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 Post subject: Canine Mastitis
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:05 am 
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Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 50
Location: Jamestown, Tennessee
Last year I experienced my first bought with mastitis. It being my first time, I was scared to death. It wasn't as simple as a breast being infected. Her breast actually ruptured! I thought she had some kind of flesh eating virus or had been bitten by a poisonous spider. (I have photos. If I can find them, I'll post them.) I was scared for her and the puppies, thinking the puppies were all going to die from nursing on the breast before I noticed it. It all happened pretty fast. Overnight, it went from being a little swollen, to a pretty good size lump, to discoloration under the skin, to the skin becoming translucent, the skin rupturing, and finally, a large gaping hole in the side of her breast. Yup, I was frantic with ideas of a flesh eating virus. :oops: We were at the vet first thing the next morning. It was mastitis. She was given a shot and put on antibiotics. It pretty much healed up within a few days. The downside, the vet said the meds would dry up her milk. Now the puppies were just a week old......oh, and did I mention that there were 11?!?!? (and her first litter) Yeah, I was frantic at the idea of bottle feeding that herd! Luckily, I have a few girls who are looney over puppies, and will give milk any time that there's a puppy within ear shot. So what I did.....I let the puppies continue to nurse from mama, even though she wasn't giving a lot of milk, and also letting them nurse from the other girls. This way, mama's milk didn't completely dry up. By the time she was off of the antibiotics, she was back to full milking force and was able to nurse all of the puppies full time. I should also note that the mastitis had no effect on the mama. She wasn't sick, tired, etc. If she didn't have the wound on her breast, you would never know that anything was wrong. She's naturally a very active, hype dog, and this had no effect on her. Also, I thought the vet would be shocked at the hole in her side, like I was, but the vet acted like it was no big deal. She said that it's very common for it to rupture and drain like that.

Now onto my question.........If you're a breeder, you'll know that mastitis has a good chance of rearing it's head again in the same dog. If the female has it once, there's a good chance it will happen again. How can I avoid it? When it's time for her next litter, I don't want to take any chances in this happening again. She's a VERY healthy girl, good weight, athletic build, muscular, happy, etc. Is there some kind of vitamin or supplement that I can give her while she's pregnant? Any tips on how to boost her immune system, help with milk flow, anything in that ballfield would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Canine Mastitis
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:01 am 
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 430
Location: North Alabama
From my experience.........some dogs are just prone to mastitis no matter what you do, like keeping her teats clean with proper bedding, and etc...

The big problem with trying to control and prevent mastitis is the fact that trauma from nursing puppies is almost unvoidable. To help her teats, clip the claws of the puppies when they are a few days old to reduce the wear and tear on the mother's breasts.

Another thing that is in play is the fact that Bassets are low riders and when you let them out to relieve themselves, their teats are exposed to the elements outside which is hard to prevent the teats from picking up bacteria from the ground.

I had one back in 2007 that got it 1 week before she whelped and 1 week after she whelped. Your right, overnight, the teat can go from 1 end to the other end like a about to explode open.

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 Post subject: Re: Canine Mastitis
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:52 pm 
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I've dealt with mastitis a few times, but basically I just watch for signs (check the breasts regularly) and treat immediately if found.

I never stop letting the pups nurse, it's better to let them keep draining the milk.

The only real problem I've had is that on a couple of occasions the antibiotics used caused the bitch to feel sick, meaning that she was less careful with the pups and tended to lie on them more. I really have to watch them like a hawk.


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