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Rearing Puppies after Caesarean

I do not wait for the bitch to start whelping, I keep a close watch on her temperature by putting my hand on the abdomen of the bitch, her temperature is 101.6 F mine 98.6 F, her temperature will start to drop until she is cooler than me, she will have the pups within 48 hours.

I watch for the pups to move back then drop, her motions instead of being firm will soften considerably as she cleans out her bowels in preparation for whelping, I then make an inspired guess when I think she will start to whelp, the object being to have the caesarean approximately 1/2 to 1 day early so that I do not have to get my Vet out of bed in the middle of the night.

As my Vet operates, he extracts the pups and hands them to me in their bag, I take then out of the bag, clamp, tie, and cut the umbilical cord, shake the fluid out of the pup, roughly and vigorously dry it to get it breathing, I then hand the pup to Anne who dries the pup more carefully, makes sure that the pup is OK and puts it in a small cardboard box on top of a hot water bottle.

When we arrive home, we lay the bitch on her side, she is still affected by the anesthetic and put all of the pups on to her teats, more often than not the bitch does not have much milk but it is essential to leave them on for about 1/2 hour to help bring down the milk.

We have a heated humidity crib which is oxygen enriched in which we place the pups, the next step is to tube feed the pups with 2 ml of ½ strength Puppy formula (wombaroo) into which acidophilus powder has been added, 2 hours later we again put the pups on to the bitch, after we remove them we then again tube feed them.

Acidophilus is live bacteria, do not put into Microwave or hot water, introduce into the puppy formula at blood temperature.

We do not leave the pups with the mother until she willingly washes them, even then we watch her closely as they have a habit of trying to remove what is left of the umbilical cord.

Our whelping box is 30 inches square and has a trampoline on top of the pig rail that deflects if the bitch should lie on a pup allowing the pup to squeal for attention, it is vital that the pups do not get chilled, the coldest part of the room is at floor level.

If after birth the puppies are starting cry it could be that the bad bacteria in their gut is starting to proliferate and poison them, Tube feed them some tepid boiled water, about 5 ml to which you have added Glucodin powder (Glucose 1 rounded teaspoon to 80 ml of water and added Acidophilus, see above ).

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