Market Hall Vets

Old Market Surgery St Clears Carmarthenshire SA33 4DY

T: 01994 230 451


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Responsible Breeding

At Market Hall Vets we encourage responsibility when breeding animals.

If you are intending to breed from your dog then the first step is to have him/her checked by a vet. At this consultation we can examine your dog and ensure suitability for breeding. We can discuss important topics including worming during pregnancy, vaccinations and ensure you are ready for the whelping – it is always advisable to be ready and prepared!

All animals should be micro-chipped, fully vaccinated and wormed prior to mating. Dogs and cats should then be wormed again during pregnancy and lactation in order to reduce the risk of the puppies acquiring large worm burdens. This can be done using liquid/tablet wormers dosed strictly for weight, available from our surgery.

All relevant health screening checks should be carried out prior to mating (see below). You should contact your Breed Society for more specific breed information before breeding.

In promoting responsible breeding we advise that female dogs do not have their first litter before 2 years of age. This is advisable to reduce the occurrence of complications at whelping and to allow the dogs time to grow and mature properly.
Female dogs should not have more than one litter per year to allow for uterine recovery and for her to maintain her overall good body condition.

We advise that all puppies are micro-chipped before going to their new home to give them a permanent identification and therefore allow for trace ability.

If you are not intending to breed from your pet then please consider having them neutered. Please see our neutering page for more information.

Health Screening Tests and DNA Tests

It is important to consider the risk of hereditary disease which may affect your breed. There are several health screening schemes, DNA tests or ‘breed club’ schemes in operation.

Health screening schemes include hip and elbow scoring and eye testing.

Hip and Elbow Scoring

At our practice we can perform hip and elbow scoring. This involves giving your pet a light sedation and taking radiographs of the hips and/or elbows. These radiographs are then sent to the Kennel Club to be scrutinised a panel of specialists and awarded a score. Advice can then be given for or against breeding depending on the score your pet attains. 
These health schemes are aimed at significantly reducing the risk of breeding puppies with hip or elbow dysphasia both of which can be a painful and debilitating condition.

Eye Testing Scheme

Certain breeds should undergo eye testing to screen for certain hereditary eye conditions. This is generally done at one year of age and then on an annual basis. However in some breeds it is necessary to test them as young pups so ‘litter screening’ can be performed.
Unfortunately we are unable to off this service at our practice as only appointed eye panelists can issue certificates under the scheme. However we would be happy to arrange an appointment for you with the most local eye examiner.

More information on breeds and conditions can be found on the Kennel Club website.

DNA Screening Schemes

There are various DNA tests available for breeds and certain conditions. The DNA test usually requires the collection of a blood sample or mouth swab, which we would be happy to perform for you at our surgery. This sample is then sent away for analysis at specialised laboratories. The DNA test then provides you with precise information on the genetic status of your pet with regards to certain diseases – effectively whether your pet is carrying the ‘disease gene’ or not. This will therefore help you to choose to breed from animals which are free of disease.

More information can be found on breeds and conditions on the Kennel Club and Animal Health Trust website's.

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