Published on:

14th Feb 2022

516 — Singleton Puppies: Whelping and Raising Strategies

Singleton Puppies: Whelping and Raising Strategies

For Valentine’s Day, Susan Patterson, moderator of the fabulous Canine, Fertility, Reproduction and Neonatal Issues Facebook group (invite required) and host Laura Reeves team up to talk about the dreaded Singleton… puppy that is. Susan and Laura discuss proper progesterone timing to help avoid a singleton litter in the first place, planning and managing a c-section if needed.

One is the Lonliest Number…

Singleton puppies present unique challenges for whelping and raising successfully. In large breed dogs, frequently the single puppy in utero does not release sufficient hormones to trigger the dam to start labor. “This is again where progesterone timing, knowing your ovulation date, is important,” Susan said. “What most people fail to account for is placentas have an expiration date. You can't go past that date or you will lose your puppy, there's just no ifs, ands, or buts, and possibly your bitch. So knowing when the bitch is due is critical. “Once you know when she's due, you can be watching for labor to commence. I would strongly suggest you plan a C-section as a back-up, knowing you’re probably going to use it, but plan it as a backup. Give your bitch the chance to whelp naturally and then pull the trigger. "The other thing, especially a day before you think you're gonna have to pull the trigger, you're gonna wanna be monitoring heartbeats. You don't want your Singleton puppy to go into distress. If (the heartbeat) drops below 180 or 170 (bpm) I start getting really concerned.”

Management is job #1

Without the interaction of littermates, the singleton can overeat, under-exercise and may well need additional guidance to understand proper dog interactions. Susan and Laura discuss monitoring the bitch for mastitis and the puppy to avoid gaining too much weight too quickly. “The first thing I would do, is the minute she comes out of anesthesia is I would put her on sunflower lecithin,” Susan noted. “What the sunflower lecithin does, is it makes the milk less sticky, thins it down slightly, so that it passes through the memory glands much easier … it's basically one teaspoon of sunflower lecithin for every 20 pounds of dog. “A swimmer puppy is, it's not just a condition of obesity, but that is definitely a contributing factor. So what you wanna do is you wanna have in your whelping box lots of hills and valleys. You wanna use pool noodles, rolled up bathroom rugs, anything to make that puppy work for dinner.” Socializing singletons in other litters if possible and absolutely with safe adult dogs enables them to learn the critical life skill of appropriate interaction with other dogs as well as people. Tune in for more of this great conversation.
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Pure Dog Talk
The VOICE of Purebred Dogs|Learn How to Show Your Dog|Dog Sports, Agility, Barn Hunt|AKC Dog Breeds and Dog Breeders|
Pure Dog Talk is the VOICE of Purebred Dogs. We talk to the legends of the sports and give you tips and tools to create an awesome life with your purebred dog. From dog shows to preservation breeding, from competitive obedience to field work, from agility to therapy dogs and all the fun in between; your passion is our purpose. Pure Dog Talk supports the American Kennel Club, our Parent, Specialty and All-Breed Clubs, Dog Sports, Therapy, Service and Preservation of our Canine Companions.
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About your host

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Laura Reeves

Laura is an AKC Breeder of Merit and retired member of the Pro-fessional Handlers Association. Laura is a second-generation breeder of German Wirehaired Pointers, under the Scotia Kennel banner.

Scotia dogs have earned well over 100 titles, in the show ring, field and performance events. Her dedication to breeding dual purpose dogs reflects a stated goal of preserving the all-weather, rugged, sound-minded gun dog the breed’s founders envisioned.

Laura served the GWPCA as AKC Gazette columnist, Judges Education Committee member and chair, Vice President, Presi-dent, National Events Coordinator and Wire~News Editor.

Her background as a newspaper reporter, marketing rep and re-searcher/writer for audio driving tours has served her well in her side projects. Her current adventure as host of PureDogTalk podcast lends her particular combination of skills to an outstanding breeder and exhibitor education channel.