"When is the best time to perform an elective Caesarean Section on a Chihuahua?" I asked a vet. "64th day?" was the reply.
"Much depends on the signs of impending birth," I said. "From my two hectic years of experience with the dog breeders in Pasir Ris, it will be around 60-63 days for a heavily pregnant Chihuahua. 58th day was the earliest I did to get viable puppies. It is best to do after 60th day as the pups are developed and not premature like being hairless."
One home breeder phoned me last week (without having met me at all) and I advised 60th day based on rectal temperature and signs. I advised him to buy a thermometer to monitor the rectal temperature and after that heard nothing from him by phone.
When the temperature drops and the dog stops eating or pants, it is time. I advised that there would be no point in just checking out the dam if she was OK unless he wanted ultrasound to be done. This was to save the home breeder some money as costs are important to many home breeders.
Below is an e-mail from this home-breeder.
E-MAIL TO DR SING DATED SUNDAY SEP 5, 2011, 10.51 PM
I am ... that called and fixed appt with Dr Sing for tomorrow's Ops on my Chihuahua (on her 60th day of pregnancy).
Pls help to check with Dr Sing and advise me on my mobile line ....( no matter at what time tonight, it is ok).
My Chihuahua is starting to show very abnormal sign of NO APPETITE for food from tonight( normally it is very excited on serving). She NOT EATING at all even we did not feed for the whole day. She was mated on 7th July and today is her 59th day. This is her first birth.
The rectal temperature measured daily for the last 7 days on every morning is between 38~38.3 degree celsius. This morning was 37.9.
Thanks a lot.
PRICE OF CAESAREAN SECTION AT TOA PAYOH VETS
After office hours, the cost is much higher and would vary from $1,000 - $3,000 depending on the practice. For Toa Payoh Vets, it would be around $1,000.
In this case, the elective Caesarean section could be done on a Sunday afternoon but the owner did not phone as I was still working till 4.30 pm. I have not met the owner at all. Caesarean was done by my vet past midnight. I gave him free telephone advice on monitoring the rectal temperature. When it drops below 38 degrees and the dog has milk and shows signs, he should contact me by phone. I did phone him one day ago but got no response or reply.
The cost of around $1,000 was considered expensive by the owner (according to his text message reply to me at 4.40 am on Monday Sep 5, 2011 as I am writing this report). I texted "It costs more after office hours and is around market price."
IN RETROSPECT, the Caesarean section could have been done at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon but the owner did not phone nor keep in contact till after 10 pm when the dog showed more signs. That was around 10.51 pm. Caesarean section was done by Dr Jason Teo and all was OK. The price was around $1,000 which was not so OK with the owner. But it was market price.