Raspberry Tea & Other Whelping Aids

The owner of a bitch who was just bred to one of my dogs asked if I had any ideas for supplementing a bitch to insure that she had as easy a whelping as possible, to reduce the chance of long labor and lost puppies. I decided to ask the subscribers to ShowDals the following:

I know that some breeders swear by such things as raspberry leaf tea. How about you? Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Have you used the raspberry tea with good results?

1. Swear by the stuff! Our Tootsie whelped two litters with one or two crying/fading pups in each. After that we started up with the raspberry tea (a pinch a day from the day they are bred and for several weeks after whelping.) thanks to kind advice from a fellow breeder. Tootsie's third and last litter was a litter of 9 all healthy pups. No faders or dyers. We have used the herb with our Border Terriers, also, for the past 14 years and the one litter we didn't (the health food store was out) we lost the entire litter of three due to a calcium deficiency. Luckily mom survived. We aren't nutso about fad diets or supplements - believe in feeding a good quality dog food with about 10% fresh food added to it but we will always use raspberry leaf tea for pregger moms.

2. Rasp. tea leaves are a great aid. Over the years I've come to use lecotinic or petotinics,a blood builder for MOM and pups. I give it two weeks. before and two weeks. after whelping. It helps MOM so pups don't deplete her of everything. It also helps Mom from losing all her coat. It's been recommended by several vets in my area after seeing firsthand. Losing pups early, esp. in cold weather you have to keep room temp. up, remembering not to "shock" their body from the temperature inside MOM to the real world. Hope you find this of some help.

3. We have used raspberry tea (from the health food store, a pinch with a meal) and have had good results. We've also run out, or forgotten, or for some other reason not used it - and have had fine results. However, all in all, I prefer to use it. It may help or may not, but it shouldn't hurt so long as the amount used isn't excessive.

4. I would be very interested in what others have to say on the raspberry tea. I go out in the garden pick, wash and dehydrate my own raspberry leaves. I only put a pinch on the bitches food. The day she's in labor I put the leaves in her water. Or very small bitch had 6 puppies in 2 hrs and 7 minutes plus hour when I thought is might start labor. Before I started using it, the dogs went all night.

5. We gave it to our bitch before each litter. In the first litter, the first delivery was tough. The puppy weighed almost a 1 1/2 pounds, but the rest of the litter was a breeze. The second litter she had to a C-section so we don't know if it helped

6. My mare sought out and ate the most rasberry leaves the day before her delivery night. I'd say the raspberry leaves 6-10 hrs before whelping must be right as that's what my (extremely smart) brood mare does.

Did she eat them during her pregnancy too? More when pregnant than when non-pregnant?

She never seemed to ....but then they were dormant during the winter, The buds and young leaves were what she found at the end and then she really chowed down 6-10 hours before. She was also at day 366 in gestation....which is a long pregnancy. She was artificially I. by a DUTCH stallion so we knew the date, It was a BIG colt and he is an awesome 2 1/2yr old now. My mare also eats rose hips, and odd things periodically. She ran with a heard of horses on 85 acres of all sorts of forest and field for her first 7 years. The only time she has ever been "out of sorts" in 15 years is when her friend pony Louie died at 41. Then she ate something that caused her to be almost catatonic for a day and a half.

7. I've heard good things about raspberry tea, but be forewarned that its purpose is to tone the uterus so the bitch has good contractions at whelping time. (Raspberry allegedly strengthens smooth muscles.) Therefore, do NOT give it all the way thru pregnancy. Some have done this, thinking they were doing the bitch good (if some is good, more is better, etc.) and what it did early in the pregnancy is prevent implantation! These bitches had small litters or no pups at all. Raspberry leaves should only be given right around the whelping date, if at all.

8. My guys all get vit E 400 units. daily. Around the 7th week of pregnancy I double it. My girls always whelp fast .. 4/5 hours a litter....

9. Has anyone mentioned kelp? We use it for pigment and coats and it's also supposed to be good for thyroid function, promotes fertility and strong newborns.

10. I walked with my bitch about 2 miles at least 3 times a week for most of her pregnancy. We only cut back on the excercize the last week. I feel her muscle tone helped her.

11. We think that proper exercise and not letting the bitch get too heavy make the biggest difference. Secondary uterine inertia seems to be hereditary and bitches tend to inherit their whelping abilities. Extremely large or small litters are the hardest. Normal sized litters generally go fine.

12. Check out the use of CAULOPHYLUM, given only in the latter weeks of pregnancy, one dose twice weekly, continue to dose AFTER whelping. It will only work if all whelps are alive.It did not work on my one of my bitches, as the single pup was dead.The officer manager at the surgery used it when she was pregnant, and she had an easy labor, swearing by it.

What is caulophylum?

Caulophyllum 12x(I double checked the spelling this time, I was just out of bed tired from nightwork earlier) is a homeopathic tablet. My homeopathic vet prescribed me to give one tablet twice weekly, spacing the tablets a couple of days apart.Continuing AFTER parturition. George Macleod, a prominent homeopathic vet who treated and cured my old dog with osteoarthritis many years ago writes in his book to use the 30c potency giving one dose every 2 weeks with a final dose during the last week. But, if a uteri fails to dilate properly, it will bring about relaxation if given frequently for a few doses, e.g one dose every half hour for 4 doses. I do know when a friend's bitch was in whelp, I put him onto the use of these, that the bitch whelped fairly easily once started the 2nd stage. All puppies (9) strong and thriving. I would also give Arnica to the bitch post partum, as it reduces the likelihood of deep tissue damage and restores muscle tone to the uterus. The nurses and doctors now automatically give this to mothers in the maternity wards here, when they have finished labor. I gave it to my bitch after her caesarian, she healed much more quickly. To help prevent fading puppies, I would also suggest Arnica crushed and sprinkled onto their tongues, good for shock and restoring life in near death situations, along side smearing live yoghurt onto their tongues. Rescue Remedy could also be given every few minutes if a pup was particularly weak and causing concern.