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Categories: Breeding , Feeding a Raw Diet

Q. If I am feeding a raw diet, how much bone should I be feeding my female during pregnancy and after she has her litter?
If I am feeding a raw diet, how much bone should I be feeding my female during pregnancy and after she has her litter?

A. There are many schools of thought on this. The current line of thinking is to cut most all bone out of the female’s diet during the last 2-3 weeks of her pregnancy. Some dogs who are prone to uterine inertia and eclampsia may have difficult labors or get eclampsia if fed bone in the last trimester. I have never experienced this in my own dogs, but many of my rawbreeder acquaintances have. A simplified explanation is that the body gets “lazy” about retrieving calcium from the body in times of need (like during labor and nursing) if there is an excess in the diet.

Uterine inertia is basically the failure of contractions during the whelping process. Some females start contracting and delivering normally and just stop contracting part way through. Others never have contractions at all, both of these problems can lead to the need for a C section. A bitch with eclampsia (also called milk fever) may become very agitated and aggressive to her pups. She may become uncoordinated, pant and run a high fever. This can be fatal if not treated. If you suspect either of these issues, a visit to the vet right away is recommended.

For more detailed info on these issues, a google search will turn up a lot of good reading. Good luck with your litter.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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