Bulldog Breeding & Whelpingby Daniel Cobalt
Breeding and producing puppies from the bulldog, also known as the English or British bulldog, requires more care than most breeds. The massive head and shoulders cause problems with breeding and whelping puppies, according to veterinarian Jim Young, Marbach Road Animal Hospital, San Antonio, Texas.
Health testing of the parents before breeding increases the chance for healthy puppies. According to the Bulldog Club of America (BCA), testing includes eye conditions, deafness, elbow disorders and hip dysplasia. Common bulldog problems include problems with eyelashes, bones, heart valves and palates.
Most bulldog breeding requires artificial insemination, according to Young. After selecting an appropriate stud, unless the stud lives nearby, arrange for delivery of chilled or frozen semen. Your veterinarian may use vaginal smears or progesterone testing to determine ovulation and breeding schedule.
Generally, the veterinarian performs insemination at ovulation, about 8 to 13 days after the heat cycle begins, and again two days later, according to Young. Your veterinarian verifies pregnancy between 28 to 45 days using ultrasound, palpation or X-ray.
During pregnancy, observe your bitch for signs of vaginal discharge, infection, fever or other problems. Increase your bitch’s food slowly from the fourth week until feeding 50 percent more food. Puppy food provides adequate nutrition for most pregnant bitches.
Bulldogs usually require cesareans (c-section) to deliver puppies, according to Vetinfo. Schedule a c-section 60 days after the first insemination. The veterinarian will check puppies for problems such as cleft lip and palate. Natural birth results in dead puppies due to crushing or stuck puppies and dead bitches.
- cute puppy image by Craig Stevens from Fotolia.com