German Shepherd Dog > Feeding during last 2 weeks of Gestation? (14 replies)
Feeding during last 2 weeks of Gestation?
by fawndallas on 29 March 2012 - 14:45
|I am getting conflicting information from different web sites, so I thought I would ask breeders of GS their thoughts.|
As recommended, I currently have my female on puppy chow and a multi-vitamin. The multi-vitamin is because my female basicly has no interest in eating (she has had $100's of tests, all show clean bill of health, just would rather do something else than eat).
She is approaching her 8th week of gestation and this is where I am getting conflicting information.
1. Some suggest taking her off the vitamins and puppy chow for the last 2 weeks. The reason for this is so that "her body starts storing calcium." Logically, this does not make sense, why would I want her body to store calcium?
2. Next suggestion is to keep her on the puppy chow the whole time; no mention of vitamins.
3. My vet has actually suggested giving her calcium tablets starting now. I have found no web site that suggests or recommends this (most say do not do this). I really like my vet, but I get the impression I am rareity in his clinic for breeding GS. Most of his clientel is small dogs and cats.
My only concern is for my girl. Puppies are great, but I do not want to do anything to loose my girl or make the labor any harder than it will be.
What do you think and do you have any justification to support your recommendation? I am not trying to be rude and question your help after I have asked for it....I just want to weigh all the options and make the most informed decision.
by mirasmom on 29 March 2012 - 14:52
|I have my girl on Fromm Gold, I feed her normal and give her plenty of exercise,|
then, cause I also incorporate a raw diet, the last week of gestation she gets plenty of raw chicken,
that helps with milk production.
As far as puppy goes, she is just saying yuck, plain and simple.
Switch to www.frommfamily.com They invented kibble dogfood, they have been around for
a very long time, they also invented the canine distemper shot, and their dogfood is reasonably
priced....my dogs woof it down!
Good luck with your new litter!
by fawndallas on 29 March 2012 - 14:58
|Thanks Paula. |
As for eating, it is not just the puppy food. I have tried everything from the best to the junkiest. She even will turn up her nose if I add chicken or beef broth.
The only thing I can get her to eat on a consistent bases is the worst dog food imageable, "moist and meatly." I give her the junk food mixed with the good stuff.
I lovingly call her my junk food dog.
by trixx on 29 March 2012 - 16:43
|this sounds like what one of my females did the first time she had pups, i wouild use anything that works right now to get her intrest. i am not sure if its a good idea to give calicum and vit, right now , but once she has had the pups, you will need to give her calicum, if you dont and she does not want to eat she is going to get low Calicum, i know thats what happen to my girl , she would not eat for the first few weeks either and i even tried Raw, just was not intrested. she almost died. i hope your girl has more intrest than mine did, the good thing is she was fine the next time i bred her. pretty normal .|
Fromm is a wonderful food i feed the 4 star food, i love there food. and my dogs love the flavor.
by fawndallas on 29 March 2012 - 19:47
|I have had a few questions on Rose's eating habits.|
1. These are not knew habits. She has been like this from the day I got her at 8 weeks. I am just a bit more fittful on it because of the puppies.
2. Something I noticed.....Maybe I expect her to eat too much. My male eats 5 cups a day and has the correct weight. I try to get Rose to eat at least 3 cups. Is this too much to ask?
Before she got pregnant, she weighted about 52 lbs. I had to really work with her to get here and stay here. Her eating habits was almost a deal breaker on breeding her. My vet gave me an all clear though and her coat is healthy and she has lots of energy.
by Ctidmore on 29 March 2012 - 21:38
|I would try adding cottage cheese or yogurt to the food she already likes and eats the best.|
by djc on 29 March 2012 - 23:48
| Most of my girls at that time of gestation slow way down in eating also. I add more raw, cottage cheese and buttermilk and do away with the kibble. Also very small frequent meals are best at this time since the stomach space is pretty limited by the growing puppies. It seems to work for my girls.|
Calcium is needed for the birthing and lactation process. Their body uses tremendous amounts of calcium while they are whelping and nursing. The body does not store large amounts of calcium and the time it will do them the most good is to give calcium once they've started whelping. I give one capsule after each puppy. Low calcium can cause Eclampsia. http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Hormonal-and-Metabolic-Disorders/Puerperal-Hypocalcemia.aspx There are a ton of other links if you google it.
Hope that helps some?
by Diane on 30 March 2012 - 00:05
|Articles on the site below are generally good, including the section on Canine Repro, part of which is quoted below (bold and highlight added by me to emphasize calcium relevant section)|
"Pregnant bitches in overall good condition will require an increase in their protein and carbohydrate intake during the last trimester of their pregnancy. This is usually accomplished by increasing daily food rations beginning sometime between day 28 and day 35 (fourth to fifth week) of pregnancy, when research indicates the bitches' energy requirements will increase above the nutritional provisions of her usual maintenance ration. Although some breeders switch their bitches to specialized growth or performance formulas, this is not viewed as a necessary practice in the average, well-conditioned pregnant bitch. Additionally, switching foods may lead to gastrointestinal irritation, which only serves to be counter-productive. Large quantities of food at a given feeding, however, may result in discomfort to the bitch particularly in the last several weeks of pregnancy when the expanding uterus is putting pressure on the stomach and other digestive organs. Therefore, multiple feedings of small meals is recommended to circumvent this problem.
Dietary supplementation of the pregnant bitches' usual food with vitamins and other minerals is a practice discouraged by veterinarians in recent years. It is now recognized that many vitamins and minerals may actually be harmful to the developing fetuses or produce serious pregnancy-related complications in the bitch. For example, excess vitamin A is associated with congenital defects such as cleft palate, and vitamin D may compromise the calcium mobilization within the bitch. Excess vitamin C may interfere with normal processes of bone development, and because dogs produce sufficient amounts of this vitamin, supplementation with vitamin C is simply unnecessary. Some breeders insist upon administering calcium supplements to their pregnant bitches, which is an extremely dangerous practice. Although bitches do need to increase their calcium intake, this added source of calcium will be attained by simply increasing the quantity of food they consume. Excessive levels of calcium in the body, which usually occurs when a bitch is supplemented with calcium above the amount found in a high-quality dog food, interferes with the normal processes of calcium storage and metabolism by suppressing parathyroid hormone production. Ironically, therefore, calcium supplementation actually has the opposite effect of its intended purpose because excess calcium interferes with calcium storage and places the bitch at risk for developing hypocalcemia (pre-eclampsia or eclampsia), an often fatal metabolic disorder caused by insufficient calcium availability in pregnant and nursing bitches, respectively." "
by djc on 30 March 2012 - 00:16
|While this is somewhat true Diane, the additional calcium IS needed during the whelping process. The lack of it may cause eclampsia. This is why I only give it during whelping. It only helps at the time of whelping and does not have any effect on the dangers your cut and paste spells out before and after whelping. Besides just HOW do you increase the food intake when the bitch is not eating????!!!! Rather silly in my eyes, as most bitches refuse to eat ANY food at the end of pregnancy. BTW I've successfully whelped 36 litters in my lifetime, all using this safe and effective practice.|
In addition here is a cut and paste from a link on reproduction from your website advocating the use of calcium during the whelping process for better live birth rates. I also agree with the notation that the normal dosages for Oxytocin are too high. I've seen using much smaller dosage (1/4 cc as opposed to 1cc) work like a charm. The higher dosage can actually shut down the contractions.
"The administration of calcium gluconate and oxytocin to treat dystocia
can be directed and tailored based on the results of monitoring. Generally, the administration of calcium increases the
strength of myometrial activity, and oxytocin increases the frequency of myometrial contractions. When ineffective, weak
uterine contractions are detected calcium gluconate (Fujisawa Inc., USA), 10% solution (0.465 mEq Ca++/ml) can be given
subcutaneously at a rate of 1 ml per 4.5 kg/10 lb body weight. Subcutaneous administration is effective and without concern
about arrhythmias. Subcutaneous administration of calcium solutions presents a small risk for granuloma formation at the
injection site, volumes above 6 ml should be split into multiple sites. Oxytocin, 10 USP u/ml, (American Pharmaceutical
Partners, Inc., CA, USA) is administered when uterine contractions are less frequent than expected for the stage of labor, and
fetal heart rates are normal (170 - 220 beats per minute, or at least twice the maternal heart rate). Doses of oxytocin that are
substantially lower than those traditionally given (0.5 - 2.0 units per dog by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection), are
effective in improving the quality of myometrial contractions. The presence of fetal distress is reflected by sustained
deceleration of the heart rates. Decelerations associated with uterine contractions suggest mismatch of the fetus (too large)
and dam (birth canal too small or obstructed), or fetal malposition, malpresentation or malposture.
Cesarian Sections - If fetal stress is evident, and response to calcium and oxytocin is poor, surgical intervention (cesarean
section) is indicated to improve outcome."
by trixx on 30 March 2012 - 02:42
|i usually give ice cream when in whelp, this has worked good for me, never gave much else while pregant if they are eating well. i also give broth too. not at the same time....|
your girl does sounds a bit on the smaller side and that maybe why she may not be a big eater.
i hope you did not use a stud that was too big , i hate for her to have to go through a C section.
feed her what ever she likes, that way she can put some weight on . cause she will need it after the pups are here.
alot of good advise here.
by Diane on 30 March 2012 - 14:00
|Debby, absolutely! Under normal circumstances...DURING and AFTER whelping calcium supplementation may be good or even needed, but not before IF the female is eating a good diet. The point is, the amount of calcium in a proper balanced diet is enough during pregnancy (that means it may not be enough if the food is low quality or the female isn't eating). Increasing the amount of food given as the pregnancy progresses also increases (in a balanced way) the amount of calcium she gets WITHOUT supplementation. Once labor/whelping begins, huge amounts of calcium are required and the bitch will mobilize what's needed from her own stores UNLESS she's been given supplements that might interfere with that process. Increase food during pregnancy, don't supplement (unless told otherwise by a good vet). Once labor/whelping starts, calcium can be given IF NEEDED (again always consult with a vet first), same during lactation. We agree, Debby, 100%, and it's good for people to read the articles posted so they understand the whole process better. |
For a bitch that won't eat, there may indeed be problems with getting enough nutrition in general, including calcium. I've never had a bitch that wouldn't eat when pregnant (sometimes giving small meals multiple times a day helps, but I realize there are some who simply don't want to eat no matter what) so I've never run into that issue. "ALWAYS consult with a vet" is the best advice, but the articles Debby and I have posted are good ones and can help people understand what to ASK the vet, if nothing else. There IS conflicting info on the web, but much of that is because the circumstances may be different between one female and the next. TO the OP, understand the process so you can understand which info applies to your female and know what to ask your vet. There's no "one size fits all" answer and individual females needs will vary if they don't eat, overeat, eat diets too high in calcium or too low, etc.
by fawndallas on 30 March 2012 - 14:36
|Excellent Excellent information all. I knew if I asked here I would get good logical advise on this. Thanks a million.|
I will try the calcium tabs during the whelping. If she will not take them, I know I can get her to eat ice cream (that I can always get her to eat, but it is a once in a blue moon treat).
Thank you again everyone.
Side note: Yes, the stud is not large; about 85 lbs. This is what I considered when researching for a stud. My research on this breeding started about 3 months after I got Rose. She will be 3 years in July.
by Bhaugh on 31 March 2012 - 01:32
|I hate to be the blooper pooper here but most of the calcuim we give does NOT digest well (this goes for humans too ) Calcium is very hard to digest in most forms we buy and if we have to suppliment then liquid is best. If your gal is getting a good diet, I say let her be.|
I would say however that I wouldnt feed puppy chow to anything. Terrible nutrition... even if she only eats some of a great food, its certainly better than Puppy Chow. She will eat when she gets hungry and if you yourself have ever been pregnant then you know that the last thing one wants to do when at the end of term is eat. If she doesnt want to eat the food, then let her snack throughout the day with raw meat or a quality kibble.
by fawndallas on 04 April 2012 - 15:16
|I got some of the FROMM. She seems to like it. Maybe this is the magic food lol. Time will tell.|
thanks again everyone
by Siantha on 04 April 2012 - 15:28
|my girly was super picky just before she went into labor she still ate but i had to use raw and bait any kibble very good for her to eat. but then once her puppys where born she had 3 x the hunger than even in pregnancy|