Rottweil Xpress / May 1990
As far as brucellosis testing, if the bitch has not been bred to another male, chances are brucella cannot be contracted any other way.
Cultures are definitely a must. Many people wait until their bitch is in heat before they do a culture – a mistake, in some cases, for to receive the results from the lab can take quite a few days and if the bitch registered an infection, chances are it could not be cleared up by the time she is ready to be bred.
Let us take a look at the bitch from the time she delivers until the next time she is ready for breeding.
Many veterinarians administer an oxytocin shot at the end of delivery. This shot is generally called “clean-out shot”. This shot is to expel any placenta or fetus material that might still be in the canal, but it does not prevent metritus or other infection, which is very common in the post-partum female.
The bitch may not show clinical signs of infection until a culture is done, or she may exhibit symptoms, such as fever or a decrease in milk production; probably the most noticeable is a foul-smelling discharge from her vagina. This infection could lean to more serious problems, and even sterility.
It is not uncommon for a bitch to have a vaginal discharge for 4-6 weeks following whelping. This is due to the reconstruction of the endometrium. But when it persists beyond that time, the bitch definitely needs to be checked out.
A situation occurred with us when a woman wanted to repeat the breeding with one of our males. She had seen a bloody discharge. Immediately she had taken the female to an inexperienced veterinarian and without doing slides or cultures he assumed she was in heat. The woman then brought the bitch to us and left her in our care.
We saw no normal red bloody discharge, but a clotting discharge was present. We took her down to our veterinarian and had a culture done on her. The day we got the culture results back and put her on the proper medication, she went into her real heat cycle. Luckily, the infection was cleared up quickly, and she was then ready to be bred.
This is the procedure we use with our bitches and that we highly recommend. When we assume the bitch has finished delivering a litter we give her the oxytocin shot. The following day we put her on amoxycillin, which is the drug of choice. Most reproductive specialists will automatically administer this to your bitch as a safeguard without her having any clinical signs of infection. When she is through delivering her whelps, and her cervix is no longer dilated, we have a culture done on her. If an infection is present we put her on the appropriate medication. We follow it up with another culture to make sure that all has returned to normal.
Testing for brucellosis and culturing for vaginal infection is definitely costly and time-consuming, but it is well worth it when you consider the possible long-term damage that could result from overlooking the problem. Grave illness and sterility can be the end result.
Until next month, rrrrrrrring!
Article written by Evie Lynn