A one stop shop for the Professional Breeder
As a professional breeder myself I am experienced in every stage of dog breeding. I can help guide you through the entire process from pre-mating care to whelping and successfully rearing your litter. Some of my services are mobile and others are based from my canine fertility clinic based in the Scottish Borders (TD10 6UL).
Swab images provided by Colorado State Uni
Our pre-mating consult offers a new breeder an informative chat on everything they can expect from mating their bitch and the appropriate steps they can take to ensure their bitch is in the best possible health prior to mating. We can help assist with health testing, stud dog selection and nutritional advice.
The key to success when it comes to breeding is timing. A bitch has a very small window where she is fertile and it can be impossible to pin point without the help of either progesterone testing or cytology. To understand how important timing is its imperative to understand the reproductive cycle of the bitch.
The heat cycle of the bitch lasts on average 21 days. The first stage is called proestrus. It begins with swelling of the vulva and a bloody discharge. This usually lasts for about 7-12 days, although it can vary from bitch to bitch. During this phase the bitch may attract a male, but she is not ready to be bred and may reject all advances. Some bitches can be receptive from the start of her cycle right to the end so it is not a reliable method to follow.
The next phase is estrus. Usually the discharge decreases and becomes lighter, almost pink, in colour. The vulva becomes very enlarged and soft, and the bitch should be receptive to the male. This stage may last anywhere from 3 to 10 days. The onset of estrus is usually brought on by the LH surge, ovulation occurs 48 hours post the surge and then a further 48 hours is required for the eggs to mature. Once mature the eggs are then viable for another 48 hours before they start to deteriorate and eventually die. Ideal timing for mating would be ovulation +1/3 days.
The final stage of the cycle is called diestrus. The discharge becomes redder, the vulva returns to its normal size, and the bitch will no longer accept the male for mating. When all signs of discharge and swelling are absent, the cycle is complete. The diestrus stage lasts 60 to 90 days (if no pregnancy has occurred) or until the bitch gives birth. She then enters anestrus, which is the time frame between the end of the last cycle and the beginning of the next proestrus.
Vaginal cytology is performed on the bitch during her cycle to help determine the optimum time to breed and enhance the success of pregnancy. The types of cells present in the vagina vary depending on the stage of estrus. A swab is taken of the cells lining wall of the vagina and analysed under a microscope. We recommend a first swab on day 7 of your bitches cycle and then repeating every 2 days until ovulation has occurred. Cytology is stress free, doesn't require a visit to the vet and is cost effective.
Using our top of the range portable scanner we are able to confirm pregnancy in all small animals from the comfort of your own home. Ultrasound scanning is best performed 30-35 days post final mating; earlier scanning around day 28 is possible if progesterone testing was performed to pinpoint date of ovulation. We can also offer earlier scans if you have concerns regarding discharge.
During the scan we are able to assess the following;
.Give an estimate on litter size
.Check the health status of each embryo
.Give an estimated due date
.Check for signs of reabsorption and/or infection
.Provide high quality photos and videos for you to keep
Whelping a litter, especially the first time, can be a hugely daunting experience. When everything goes to plan it can be very rewarding and enjoyable but sadly complications do happen and what was once enjoyable can turn into one of the most stressful experiences for yourself and your bitch. We are experienced breeders offering a 24/7 call out to help guide you through the whelping process in the comfort of your own home.
Trained, qualified and insured by Peddymark we offer small animal microchipping with discounts available for litters or multiple pet households. It is now law for every adult dog to be microchipped and every litter must be microchipped with the breeder before leaving at 8 weeks for their new home. We offer a mobile service so can chip your litter in the comfort of your own home and usually at a massively reduced priced compared to local veterinary practices.
We have micro chips available to cater for the smallest of breeds and every microchip comes registered using either Petlog or Animal Tracker. We recommend microchipping larger breeds of puppies from 6 weeks and smaller breeds at 8 weeks.