302 – Vet Voice: Pre-breeding Protocols, Folic Acid and More | Pure Dog Talk
Pre-breeding Protocols, Folic Acid, Cleft Palate and More
Dr. Marty Greer, DVM, JD, joins us for an important conversation about pre-breeding protocols. Greer provides insight on what to do (hint: folic acid!) and what not to do to help ensure a healthy litter.
Bitches who are to be bred should be started on a protocol 6-8 weeks ahead of estrus, Greer noted. Considerations include a proper diet, supplements and when to use flea, tick and heartworm treatments.
“We know from livestock and wildlife that when females are just slightly soft they produce more offspring,” Greer said. “They ovulate more if the caloric intake increases just before mating.”
Appropriate diets should include carbs, Greer said, and avoid phytoestrogens from peas/legumes. Owners should also supplement vitamin b9, folic acid, starting 2 months ahead of breeding to help prevent cleft palates. Greer recommends dosing 5mg/dog/day. For more information on some of the research on this topic, go to
Studies indicate that breeders can insure a 50-70 percent reduction of cleft palates by using folic acid properly.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Make sure your bitch is clean before visiting the vet or having her puppies. A bath and sanitary trim will keep the vet and the puppies happier!
What NOT to do
Vitamins A and D in excess during the first two trimesters can *cause* cleft palates, Greer said. She also noted that while most of us know not to give steroids orally during pregnancy, that even topical application in ears or eyes is contraindicated.
More myth busting and important advice
- Can you or should you save cleft palate puppies — Greer shares some of the hard choices to be made
- Goats milk and cataracts — use an appropriate formula for dogs
- Colostrum/plasma — frozen plasma can make all the difference
- Subcu fluids — how and why
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — FRANCIS BACON
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