Illustrated Articles

Breeding

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in male cats, including behavioral, genetic, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your male cat's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in male dogs, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your male dog's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • Miscarriage refers to the death of a fetus during pregnancy. Miscarriages that occur early in pregnancy may be completely asymptomatic, while later-term miscarriages may result in stillborn kittens or mummification. Miscarriage can be caused by infection or hormonal influences. Diagnosis is key to appropriate management. If a cat develops a fever during pregnancy antibiotics may prevent miscarriage.

  • Miscarriage refers to the death of a fetus during pregnancy. Miscarriages that occur early in pregnancy may be completely asymptomatic, while later-term miscarriages may result in stillborn puppies or mummification. Miscarriage can be caused by infection or hormonal influences. Diagnosis is key to appropriate management. If a dog develops a fever during pregnancy antibiotics may prevent miscarriage.

  • Many herding breeds (most commonly Collies and Australian Shepherds) have a mutation at the MDR1 gene that makes them more sensitive to the negative effects of certain medications. These drugs include several antiparasitic agents (when given at high doses), the antidiarrheal agent loperamide (Imodium®), and several anticancer drugs. The effects of the mutation vary in severity, depending on whether the dog carries one or two copies of the mutation. There is a cheek swab or a commercially-available test that assesses blood samples for the presence of the MDR1 mutation.

  • Full term pregnancy in cats is usually between 63 and 65 days during which time energy requirements increase to 1.5 times normal. Labor takes place in 3 stages: 1) nesting behavior and comfort seeking are seen, and the cat may stop eating within 24 hours of birth; 2) active stage of labor where contractions may be seen, and kittens are produced. Kittens are usually born within 1 hour of each other; however, there is cause for concern if active unproductive straining is seen for more than 20 minutes; and 3) fetal membranes are passed after the delivery of each kitten. If a kitten is not responsive, attempts can be made to suction the back of its mouth to remove as many fluids as possible while vigorously rubbing their body to stimulate respiration and applying gentle puffs of air into its mouth. Kittens need to be kept warm after birth and the mother should be watched carefully for any signs of illness.

  • Although uncommon, cats and dogs are at risk for several diseases during the two months of their pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia occurs if the mothers cannot keep up with the demand for calcium to produce bones and milk. Gestational diabetes can occur due to high concentrations of hormones and result in increased drinking, urination, inappropriate weight loss and lethargy. Mastitis is a bacterial infection of one or more mammary glands that is contracted either through the blood (sepsis) or from the external environment from unsanitary conditions and/or injury from babies’ teeth or nails. Retained placentas can occur and will result in lethargy, pyrexia and abnormal vulvar discharge. Be aware of the signs, symptoms and management for all four conditions.

  • A blood test detects pregnancy in the pregnant dog by measuring levels of a hormone called relaxin. This hormone is produced by the developing placenta following implantation of the embryo, and can be detected in the blood in most pregnant dogs as early as 22-27 days post-breeding.

  • La castración consiste en extirpar el útero y los ovarios. Es una intervención permanente e irreversible. Aunque se trata de una cirugía mayor que requiere anestesia general, el riesgo es mínimo en animales sanos, sobre todo si son inmaduros.

  • Pyometra is defined as an infection in the uterus. Pyometra is considered a serious and life threatening condition that must be treated quickly and aggressively. Pyometra may occur in any sexually intact young to middle-aged cat; however, it is most common in older cats. Typically, the cat has been in heat within the previous 4 weeks.