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Old 03-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #26 (permalink)
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The whole eclampsia is interesting to me, I have never known anyone who experienced it w/ their bitch. But we raise show cattle and often see it.
As far as calcium I give a supplement until the last week. As I have read and its the general way of thinking in cattle too, that calcium can help with labor/contractions. I don't want my bitch going into labor early. During labor when there is a break, if there is a break, I offer my bitches cottage cheese or yogurt whatever they want and I give a calcium pill or crush it up with the food. Basically a boost for them. As well I give nutrical or a product like it to my bitch during labor especially if they won't eat what I've offered. You can just squeeze this down their throat and most dogs like it. I give this each day for the first week. I also feed alot of cottage cheese/yogurt while the pups are nursing as well as the calcium supplement. Bone meal is another good supplement to include, it has natural calcium and phosphorous sources in it. I should say alot of pregnancy supplements are balanced and contain a good amount of calcium. When I do tails/dewclaws, the bitch gets a check up, depending on the vet's advice sometimes they will get a calcium shot.
Afterbirth I usually let them have one or two if they want it. I take the rest away. As said above make sure umbilical cords are cut. I have heard/seen in small breeds of dogs grabbing the afterbirth getting it swallowed and almost eating their pups still in the sack.

This is a to each their own type of thing, all dogs are different
Best of LUCK w/ the upcoming kids!!
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Old 03-06-2010, 05:47 PM   #27 (permalink)
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You know its a wonder that they do not have prenatal vitamins or whatnot out like they do for people only for dogs. It seems that there would be a taking and money would be made.

Long ago someone gave me a suppliment birthing formula of natural herbs to give pregnant bitches. I gave it on my first litter. I think it had rosmary leaves, licorice bark, some oil (I think Lipoderm) etc in it. I used it. I had very good results.

The second litter, on the same bitch, I didn't use it, but found a much longer labor etc. However, I'm not sure that it was the increase in age as the first litter was at age 3, the second litter at age 5.

But I wish I had that special herbal forumla again. I purchased it at the health food store.

The person who gave me the receipe told me that it was used on pregnant women as well. Just stuff that made contractions easier etc. according to what she said.

The trouble was is that after using it, I just blew it off, and didn't think it meant anything, until the following litter when I did not use it. But then it could be the difference in age of the bitch.
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:34 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I would NEVER supplement with Calcium unless there was an absolute need to. Calcium should only be given to pregnant/nursing bitches when also given at the same time with near equal Phosphorus, so a very good source of Calcium for a pregnant/nursing bitch would be things like Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, or Goat's Milk (powdered goats milk added to their food, or fresh goat's milk).

Dogs are much more likely to develop eclampsia if they have been given TOO MUCH calcium. Why? Because when the body needs to produce calcium, it's become so used to NOT NEEDING TO PRODUCE IT ON THEIR OWN, that they are unable to in times of crisis (ie: whelping).

I have never heard of a vet giving calcium injections in the case of Estelle's experience, I am sure he has devised a safe method to do so with success. I would suggest people NOT however randomly give extra Calcium to their bitches in such manner UNLESS it is under the direct/specific orders of their vet. People going to the store and giving their bitches Calcium vitamins could equal ABSOLUTE DISASTER!
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:07 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Prenatal

They do - it called Bitch pills and that is the true not being funny. I give to my girls

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Originally Posted by Dobies 71 View Post
You know its a wonder that they do not have prenatal vitamins or whatnot out like they do for people only for dogs. It seems that there would be a taking and money would be made.

Long ago someone gave me a suppliment birthing formula of natural herbs to give pregnant bitches. I gave it on my first litter. I think it had rosmary leaves, licorice bark, some oil (I think Lipoderm) etc in it. I used it. I had very good results.

The second litter, on the same bitch, I didn't use it, but found a much longer labor etc. However, I'm not sure that it was the increase in age as the first litter was at age 3, the second litter at age 5.

But I wish I had that special herbal forumla again. I purchased it at the health food store.

The person who gave me the receipe told me that it was used on pregnant women as well. Just stuff that made contractions easier etc. according to what she said.

The trouble was is that after using it, I just blew it off, and didn't think it meant anything, until the following litter when I did not use it. But then it could be the difference in age of the bitch.
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:01 PM   #30 (permalink)
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My girls have never had eclampsia - so far. I feed things like yogurt and cottage cheese through about week 6 of pregnancy, and then just stick to a high quality diet up to whelping.

I let them eat all afterbirth and pretty much do everything themselves and have never had a problem with that.

My vet sends me home from our pre whelp x-ray with all of the whelping drugs prepared to inject. I call her if there are any questions or issues during whelping, day or night, and she directs me what injections to give if needed. We usually do give a calcium injection during whelping the larger litters w've had and alway give an oxytocin when the bitch is finished.

To date, this has worked very well for me and my girls.
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:47 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Oxytocin/Clean Out Shots

I think the Oxytocin shot is a good idea. However, as all things there are always two sides to an issue. So I was wondering what others thought about this issue as well and what their experience has been.

I heard that oxytocin shots can cause too heavy severe of contractions and were not recommended by some vets. Those vets said that the puppies nursing caused enough of the contractions on their own. Their concern was avoiding a prolapse uterus.

So for one litter I did not use it. I had no problems. However, this was on the last breeding of a 5 year old bitch whom I spayed when all was done. So there was no issue of inpyometria (sp) worry.

What do others think about this shot? Do you always use it?

I am not writing this to scare anyone. I just thought of this when reading this forum and wanted to know what others' experience or thought were.

This has been a good discussion by the way of which I have enjoyed. I think for my part I will use the shot. It was only that one time that I did not.
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:52 AM   #32 (permalink)
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My vets say that if there is a prolonged labor that has stalled or stopped and you know there are more puppies in there, the shot can be really great. But, they do not give it to everybody as a "clean out shot". Last litter, no shot and all the puppies were out in about 7 hours.

I like the idea of giving help when needed, but am a natural girl if it can be allowed and is safe. I prefer to let nature do most of the work and keep the drugs to a minimum. So, I will do the same this time. If labor stops for more than 3 hours and I know there are more puppies, she will get oxytocin (by the vet).
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:52 AM   #33 (permalink)
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And I agree, this is a fabulous discussion! Thanks to all participants.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:08 AM   #34 (permalink)
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The 'clean out shot' Should be discussed more. POP-posterior oxytocic principle or PIT-Pituitrin {sp?}. The purpose of the injection is to stimulate milk letdown and to cause the uterus to contract, expelling any fluid or retained placentas. giving it after all the pups are whelped. Oxytocin can be abused when inexperienced whelpers/owners attempt to 'speed' up the delivery of puppies. It may be successful some of the time, the drug can be dangerous since a viloent drug-induced contraction can rupture the uterus.
I believe in letting things go along naturally and only step in when something is obviously wrong. But you must learn to recognize signs of trouble and act accordingly.
A great Natural Herbal gentle oxytocic is Golden Seal.

This is a great thread. Maybe we should discuss ANY problems that may occur, during pregnancy, during whelping and after whelping?
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:15 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Dobies 71, love your posts! And I agree, healthy vibrant puppy nursing causes a natural stimulation of the uterus and does help to expell any remaining pups and any retained afterbirths. Mother Nature does know best!
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:19 AM   #36 (permalink)
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My last two litters had big gaps in time between pups. I could still feel pups and knew there were more. After a four hour break between pups (both bitches were not in distress) my vet recommended using a Oxytocin shot. I will say both time I used it w/ pups still coming I lost the pups after the shot. With both litters they were born out of the bag. Were they already that way/were they in there too long (both were extremely long labors and large litters 12 and 13 pups and over 12 hours in labor)/did the shot cause the bitches contractions to be more severe break the bag/ I dunno.. But it's something I've thought a WHOLE WHOLE lot about
Normally when all is done whelping I use a Oxytocin shot to clean out the bitch, get any extra placentas out, ect.
I'd be interested in any insight
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Yes, no, maybe so. Were the pups 'stillborn'? Had they been dead for awhile, rigormortis? If so then they were out of their sacks and dead before you gave the 'shot'.
If not, yes the 'shot' could have caused the contractions to be too strong and it forced the pups out of their sacks before they were whelped.
Maybe or maybe not.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:36 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLS View Post
Yes, no, maybe so. Were the pups 'stillborn'? Had they been dead for awhile, rigormortis? If so then they were out of their sacks and dead before you gave the 'shot'.
If not, yes the 'shot' could have caused the contractions to be too strong and it forced the pups out of their sacks before they were whelped.
Maybe or maybe not.
No rigormortis in either litter. All pups still had a bit of color in their pads, not alot but some, wasn't completely white like they can be. I tried and tried to get them going (my husband usually has to convince me to stop trying, I hate giving up). I remember one had a ton of fluid, I got out of it, but just never got going. I dunno what the actually cause was.. but it makes me a bit leery of giving a shot next time.
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Found this pretty interesting/especially that it recommends tums <common sense idea I wouldn't of thought of>

Pre-Eclampsia/Eclampsia (which normally can happen 10 days after whelping, can also happen with a large litter, and more in toy breeds in the last few days of pregnancy. Hypocalcimic shaking & pre-labor shaking can seem the same at first), but if Dam is hypocalcimic, and gets eclampsia, the shaking quickly turns to Convulsions, muscle weakness, muscle tremors, spasms, rigidy and twitching needing immediate Vet assistance before seizures, coma and death. It is wise to give your Dam calcium when pups are 5 days old, (for the next few weeks. The easiest way is one Tum a day. Tums are a great calcium supplement. Eclampsia (sometimes referred to as Milk Fever) is a very serious condition, and can come on suddenly. It is caused from a shortage of Calcium in the Bloodstream
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:46 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Wow, that is scary! My vet never recommends the oxytocin during whelping - that's what the calcium injections are for, and only used if there is trouble. But even then, she makes you go in and feel around and won't give it if a pup is stuck.
Part of the whelp "kit" she sends home includes dopamine (sp?) and we have used that as an injection in the pups tongue to revive when necessary. I can't do it - Patrick has to.
But I would definitely reconsider the oxytocin injection after whelping if all is well and pups are nursing strong after reading this.

Great learning thread!
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Old 03-07-2010, 10:55 AM   #41 (permalink)
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You read my mind Incredibledobe, I was just going ask if anyone knew what that drop{not injection} stuff was called, I had forgotten. I have used it in the past myself. Amazing how it can bring a pup 'around', if there is anything that has slowed down or impaired the breathing.
Once I learned how to properly 'shake' a pup down after they are whelped i no longer used it.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:01 AM   #42 (permalink)
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This is what I know from human medicine:

Placentas are only good for so long. So eventually they become less efficient and do not exchange oxygen/blood nutrients etc.

When the placenta becomes too old or is ubrupted/detached you start getting still borns. This is often the reason behind an emergency c-section.

The uterus scars in every place that a placenta attaches. Therefore, it is not possible for another baby's placenta to use that area. This is why women who have many children become higher risk. The placement of the placenta is key. Often times you see an attachement of placenta on a multiple birth mom near the cervix which is a very fragile attachement.

(I qualify this in that I am not a doctor or a nurse. I used to work in neonatal units and see the moms who had disasters and sit there while the doctor's described these things. So this is where my experience comes. I am not a doctor nor a nurse.)

I have been told this is the same in dogs. The attachement of the placenta leaves a small scar. So additonal litters need a new uterine fresh spot placement.

This then leeds to a litter with more difficulty in the future births just in those placements.

I have found that large litters often have a break in between the emptying of the uterine horns. It seems that one side empties and then the other. But then one side needs to slowly catch up with the other. At least that is my observation. So maybe that is the reason for the delay. But delays are something that need to be watched. It is not always that reason. But I think that is the first reason, and I am always feeling the sides of the bitch (softly) along the way so I sort of have an idea what may be going on.

Golden Seal root was one of those herbs that person told me about. I just remembered when one of you wrote such.

I say any unproductive labor warrents a vet check. If a bitch goes over 12 hours without producing a pup or seems anything unusual, I'm straight to the vet. However, driving with a bitch in active labor sure is fun!

I too have enjoyed the share of comments.

Here's another observation:

I find that the more you intervien and help the bitch, the less she will do. They almost get lazy and you end up "pulling" puppies out. The less you do the better.

Another thing I have learned:

My mom in her Boston Terriers used to get out the sterile sissors and string to tie cords etc. But one time for me, with Dobermans, the puppies were just coming out too fast. So when I am help whelp, I always have my finger tails cut short and my hands benadyned. I watched the bitch "chew" the cord. So now I just use my finger nails when necessary to do the same. It sure saves that work of sissors and string etc. The rough cut stops the bleeding anyway. I would never go back to that sissor method again. I have had no problem with this method. You must always be careful not to pull that cord though. That's the number one reason I think for hyrenia.

Guess you can tell I can't always spell.

But back to the other discussion: Pit shots tend to scare me. You hope you get it right. Maybe pit shots cause the placentas to detach and thus you loose the puppy. If they detach inutro that's it. There's no exchange of oxygen which is necessary to the life of the puppy.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:03 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Wow, that is scary! My vet never recommends the oxytocin during whelping - that's what the calcium injections are for, and only used if there is trouble. But even then, she makes you go in and feel around and won't give it if a pup is stuck.
Part of the whelp "kit" she sends home includes dopamine (sp?) and we have used that as an injection in the pups tongue to revive when necessary. I can't do it - Patrick has to.
But I would definitely reconsider the oxytocin injection after whelping if all is well and pups are nursing strong after reading this.

Great learning thread!
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You read my mind Incredibledobe, I was just going ask if anyone knew what that drop{not injection} stuff was called, I had forgotten. I have used it in the past myself. Amazing how it can bring a pup 'around', if there is anything that has slowed down or impaired the breathing.
Once I learned how to properly 'shake' a pup down after they are whelped i no longer used it.
Dopamine is a cardiac stimulant (used for treatment of shock), Dopram v is a respiratory stimulant. Dopram is usually given in drops, dopamine I have only seen injected.

I have heard that the swing (after whelp to clear the airways) is somewhat difficult to master.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:08 AM   #44 (permalink)
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I think years ago Faye Straus did a tape on whelping. She I think demostrated the swing. But that was a long time ago if I even remember correctly. Once you master it, you got it. I use it.

The drop on the tongue I have heard is a small drop of Brandy. But I have never used it; so I don't know.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:15 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Not difficult if you are shown how to properly do it. You MUST be shown though, this is something that if done improperly, could break a pups neck.
Just another reason why having a good mentor who will assist you with your first couple of whelpings is so valuable.
It is also a great idea to 'sit' in on other whelpings of any breed.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:29 AM   #46 (permalink)
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The 'clean out shot' Should be discussed more. POP-posterior oxytocic principle or PIT-Pituitrin {sp?}. The purpose of the injection is to stimulate milk letdown and to cause the uterus to contract, expelling any fluid or retained placentas. giving it after all the pups are whelped. Oxytocin can be abused when inexperienced whelpers/owners attempt to 'speed' up the delivery of puppies. It may be successful some of the time, the drug can be dangerous since a viloent drug-induced contraction can rupture the uterus.
I believe in letting things go along naturally and only step in when something is obviously wrong. But you must learn to recognize signs of trouble and act accordingly.
A great Natural Herbal gentle oxytocic is Golden Seal.

This is a great thread. Maybe we should discuss ANY problems that may occur, during pregnancy, during whelping and after whelping?
I agree -

I am not fond of giving the oxytocin shot and have only done so at a last resort before doing a c-section. If you have an xray done and are pretty sure all the pups came out, as well as all the placentas/afterbirths, there really is no need. My vet feels it is safer to just do another xray if you aren't sure if there's another pup or not rather than pump the dog full of oxytocin after a few hours since last pup is born if you have any doubts. I have **never** had a problem with NOT giving oxytocin - so not counting the 2 c-section litters, the other 8 or 9 litters did not have any oxytocin injected.

I've never used Golden Seal on a recently whelped bitch but I am a huge fan of that product, might have to give that a try.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:42 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I would NEVER supplement with Calcium unless there was an absolute need to. Calcium should only be given to pregnant/nursing bitches when also given at the same time with near equal Phosphorus, so a very good source of Calcium for a pregnant/nursing bitch would be things like Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, or Goat's Milk (powdered goats milk added to their food, or fresh goat's milk).

Dogs are much more likely to develop eclampsia if they have been given TOO MUCH calcium. Why? Because when the body needs to produce calcium, it's become so used to NOT NEEDING TO PRODUCE IT ON THEIR OWN, that they are unable to in times of crisis (ie: whelping).

I have never heard of a vet giving calcium injections in the case of Estelle's experience, I am sure he has devised a safe method to do so with success. I would suggest people NOT however randomly give extra Calcium to their bitches in such manner UNLESS it is under the direct/specific orders of their vet. People going to the store and giving their bitches Calcium vitamins could equal ABSOLUTE DISASTER!
I never give extra calcium prior to whelping in any supplement form. A scoop of yogurt or cottage cheese just doesn't have enough to cause issues but over supplementation CAN. High amounts of supplemented calcium during pregnancy could increase the risk of eclampsia. I completely agree with you RDIG's!

During whelping I do have calcium injections available. They help to restart contractions and/or increase the strength of contrations of the uterus. I much prefer them to giving oxytosin and it is much safer. Giving calcium during and after whelping is appropriate in moderate doses in correct supplement form.

On thing I want to state....NEVER give oxytosin unless directed by a vet or someone who is VERY experienced in whelping. Improper use can result in a ruptured uterus if a puppy is stuck and that is a dire emergency! Over use can also result in complete uterine inertia and that means c-section!

I have whelped many litters either for myself or others and occasionally I have had to use oxytosin during birth. Many times however the calcium is sufficient to give mom a boost. I give oxytosin after the last puppy to aid in expulsion of retained placentas. That is why I like to know how many puppies there are via x-ray, to dose appropriately.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:45 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I think this is such a great thread that maybe it should be placed as a "sticky" or always available to view place.

It has been a most interesting discussion of which I would always like to re read.

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #49 (permalink)
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If the Bitch wants to eat the afterbirth once the umbilical cord has been saftley severed, let them.
If they puke em up later, who cares, just scoop em up and dispose of them.
If they dont eat them, remove the afterbirth so the Bitch does not keep trying to bury it and getting the pups all tangled up in the sheets, blankets, whatevers.
There are many nutrients in the afterbirth, as well as cord blood. Think about it.
I usually let the bitch only eat a few. The reason being DLS, is because too many always cause diarreah and I just don't want to deal with a bitch with the screaming squirts on top of nursing a litter.

I do agree however that the nutrients and hormones contained in the placenta are good for the bitch by providing a meal, and the hormones aid in milk let down as well as uterine contractions and size reduction.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:55 AM   #50 (permalink)
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I think the Oxytocin shot is a good idea. However, as all things there are always two sides to an issue. So I was wondering what others thought about this issue as well and what their experience has been.

I heard that oxytocin shots can cause too heavy severe of contractions and were not recommended by some vets. Those vets said that the puppies nursing caused enough of the contractions on their own. Their concern was avoiding a prolapse uterus.
Your concerns are exactly why oxytosin should only be given under a vets supervision. It does have it's merits and used properly is essential to delivering a healthy litter. I do think sometimes it is over used.
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Last edited by StarlaineK9; 03-07-2010 at 11:59 AM.. Reason: spelling
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