"I have been to a vet whose Caesarean produced 11 dead pups," he said. "The vet kept rubbing till the skin came off. Other vets produced groggy pups as they had given the dam sedatives. Some vets produced dead dam and pups. One older vet produced infected puppies."
I do not comment as there is no guarantee of 100% live puppies and dams in any Caesarean section. Every vet will encounter deaths on Caesarean section.
When there is a death, the breeder's perception is that the vet is inexperienced or incompetent. In Singapore, the vet is a generalist and so Caesarean section presents a daunting challenge for the new vet. The cost is not $250 per C-section as that is too low, but many breeders just want low cost. A cheap and good vet is hard to find.
This Corgi, first birth, was mated 57 days ago. But for the past 4 days, she stopped eating and became lethargic. The breeder forced fed but the dam deteriorated in health.
"Better give her an IV drip," the seasoned breeder said to me.
"She needs a calcium injection as well," Dr Daniel had operated on this breeder's dog some 2 weeks ago.
"At 57th day, it is too early for C-section," I said. "Now the temperature is 39.6C. Monitor the rectal temperature. It will drop from above 38.5 to below and then rise again. When this rise occurs, it is the right time to do elective C-section. For Chihuahuas, 58th day is OK for C-section without producing pre-mature stilborn pups."
The breeder's assistant, an energetic muscular young man did monitor the rectal temperature at 7 pm on the next day. It was 38.2 C. At 8 am, the Corgi delivered one pup. The breeder said: "It should be one pup every half to one hour, but 4 hours have passed and no pups came out! Better to do a Caesarean than wait and wait."
"The dam has uterine inertia," I said. "The uterus is full of pups, as many as 6. It does not contract anymore and the pups will die inside the womb if there is a delay of a few hours." This jargon meant nothing to the breeder.
For me, I would have swung the pup to get the mucus out of the lungs but the breeder did not like this method, thinking it may cause brain damage.
Total Protein low 46 (62-85)
Albumin 21 (28-35)
A/G ratio 0.8 (0.6-1.1)
ALT 107 (<59 br="">AST 235 (<81 br="">81>59>
Calcium + Phosphorus OK odium Potassium Chloride lower than normal
Urea 21 (4.2-6.3)Hb 6.7 (12-18) RBC 2.8 (5.5-8.5), Total WCC 20.1 (6-17), Neutrophils 98.5% (60-70%) Absol 19.8 ( 3-11.5)
FOLLOW UP ON DEC 4, 2015 BY PHONE
"All 8 pups died," the breeder said. "The first-born by natural birth died today. The puppies were poisoned by the milk from the Dachsund who produced lots of milk!"
"How about the dam as you had let her nurse 4 puppies?"
"She produced no milk at all and so I foster out the puppies to the other dams that had given birth. This is the reason I don't call them puppies. Unless they survive the first 5 days, they are not puppies. Especially the chihuahuas. Still many things to learn in this world!"
The experienced breeder is not aware of:
1. Fading Puppy Syndrome and considered "poisonous milk" as the cause.
2. The dam was first-time mother and was very thin, anaemic and had bacterial infection (leucocytosis). This affected the immune status of the puppies.
The puppies were not crying loudly on C-section unlike those healthy ones. They had been affected by the dam's sickness and not eating for the past 4 days (53 rd to 57 th day of pregnancy).
3. No injectable anaesthesia was given and so the breeder cannot attribute to remaining drugs killing the puppies or making them dopey and not suckling.