Educational Articles

Breeding

  • Chronic egg-laying occurs when a female bird lays one egg after another or lays repeated clutches of eggs. Chronic egg-laying may lead to malnutrition from the chronic depletion of calcium from the body for the production of eggshells. In time, calcium depletion may result in egg binding. A lack of hormonal feedback to a bird’s brain, telling the bird to stop laying eggs, likely occurs in chronic egg-laying birds. Removing eggs that are already laid may induce birds to lay even more eggs, depending on the species. Egg-laying uses up a great deal of the bird’s body stores of calcium not only to make eggshells, but also to help contract muscles and stimulate nerve conduction to push eggs down the bird’ reproductive tract. Birds eating all-seed, calcium-deficient diets may not be able to replace depleted calcium stores quickly enough, and they suffer from hypocalcemia. There are both behavioral and medical interventions to stop chronic egg-laying.

  • This handout discusses the growing trend for designer dog breeds – the crossing of pure dog breeds to create dogs that combine “the best of both worlds.” The pros and cons of this practice are highlighted, along with some of the more common designer breeds currently available.

  • Cat lovers consider sweet, soulful, kitty eyes gazing at them to be heartwarming. Those feline glances can melt some human hearts. But after the loss of a feline, canine, or human companion, could those mournful eyes indicate that the cat is actually mourning?

  • Egg binding is not uncommon in birds and may be resolved easily if treated early. Egg binding occurs when the female bird is unable to expel the egg from her body. If a prolonged period has elapsed since the bird began attempting to lay the egg, she may become critically ill. Birds with egg binding may or may not have passed an egg more than 2 days ago, are usually weak, not perching, often sitting low on the perch or on the bottom of the cage, and are straining as if trying to defecate or to lay an egg. Treatment varies depending upon how sick the bird is, as well as the location of the egg and the length of time the bird has been egg bound. Critically ill birds are first treated supportively for shock, and then attempts are made to extract the egg. If your veterinarian cannot see the egg through the vent, surgery under general anesthetic may be necessary to remove the egg from the abdomen. A hysterectomy (removal of the oviduct and uterus) is typically the last choice therapy, when medical and egg extraction through the vent are not possible.

  • The various stages of reproduction—heat (estrus), pregnancy, lactation, and weaning— provide unique stresses to the body. Each creates specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both queen and kitten health.

  • The various stages of reproduction provide unique stresses to the body. Each has specific nutritional concerns that should be addressed to maximize both other and puppy health.

  • There are approximately 400 distinct canine breeds on record that represent an astounding variety of dogs in all shapes, sizes and colors. How did the domestic dog get so many branches on its family tree?

  • Hemophilia A and B are clotting disorders involving a deficiency of a specific clotting factor (A: Factor VIII, B: Factor IX) needed for appropriate homeostasis. They are caused by a sex-linked recessive genetic mutation. Affected dogs will show inappropriate hemorrhage including bruising, lameness induced by bleeding into joints and body cavity hemorrhage. It can be diagnosed with a slow APTT and demonstrating low levels of the factor involved. Hemophilia A is more common than B and is generally, more severe. Because it is sex-linked recessive, males are more likely to be affected than females but females still act as carriers, so genetic screening is important prior to breeding to prevent this disease.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in female cats, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your female cat's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

  • There are many possible causes of infertility in female dogs, including behavioral, physical, and medical factors. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination and testing to diagnose the reason for your female dog's infertility, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause.