This weekend we saw a little Poodle belonging to a new client. Sheba was pregnant and had a bad smelling vaginal discharge. She was due to have her puppies now, and the owners thought she might need a C-section. She had shown no signs of being in labor. During surgery, Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Tao found a uterus that was infected, along with two puppies that had been dead for several days. The sick uterus had adhered to several internal organs. Sheba had to be spayed and she was showing signs of systemic infection – sepsis. Luckily Sheba survived, but she cannot have any future puppies.

Many people decide to get into the dog or cat breeding business without knowing what to expect. Breeding pets, especially small dogs, can be difficult, expensive and emotionally exhausting. It is rarely financially rewarding. People who breed dogs & cats regularly have a strong relationship with their veterinarian, and understand canine and feline reproduction well. All pets should be screened for health and genetic diseases BEFORE being bred, and first time breeders should spend a lot of time talking to their vet during this visit. Breeders should have homes for the potential puppies and kittens before breeding also. For most of us, buying a puppy or kitten from someone who knows how to breed is the best way to go. Thousands of animals are killed each year for want of a home – why not adopt one of these special little guys? If you have a new pet, we ™d love to help you give it a long and happy life.

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP