Drugs During Pregnancy
By Amy Moore, DVM
Drugs That Are Safe During Pregnancy:
Note: Although the following drugs are generally considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, you should always consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your bitch.
-Heartworm Prevention, including ivermectin/pyrantel (Heartgard Plus) and milbemycin oxime (Interceptor) -Other dewormers, including fenbendazole and praziquantel -Some antibiotics, including penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycin, clindamycin, and Baytril (use during gestation and 1st 4 weeks of lactation only) -Famotidine (Pepcid) – can be used during gestation under a veterinarian’s guidance, but should be avoided during lactation
Drugs To Be Avoided During Pregnancy:
Note: Use of any of the following drugs should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation unless the potential benefit of the drug would outweigh any adverse effects to the dam or offspring. Only your veterinarian can help you determine if this is the case.
-Many antibiotics, including aminoglycosides, tetracycline/doxycycline, sulfonamindes, chloramphenicol, and metronidazole -Enalapril -Theophylline -Diethylstillbesrol (DES) -Antifungals, including griseofulvin and ketoconazole -Sedatives/Tranquilizers, including diazepam(valium) and acepromazine -Omeprazole -NSAID pain relievers, including carprofen (Rimadyl) and aspirin -Systemic and topical steroids (including many combination eye/ear medications) -All modified live vaccines (bitches should be current on vaccinations prior to breeding in order for the puppies to receive adequate antibodies via colostrum)
Before planning a breeding, it is advisable to make an appointment with your veterinarian for routine diagnostics (bloodwork, urinalysis, heartworm testing, etc.) to confirm that the bitch is healthy and prepared for the stresses of pregnancy, parturition, and lactation. At this time, you will also want to discuss any routine medications that your bitch is on (including the occasional pepcid or Gas-X for “licky fits”) and determine what changes, if any, need to made. It goes without saying that all bitches to be used for breeding should have obtained all necessary health clearances and should be in good body condition prior to breeding. They should be on a diet of high quality dog food that provides adequate protein and carbohydrates. Supplementation, especially with calcium, is not necessary and can be harmful. Regular exercise is encouraged to maintain the bitch’s condition, but should be reduced appropriately in the second half of gestation. Stress of any kind (including showing or performance work) should be avoided.
Compiled by: Dr. Amy Moore, DVM
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