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Increasing A Bitch's Milk Production.


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HI All,

I have a maiden bitch about to be a mum for the first time in a coupel of weeks. YAYAY

Her sister had her pups a couple of days ago and I am told the pups were being supplemented with formula

as the mum didn't have much milk.

Is there any way of increasing the bitch's milk?

Who has tried Fenuegreek Powder???

Where do you get it?

How much do you give the bitch?

How often?

The mum is most likely near 8kgs.

Thanks

BB

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Fenugreek capsules are available in the health food store or chemist with a good 'vitamin' range (used for lactating humans too). I found them easier to use, but if your bitch is eating well, and you can mix it in the food, then just the powder is fine - you can open and sprinkle the capsule on food.

Myra savant harris (advanced canine reproduction and puppy care, page 9) recommends giving enough so that the bitches breath and milk smell like maple syrup. 3 times a day. Starting with one 610mg capsule for a toy breed. if the breath smells like maple syrup a couple of hours after giving, the dose is right. If not, increase for next dose. Once milk production is established there is no need to keep giving.

I have used it on a maiden bitch to help get things going. Didn't need to use it for more than a couple of days.

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Thanks for the tip Espinay2,

I went to a chemist yesterday and brought a bottle of it. ALthough it says its to "aid digestion & a healthy appetite."

When would you start to give the tablets? just before whelping?

I am not familiar with this Myra savant harris (advanced canine reproduction and puppy care, page 9, where can I find it?

I am just hoping my bitch will produe enough milk and be a good mum.

BB

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Grated raw carrot is good for increasing milk (can cook and mash the carrots if your bitch won't eat it raw). I mix it in raw with her food.

Plenty of meat - I feed raw minced ox cheek if I can get it - and ofcourse, give her plenty of water.

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I also once used Fenugreek seeds to great effect. I made it like tea - with boiling water and then strained. Then used the resulting tea to make milk formula - Initially with Divetelac and then with Palastart Lamb and Kid Milk Replacer (I love this stuff and have used it for bitch and pups this time around with great success).

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Let them eat the placenta's, keep the food up to them, give them egg flips ( minus the sugar and alcohol LOL ), if they look down or they are doing it hard, some extra raw red meat, chicken giblets.

If the pups aren't screaming and content, then the milk production is fine

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Let them eat the placenta's, keep the food up to them, give them egg flips ( minus the sugar and alcohol LOL ), if they look down or they are doing it hard, some extra raw red meat, chicken giblets.

If the pups aren't screaming and content, then the milk production is fine

Agreed - oats also has groats which is good for milk production but at the end of the day nothing works if there is no demand .

Breast milk in all mammals is dependent on supply and demand and the very best thing to do is - assuming you have been feeding a well balanced diet - and let them be dogs - eating placentas etc .The more the puppies suckle the more she will make - no amount or type of supplements will change that.

Many of these things that get recommended will appear to work because nothing would work just as well if the normal process occurs and the puppies suckle more anyway as their need increases.

oxcytocin given during or just after whelping immediately lets down milk - but that's a hormone which is normally manufactured by the bitch slowly as she whelps and feeds and cleans her babies. the other hormone required is prolactin which is produced throughout pregnancy and during and after whelping .

The process of whelping and nursing is what makes these hormones turn on to slowly produce milk and supply what is required for the babies to be fed. You can provide extras to pump the milk up but the reality is they usually only make you feel you have done something to help when in reality at best anything you give her at this stage is not going to make any difference - its a supply and demand equation.

Edited by Steve
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I would also like to say - fenegreek has been used for centuries to increase milk supplies in humans but one of the side effects of fenegreek is a lowering of cholesterol. Dogs produce and assimilate cholesterol differently to humans - and rats - and conditions which are associated with cholesterol dispersion in dogs are not much fun. These include auto immune diseases and chondroplasia,cataracts etc .

Before I gave any dog fenegreek as an "in case" I would want to see studies done which explain how the cholesterol lowing effect impacts on dogs and their health, the amount of cholesterol in the bitch and in the milk the puppies receive etc.

What Im trying to say is that if I got to a point where I really was desperate and truly thought I needed to boost milk production I would give it a shot but I wouldnt be using it if there wasnt a good reason. In over 35 years of breeding dogs and whelping and being involved in the nursing of hundreds of litters Ive never seen a need for a supplement to do this and an "in case' dosing doesn't make me comfortable.

Edited by Steve
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Thank you veryone for your advice.

The bitch is on a good diet. I wasn't going to start using this product if I didn't need to.

Just was told her sister was slow to produce milk for her 4 pups, I know sisters can be totally different. She is now producing plenty of milk.

My other bitch (whom will no longer be having pups) was fine in this department.

yes I do let the bitch eat a placenta or two.

Thanks

BB

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Let them eat as many placenta as they want, the placenta is natures way of giving a bitch the strength to get few the first few days after whelping. Those days when they are very busy with being a new mother and those first few days where you can struggle to get them to eat.

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Would you all recommend manual stimulation of the bitches' nipples from the onset of labour?

I remember this as a homebirther's trick to stimulate production of of oxytocin and prolactin... and do it for all my bitches.

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Totally agree with Steve! Most bitches that are in good health can produce enough milk for their babies! It really is supply and demand, given the bitch is drinking and eating enough and the puppies are feeding frequently. I sometimes can't help thinking when reading posts on various breeding sites that new breeders should read up on breast feeding to understand the mechanics of the process LOL IMO some panic and start supplementing which will only reduce the supply and may not be necessary.

In a normal healthy litter, we have found it helps in the first few days to help out at the milkbar making sure the little ones get their share and all the puppies are rotated around the best nipples. We also like to make sure all the puppies feed together ever hour in the first 48 hours and find it gives them a great start with no weight loss! Harder with big litters and not enough nipples of course, and if you don't have anyone to share the workload in staying awake.

Some people may think it's wrong to interfere and unnatural. In reality dogs have "litters" due to the amount of losses that can be expected if left to their own devices.

We have had 9 puppies in each of our last two litters which is big for beagles and luckily have not had to supplement.

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