To Breed or not to Breed...that is the question

PUBLISHED: 16:39 14 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:21 20 February 2013

To Breed or not to Breed...that is the question

To Breed or not to Breed...that is the question

Torbridge Vets consult Top European Vet during recent seminar

Torbridge Vets consult Top European Vet in recent seminar

As the owner of a beloved pet, be it cat or dog, there is always the temptation to breed. As with all animals, the prospect of producing another little pet can seem particularly appealing. Then there are the possible financial gains, even in the local papers puppies can be found on offer for upwards of 500, whilst gestation times for felines and canines are relatively short. So what to do?

The answer is obviously not a simple one, so Torbridge Vets (based in Bideford, South Molton, Torrington and Lynton) enrolled one of Europes experts in animal reproduction to lead their recent seminar. Dr Angelika von Heimendahl, MscAg DipECAR BVM (Berlin) MRCVS was the expert with the answers, at the free seminar held in The George Hotel, South Molton recently.

With an audience of more than 40, Dr von Heimendahl demonstrated her expert knowledge to dispel several breeding myths, and update the audience on the latest clinical approaches. The afternoons session provoked a healthy debate regarding the value of swabbing prior to mating; Dr von Heimendahl controversially announced she did not recommend it. Another myth dashed was the use of calcium supplements. This practice is popular, but was not recommended by Angelika who explained inappropriate supplementation could lead to eclampsia, and instead recommended a good quality commercial diet containing all the nutrients the expectant mother would require.

She also covered popular topics as When is my bitch ready to mate? This can be a difficult decision and will have a direct effect on the success or failure of the planned breeding process. However, she informed the group that the optimum time can in fact be accurately predicted by blood progesterone levels, with the same test being repeated later in pregnancy, to predict when a bitch is due to whelp. Dr von Heimendahl told the audience, that in her opinion, Measuring progesterone is probably the most useful tool in canine reproduction.

Bill Slee, Director of Torbridge Vets, was delighted by the quality of the seminar: I was hoping that Angelika would provide an expert view on breeding that would challenge some long held practices and I was not disappointed! The resulting lively question and answer sessions with the audience illustrated just how relevant, accessible and thought provoking her presentation was.

Paula Wilson, a local breeder of Rough Collies agreed, saying The talk was superb, really interesting

Following on from this event, another session concentrating on Pain In Cats will be hosted by Torbridge Vets, this time at their Bideford Veterinary Hospital. The seminar is once again free, starts at 7.00pm on Tuesday 20 November, and will comprise a talk by Bill Slee, Bvet Med, MRCVS. After, the audience will have the opportunity to ask specific questions, both during the seminar and informally after over refreshments. Other trained staff from the practice will also be available to discuss all things cat, so feel free to come along to chat.

For more information, or to book a place, please call 01237 472075 or visit

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