Yorkshire Terriers
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Veterinary Secrets Revealed

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 Whelping Yorkies

Whelping yorkies should never be undertaken casually.  While breeding dogs always involves some amount of risk to the mother and to the puppies, whelping yorkies carries an even greater risk because of the mother's small size.  If you are not prepared for the real possibility of losing the female during the pregnancy or delivery, then you should not breed her.

With that said, you should take some precautions before whelping yorkies.   First, have both the male and female examined by a vet to make sure they are in good health and shows no signs of genetic disorders.  At this time, you should also have the dogs tested for a disease known as Brucellosis.  This is reproductive disease caused by bacteria which is spread through sexual contact, a lactating female's milk, urine, and even the air.  Brucellosis causes pregnant females to abort their litters and can lead to infertility in both sexes.  The diseases can even cause flu-like symptoms in humans who work closely with the infected animals.

If the dogs' health checks out and if the vet gives you the “green light” for whelping yorkies, then you can begin the process.   It takes around sixty-three days from conception to delivery.  You'll need to determine when the birth of the puppies is going to occur because someone must be with the mother during the delivery.  Too many things can go wrong while you are whelping yorkies.  For example, a  C-section may be necessary if your yorkie has difficulty with the delivery.

During the gestation period, you should feed the mother puppy food and vitamins.  Your vet should be able to make some recommendations in this area, so follow his or her advice.  Remember the health of the mother will determine, in part, the health of the puppies so you'll want to do everything you can for her.

A necessity in whelping yorkies is a birthing area.   Some breeders use cages because this offers the mother some protection, especially if there are other animals in the house, and because it will keep all of the puppies in one place.  You'll want to make the cage as conformation as possible for the mother.  Adding a heating pad, for example, is a nice touch.

When the delivery actually begins, you'll be able to tell that your female is in labor.  Don't worry if the labor goes on for a couple of hours.  This is not unusual.  However, if she is straining and pushing as if in hard labor for an hour or more, then she needs to be rushed to the vet for a possible C-section.

During normal deliveries, you should be prepared to assist the mother.  She may not have the energy to clean all of her puppies herself or she may not fully understand what is happening.  Large litters may require bottle-feeding because the mother may not produce enough milk for all of them.  Keep all of this in mind when you decide to start whelping yorkies