sealed within the uterus.
The symptoms are increased thirst and urination, fever, and a tender abdomen. which may be bloated. Vomiting may occur.
Although pyometra once led to certain spaying or death, other treatments now available.
Attempts should be made to clear the infection of a valuable producer by flushing the uterus and/or treating it with prostaglandin injections.
This disease is most common in bitches over the age of six years and can be prevented by spaying once the bitch is retired from the breeding program.
Rarely, bitches can suffer chronic uterine infections; one case involved a flare-up every other season. The infection can be treated with antibiotics, after discovering the disease. On the ensuing normal heat, the bitch is fertile and can be bred.
12. Infertility in females:
Infertility causes difficulty in reproducing, delays second pregnancy and further, irregular seasons, misses, or abortions. Another symptom is the delivery of puppies that are weak or die.
Lack of nutrition and poor condition are the major causes of infertility in bitches. Obesity, age, or administration of steroids or other medications for a lengthy time may interfere with reproduction.
Overuse in breeding can result in temporary infertility. Difficulties could also stem from a lack of hormones, congenital abnormalities, or various diseases.
When a dog is weak. the first thing to lapse is fertility. Summer heat can also decrease a male’s potency.
Thyroid disease can be hereditary or may thrive after in females after their first delivery. This is an important consideration for deciding the second breed.
Symptoms are loss of hair, poor coat, dark skin coloring (especially on the abdomen and groin), thickened skin, lethargy, and weight gain.
Reproductive symptoms, which can appear without other signs, are loss of libido and abnormal heat cycle.
The first indication may be a lack of conception. The veterinarian will run a T-3 or T-4 thyroid test to determine if there is a problem.
The disease is easily treated with the oral hormone, but treatment must be maintained for life.
The consequences of the disease may be mild or severe.
14. Sterility – inability to reproduce:
The inability to reproduce may be due to various reasons like illness, with temporary or permanent consequences. Sterility can be caused by high temperatures. heat prostration, or infection.
Some causes can be diagnosed by biopsy, or by blood, sperm, and other tests. Of course, sterility might be congenital or due to brucellosis.
15. Sperm Test – It is not always the bitch:
It is obvious that the test is for studs only.
The specimen is examined for color, amount, any debris or foreign matter, number and motility of sperm, and whether or not there are live or deformed sperm.
The average stud dog has around two hundred million sperm per ejaculate. It’s hard to believe misses take place!
Besides all the factors we discussed above, the mood is also a reason often undiscussed.
A dog or a bitch may not be interested and forced breeding may fail.
This comes from a fact that a bitch was bred to several carefully selected studs. But when she chose her own hubby, the breeding resulted in a litter.
But her choice may be wrong for you, but may not be for her.