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Veterinary Science: Gestation, Parturition, Lactation, Neonatology & Pediatrics in Cats & Dogs

Vet nursing lecture & lab 10
Intact (unspayed) female canine
Intact male canine
castrated male canine
Intact female cat
Intact male cat
Dog estrus cycle
Have first heat 6-8 months of age. Come into heat approx. every 6 months, 2 heat cycles each year. Photoperiod has little influence.
Last 9-10 days. Uterine lining becomes highly vascular and bloody discharge will be shed from the vagina. Unlike humans, bleeding occurs before ovulation, when the uterus is preparing for conception.
(heat) follows proestrus. Lasts 9-10 days, vulvar swelling, some bloody discharge may occur, but usually less to none at all. Female is receptive to male.
False pregnancy. Non-pregnant **** exhibits maternal signs when pups would have been born if **** had been bred. Mammary development, lactation and maternal behavior occurs.
Cat estrus cycle
Heavily influenced by photoperiod. May come into heat at any time of the year, especially if kept in artificial light as in a home, but usually do not come into heat from mid-fall to mid-winter(oct-jan), when the days are the shortest. Estrus lasts 8-10 days. Are induced ovulators. If they do not mate, they will not ovulate and will come into estrus again in 2-14 days. If they mate, ovulate, but are not pregnant, they will come into estrus in about 45 days. Free roaming intact females have 2-4 litters a year.
Fertilization of ova in the same litter by seperate acts of coitus; thsu kittens/puppies in the same litter have different fathers.
Cat Gestation
gestation 63-65 days
Dog Gestation
gestation about 63-65 days, but a wider range of possibilities, depending on when in their cycle they are bred.
Pregnant Dam eating amount
twice their normal amount
giving birth (*****-female dog)
giving birth (queen-female cat)
Stage 1 of parturition
Begins approx. 12 hours before stage 2. Restlessness, Vocalization, Nesting behavior, Tachypnea. At end cats will lay down & purr
24 hours before Stage 2 of parturition
Anorexia, & in dogs their temperature will drop to 99F and shivering may occur.
Stage 2 of parturition
When puppies and kittens are expelled. Strong uterine and abdominal contractions become evident. 20-60 min to push out each puppy, 20 min for each kitten. Up to 2 hours between puppies, 24 hours total. Approx. 5 to 15 min after each puppy/kitten a placenta must come.
After birth
hemorrhagic vulvar discharge (normal) Can last 8-10 weeks postpartum in dogs, 3 wks in cats. Should be non odorous.
Uterine infection. If lochia is foul-smelling, suspect this.
Mammary infection. Presenting problem is often ill/dying kittens/puppies. Yellow, foul smelling milk. Mammary tissue warm to touch. Fever, lethargy, anorexia.
milk production
provides antibodies against disease if consumed during the first 2 days of life.
Should continue for 6 weeks, sometimes longer. Should start with some soft food at 4 weeks.
After birth mother will:
remove the fetal membranes, clean each neonate, begin to nurse the young shortly after they are born.
Sometime Mother unable to care for young because:
Caesarean section (anesthestized), maternal death, medical emergency, rejection of the young by dam.
Preputial orifice
Male kittens (and cats) have this small circular opening ventral to the testicles.
Procedures done on some breeds of neonatal puppies
Dewclaw removal, tail dock
Area between the anus and genitalia. In first 2-3 weeks of life the dam will lick this area and the abdomen during and after nursing to stimulate the young to urinate and deficate.
Cleft Palate
Hole in the hard palate which makes it difficult to impossible for neonate to form suction for nursing. May see bubbles coming from the nose of neonates trying to nurse, milk excuding from their noses while nursing, or gagging while nursing.
Fading puppy or kitten syndrome
In puppies & kittens--failure to thrive, listlessness, loss of appetite, hypothermia, death; may occur rapidly(less than a day). Common causes are the herpes virus infection or other viral infections, inadequate nutrition, hydration or warmth. Treatment: keep them warm!!, dry & well hydrated. Make sure mother is producing milk.
Umbillical hernia
Failure of the abdominal wall to close in the fetus. Usually corrected at the time or spaying or neutering.
Undescending testicles, latin for "hidden testicle". Retained in either the abdominal cavity or in the inguinal(groin) region. Unilateral or bilateral; unilateral more common.
Juvenile Vaginitis
Bacterial or viral infection of the vagina. May see yellow mucus discharge. Usually resolves with or without treatment.
Infection of the penis and prepuce. May see yellowmucus discharge. Usually resolves with or without treatment. Don't confuse this with normal yellow discharge with occurs in intact adult male dogs.
Very commonly found in puppies and kittens. Diagnosed by observing adult worms in the stool or vomit or performinga fecal flotation on a stool sample.
Treat worms with this
May be found in puppies and kittens, but more commonly in puppies. May result in severe anemia(pale MM) Usually treated with oral vermicide.
Caused by a protozoan in the intestinal tract. Signs include diarrhea, dehydration, somtimes death in very young. Treated with oral antibiotic.
Distemper/Parvo (FVRCP) Vaccine
Feline vaccine. Given at 6 weeks old and again 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks old. After that given every 3 years.
Rabies vaccination
Both dogs and cats. Given 12 wks/3months old. Given again 1 year later, and after that either every year or 3 years.