Educational Articles

  • A caesarean section, or C-section, is major surgery performed to remove puppies from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth.

  • Designer breeds combine registered, pure dog breeds that are mixed on purpose to create designer breeds. Intentional mixing of breeds optimizes the best characteristics of each parent. Sometimes the dog may have more than two pure breeds in his bloodline, but unlike a mutt, his lineage can be identified.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • The estrous cycle in cats occurs seasonally and is variable with the amount of daylight. Most cats become very affectionate, even demanding when in heat. They persistently rub against their owners (or objects such as furniture) constantly wanting attention and they become very vocal. Tomcats that have never been seen before in your yard or neighborhood will appear and may spray urine on the house to mark the territory or may even attempt to enter the house to mate with the female. To avoid the noise of a heat cycle, unwanted tomcat visitors, and prevent unwanted pregnancies, it is best to have your cat spayed.

  • The estrous cycle in dogs on average happens twice a year once a dog reaches sexual maturity. On average a dog will be in heat for 1½ to 2 weeks but this can be shorter or longer. In many cases, a bloody vaginal discharge is the first sign that a pet owner will notice when their dog comes into heat. In some cases, the discharge will not be apparent until several days after heat has begun. There are no valid reasons for letting a dog have a litter of puppies before being spayed. If you want to keep your dog from having any accidental pregnancies, it is best to have her spayed.

  • On average, dogs go into heat about twice a year or every six months, although it varies from dog to dog. The most obvious sign of heat in dogs is vaginal bleeding. The time of mating is extremely critical and it is highly recommended that you have your female tested to determine the optimal days for breeding. This will improve your chance of success. If mismating occurs with your dog, contact your veterinarian to discuss options. Before breeding your dog, it is best to consult with your veterinarian to ensure the female is healthy and also to discuss the risks.

  • False pregnancy, phantom pregnancy, pseudo-pregnancy or pseudocyesis are all terms that refer to a display of maternal (mothering) behavior combined with the physical signs of pregnancy following estrus ("heat") in a female dog that is not actually pregnant. A false pregnancy may occur in a dog, regardless of whether or not she was mated.

  • The various stages of reproduction—heat (estrus), pregnancy, lactation, and weaning— provide unique stresses to the body. Each creates specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both queen and kitten health.

  • The various stages of reproduction provide unique stresses to the body. Each has specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both other and puppy health.

  • Special attention needs to be given to a cat’s nutrition before and during her pregnancy to promote a healthy birth and healthy kittens. It is important to maintain a good body condition throughout pregnancy as her weight increases. A good quality kitten or all life stages diet is recommended during the entire pregnancy; ideally one evaluated using feeding trials. This diet is usually fed throughout the lactation period, but attention to body condition is essential here as well, and the diet may need to be restricted if there is a small number of kittens or the cat starts becoming overweight. Weaning is usually aided by feeding significantly less food for a few days while restricting access to nursing to decrease milk production.