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Boston Terriers and Whelping Problems

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Tags: Boston Terrier, Breeding, Health Problems, Birth Difficulties, Whelping

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Many dog owners get so involved with a particular type of dog that they then start considering the idea of breeding that dog. Dog breeding carries great responsibility and should not be done unless an owner really thinks that his or her dog can significantly contribute to the gene pool of the breed. The dogs to be used in the breeding should have a variety of medical tests done to confirm their health and they should have the best possible temperament for their breed. All too often, uneducated individuals get into breeding simply thinking that it's a get rich quick scheme, especially when it comes to certain breeds of dogs that fetch a high price. Breeding is not an easy way to make money and with many breeds, money is sometimes lost. Indeed, this is the case with the Boston Terrier. Boston pups can be quite expensive, but this is because it can be quite expensive to breed Boston pups.

While many health problems that occur in dog breeds are the result of poor breeding practices undertaken by uneducated individuals, there are other health problems that are actually inherently associated with the characteristics that responsible breeders have tried to foster in a breed. Responsible breeding can help keep those health problems to a minimum, but they will always be present, even in small percentage. An example of this concerns Boston Terriers, and all brachycephalic breeds in general. These breeds were specifically bred to have characteristically shaped large, round heads and excessively shortened snouts. The body of the Boston Terrier, in contrast, although muscular, is quite small. Put these two together and you have a potentially disastrous combination when it comes to the birthing, or whelping, process.

Indeed, in an overwhelming number of cases, the heads of Boston Terrier puppies are much too large to pass through the pelvis of the mother; the shape of their head also makes birthing difficult. If a natural birth were attempted, both the mother and puppies could lose their lives, as the puppies would get stuck at the level of the pelvic opening. In other cases, even when the puppies would be able to pass through the pelvis, the contractions of the mother Boston are just not hard enough to push her large-headed puppies the entire way out and, again, they may get stuck. The condition in which contractions are not strong enough to deliver puppies is called uterine inertia. In both of these cases, a Cesarean section must be performed to save the life of both the mother and her pups. In some cases, an emergency C-section must be performed.

While Bostons are notorious for having to deliver their pups via C-section, there are many Boston Terriers that have given birth and are able to give birth naturally. Whelping problems by no means plague every single member of the breed. Knowing the high risk and severity of whelping problems, though, many breeders schedule C-sections before the signs of any problems arise, just to be on the safe side and avoid an emergency procedure, which could be dangerous for the dogs.

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