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  #1  
Old 06-24-2013, 10:32 AM
Logen Ninefingers Logen Ninefingers is offline
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Default Is My Friend's Lab Too Old To Have First Litter?

My friend wants to breed his labrador, Meg. She's 6 years old, almost 7. Perfectly healthy, but never had a litter before.

I've searched Google, of course, but the answers vary. Do you guys think she's too old to be having her first litter?
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:38 AM
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Has she been health tested? Titled in anything? What makes her breed worthy?
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:48 AM
Logen Ninefingers Logen Ninefingers is offline
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Originally Posted by Julee View Post
Has she been health tested? Titled in anything? What makes her breed worthy?
I'm not aware of the specifics, as it's not my dog. Looking out for a friend and wanting to give him the best advice. I believe she's been tested, but the other two questions I'm not certain about.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:03 AM
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As Google has shown you, it's not a simple yes or no question. For some dogs seven is fine for a first litter, for some dogs it would be putting her life at risk to breed her now. Your friend should take the dog to a good reproductive vet (not just a regular vet) and have her evaluated to decide if it is safe or not.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:48 AM
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Here is my take on this and this is my best advice...

First off, any time a bitch whelps puppies there's a significant chance that something will go wrong. It may not be something that will cost your bitch her life, but it could be. So, if he's willing to risk her life in order to get some puppies out of her, that's a decision that only he can make. Every breeder has to make that choice, although there are different things you can do to prepare for worst case scenarios, but that isn't this thread.

Secondly, the older a bitch is, the harder whelping is on their body. There's a much higher chance of uterine inertia and she very well could end up having a C section at her age. Did I mention how darned expensive a c-section is?

Even if you do everything right, you can still end up with dead puppies and a dead bitch under the best case scenario and this definitely isn't a best case scenario.

I don't know what you've read, but typically it's best for bitches to have the first litter before their four.

Just make sure your friend does some reasearch...find out how much c-sections cost in your area. Learn about tools that can help an older bitch. Take her to a repro vet and have her evaluated before the breeding to make sure she doesn't have any infections anywhere.

Just be prepared.

If you're going to breed a bitch that old, then make sure you at least do it right is all I'm saying. Spare no expense. Take care of your girl.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardiparty View Post
... If you're going to breed a bitch that old, then make sure you at least do it right is all I'm saying. Spare no expense...
Great advice all around, Cardiparty. As to the bolded part- doing it right includes proving she is worthy to be bred by competing somehow with her (breed ring, performance events like hunt test, obedience, etc). Although, there are some dogs that have been bred that don't compete or have any titles, but have amazing pedigrees. Sparing no expense means getting all the health clearance possible for the particular breed. For Labs that would include at least hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and Exercise Induced Collapse.

ETA- Sorry if I sound like I'm on a high horse. There's nothing like a great Lab. Unfortunately, the good ones are becoming few and far between thanks to people who thing just because they have a purebred Lab they should breed it. Sad to say, it's the same way with a lot of breeds.
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Old 06-24-2013, 03:37 PM
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Nope, she's not too old to start breeding. I would follow up with a reproduction vet for more personalized info.
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:28 AM
Logen Ninefingers Logen Ninefingers is offline
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Thanks everyone. I think the general consensus here is to get her checked out by a reproductive vet before anything, so I'll relay that information to my buddy.
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:00 AM
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My advice would be to ask my friend to do their own research... If they aren't even doing that I'd have grave concerns about them breeding their dog to be honest, so I'd therefore be trying to explain all the reasons they SHOULDN'T be breeding her.

As a responsible friend.
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Logen Ninefingers View Post
Thanks everyone. I think the general consensus here is to get her checked out by a reproductive vet before anything, so I'll relay that information to my buddy.
NOT JUST A REPRO VET! She needs health testing/clearances done, too. That includes at least hips, elbows, heart, eyes, and Exercise Induced Collapse. These aren't things that the average vet can do. Xrays for hips & elbows have to positioned just right, then sent into to either the OFA or PennHip for evaluation/grading. Heart tests are done by a canine cardiologists, etc. Your friend, not you, needs to do more research into what is involved in PROPERLY breeding his dog. It really sounds to me like this is a case of "I have a purebred Lab. Let's breed her". There are too many Labs out there with health issues (some major) because of people who think like that (not to mention the aggressive or overly shy ones). Please, do the breed a favor and convince your friend to at least do more research.
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