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High Risk Pregnacy in Bullies


Heavy Litter Syndrome

With years of experience of understanding, including lots of input from breeders, vets and owners it appears that in the bulldog breed due to there body shape that litter sizes of 8 or more has an unusual high fatality rate for some of the puppies, all of them and maybe even the Mom. There can be many reasons for it as well as lots of scientific studies but a large part of them seem to be the direct result of "being to pregnant" or heavy litter pressure. This can bring out and defects in a bitch never before discovered, like weak muscular tone, defect in the chest or can result in the creation of the problem. When the bully has 8-9-10-11 puppies and even with all the best vet care there is problems from the size of the litter can be fatal. Not always, but there sure is a considerable increase in fatality. What happens basically is simple but deadly. The bitch in her final few weeks of pregnancy gets so large that there is no where for the babies to grow, resulting in the litter pressing upward into the chest cavity and putting an enormous load of pressure at the diaphragm and onto the ascending aorta (LARGE ARTERY) and vena cava( LARGE VEIN) as it enters the chest. In addition the chest is already over worked and has pressure from the heavy litter. Now the puppies grow there fastest and largest in the final few days before delivery and there for each few hours of the last days increases the pressure considerably. This is the dangerous time, the last 5 days as the babies enlarge and the Mom struggles to adjust. There is really no cure for this or anything that can be done to avoid it short of just not breeding. Again it only happens a few times out of a few hundred heavy litters but it is a problem. Now were not saying this will happen in your case and most of the time it don't. It's just that the odds go up considerably when a bitch has a heavy litter. Just be careful and watch out for severe stress above what is the normal and get in contact with your vet if you feel there is a problem. Correct accounting for dates is very important. It is also important to communicate with your vet and report anything that looks to be a problem to hopefully avoid this situation.

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