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Litter Reduction

Sometimes being a breeder means you have to make difficult decisions, like having a litter reduction
in order to reduce the number of puppies your female bulldog is carrying, so her and the remaining
puppies have the best chance of carrying to full term.

When bulldogs carry a large litter of puppies it can put her life as well as the lives of the puppies at
risk. If your female bulldog is carrying excess fluid your veterinarian can prescribe a diuretic to remove
the excess fluid and make her more comfortable so she can carry to term. But if she is carrying a large
litter and is struggling you really only have 2 options, deliver all the puppies early or do a litter reduction.
During a litter reduction 1 or 2 puppies are taken out by c section, and your female is put on a
progesterone supplement to keep her from going into labor, she will also be put on antibiotics such as
clavamox as the uterus has been opened up and will be prone to infection. After a litter reduction it is
also very important to keep a very close watch on her, keeping her comfortable and quiet. Not all
veterinarians will do a litter reduction or are even familiar with it, so it is important to have a good
relationship with your veterinarian and ask these questions ahead of time, it is highly recommended
that you go to a veterinarian who is knowledgeable with this procedure as it does have risk. After a litter
reduction you will be lucky if she carries a few more days but each day does count for developing puppies.

After a reduction you will have 1 or 2 puppies to care for, they will most likely be premature so there
survival is iffy at best.
Before you leave the veterinarians office these puppies will need an injection of vitamin K (premature
puppies have a very difficult time with blood clotting) If they are premature their lungs won't be fully
developed and will lack surfactant that their lungs need so they can breathe. Your veterinarian can give
the puppies an injection of steroids to mature the lungs ( you will also be sent home with additional
doses ) These puppies will not be able to nurse from their mother ( nursing puppies trigger the release
of oxytocin and will send your female into labor ) so they won't get colostrum ( the first milk they need
that protects them from disease ) To replace the colostrum you can give serum to each puppy. If your
female is getting a litter reduction, most likely she will not be a good candidate, so you will need a donor
dog. Have your veterinarian draw blood from any healthy, vaccinated dog and have him spin down the
blood and draw off the serum. Give the serum to each puppy, they will need 1 to 2 cc's by mouth
( tube fed ) Giving serum to the puppies replaces the colostrum they didn't get and will protect them
from diseases. If these puppies are strong enough you can sponge feed them with milk replacer or
tube feed them until the rest of the litter is born.