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Discussion Starter #1
Bracken came into season much to our delight (last season Feb 09 but one before that Jan 08!! :? ), and is off to the stud dog on Sunday.

After mating, is there anything special I should/should not be doing (feeding, exercising etc) in the run up to finding out if there are pups on the way or not?

Also, what are people's opinions on scans - necessary or not? A friend who breeds springers scanned for a first litter, but apart from confirming the pregnancy she didn't learn more (told there would be 3 or 4 pups, and there were 7!) so she doesn't bother now. If I decide against a scan when/how often should I take her to the vet and will they be able to confirm the pregnancy without a scan?

I am new to this so want to do everything just right, so advice welcome. Any good books you can recommend?

All very excited here..... :D :D :D
 

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No advice Helen, but just good luck for Sunday. I hope Bracken and Monty are able to do the business, and you manage to get puppies. :D

I think it is probably Di (Diana) who you need to speak to for proper advice.
 

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Hi helena,

I'm sure Montys owners will advise you and I hope your matings went well. Briefly as its all 'old news' now for you, I do nothing after mating except have the bitch go back in the car after a wee if she needs one. i don't hold myself with the strict rules some have about tipping them upside down or not weeing etc etc. But each to their own of course.

I feed the bitch as soon as we get home at the next normal mealtime. Then she is fed entirely normally until about two and a half weeks before delivery. Nothing changes except I do feed Folic Acid from about a month before the season starts when I am going to mate her then right through to a week or so before delivery.

If you up a bitches food before knowing if they are definately preegnant all they do is fill out a bit and we get a false idea if they are in pup. So keep everything planet normal for many weeks yet.

Sometimes I scan. Sometimes I don't. Its only to see if she is definately pregnant or not, not to give me a headcount. If the litter is one I am praying hard for then I scan. If I'm a bit more 'what will be will be' about it, I don't and let nature tell me for sure in time.

Exercise, just the same. Don't change anything. Don't wrap her up in cotton wool. Its impossible but try and forget she was ever mated once her season finishes and keep her in hard fit condition. Free running, swimming, let her jump about and live her normal life. Then let her slow down when she needs to if she has puppies. Then from the day after whelping I walk them again for a goodly time each day to keep them mentally and physcially in decent order.

I'm not very cotton wool i must admit.

I have a few sheets I can email you on care of the pregnant bitch... but I don't want to step on anyones toes as you should primarily take the advice of the people you have gone to for stud.

Di
 

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I have only had a couple of litters, but already noticing a pattern - pregnancy in a maiden bitch seems to be much easier to notice than on a repeat - my first with Hally and her daughter Hope I knew very early on - with Hally's second litter I had absolutely no idea until the scan confirmed it.

With Hally, like Di, I started changing food, feeding times etc around 3 weeks before - with Hope we've had to slightly more inventive - although pregnancy does appear to have finally achieved what nothing else could :roll: and she is now like a tank with less than 2 weeks to go :D
(sadly, also really not particularly enjoying being unable to hurl herself around at 100mph and unable to clear heights that would make an accomplished high jumpers eyes water :roll: )

Personally, I would continue to scan to confirm pregnancy - but try to make the experience as unobtrusive as possible - I have known of bitches reabsoring post scan.

Good luck with the mating, hope everything goes smoothly :D
 

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helena said:
Any good books you can recommend?
Di and Sue have covered everything else, but THE book is the Book of the Bitch. It's full of invaluable information and easily available from most good bookstores. Just as an aside, my daughter ordered me a copy for Christmas one year. When I went to pick it up the shop assistant gave me a funny look when I told her the title, then cracked out laughing when she realised the subject matter - she's imagined a Jackie Collins steamy novel :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much everyone, for your brilliant advice - it has been really helpful, and I appreciate it so much.

Yes please Di, if you have time to email those bits that would be really great - thank you.

Mating is this Sunday, although could be a couple of days later too, just to try and maximise the possibility of pups.

Really excited about it all. BTW Monty's owners (Baileydale Labs) have been great and I'm sure they'll have lots of invalaubale advice for me as well.

I'll keep you posted as to what happens.....
 

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Nice choice :D I wish you luck (and of course, it is obligatory for us to see piccies of the pups when the time comes :D)
 

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My choccy litter, now 17 weeks, are by Monty.....if your pups turn out anything like mine, you will be very pleased....cos I really am.

Good luck on sunday....hope it all goes to plan.

Tracy x
 
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