Mum’s the word as vet helps to safely deliver 19 beautiful puppies

by Andrew Robinson MRCVS


Tough work for mum: This dog gave birth to 19 puppies!

MOST days, through the summer months, people will ask me whether I find my caseload lighter. I explain that once lambing and the other Spring work is over, we find that things ease slightly within the practice.

However, some of the vets then have holidays and others go off on courses, to make up some of the 35 hours of training we all need to do each year. That generally means that the vets left in the surgery are picking up a greater number of cases to cover the gaps. We also get to catch up with the other jobs that have been put off whilst it has been busy. One of those jobs has been to renovate the Egremont practice. Finally, the big blue doors on Main Street have been replaced by a smart new wooden door entrance into a new waiting room whilst internally the rooms have been swapped around, so as to bring the old building more up to date. Hopefully, many of you by now will have been in to have a look around and people now realise that there was a veterinary surgery hiding behind those imposing doors.

At any moment, however, a call about an animal in distress may come in. One such call was to help a dog that was having trouble whelping (having puppies). She was rushed into the surgery and ended up with 19 (yes nineteen) puppies. We thought this may be a world record but sadly it wasn’t – although we are pretty sure that it was a practice record. Those of us with children all agreed that to suddenly find yourself with 19 would take an enormous amount of parenting.

We also advised the owners on how they would need to make sure that the bitch took in enough goodness to feed as many as she could, but would certainly need to help out with feeding duties. The bitch’s milk is the best food for the puppies but it would need supplementing with special puppy formula. As long as they all received some milk at the start they should all get some colostrum, which contains a lot of goodness and helps them to develop a good immune system.

This is important when they come in for their puppy vaccinations, to ensure that they build up a good protection against some potentially fatal puppy diseases like Parvo virus. Sadly, most months we still see puppies and older dogs rushed into the surgery with acute vomiting and diarrhoea and struggle to save their lives with intravenous fluids. This could so easily be prevented with a vaccination – and this autumn we are going to run a vaccination amnesty so that any dog that hasn’t been vaccinated or has missed two or more can restart the primary course of two injections for the price of a single dose. Why not pop into the new look surgery and ask for yourself?