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Spring has sprung at Gordon Vet. Meet Bittie and her pups, our pet of the week family.

By Janie Goodyer | Dated September 27, 2017

It has been a busy but exciting couple of weeks at Gordon Vet Hospital. One of the highlights this week was Bittie, a black Pug who was 66 days pregnant. Bittie’s owner had been keeping a close eye on her as she was concerned that the pups had quietened down. There were also no signs of the pups making their way out any time soon. The gestation period for dogs is normally 58-68 days, so you would expect to see some signs by now.

Bittie out for a short walk to help things move along

Dr John did an Ultrasound and found at least 5 pups, all with beating hearts. Bittie was admitted to hospital and monitored very closely by the Vets throughout the day. As there was no progress, Bittie went home for the night to be monitored by her family and was bought back to the hospital the following morning.

Nurse Janie stimulating one of the pups to breath, under the watchful eye of Joey.

That morning, Nurse Janie took Bittie for a short walk to try and help things along, and it worked! Around 3 minutes into the walk Bittie stopped and started to push. An embryonic sack started protruding and Nurse Janie carefully and quickly picked up Bittie and headed inside through the waiting room, much to the surprise of reception staff and clients. The vets were alerted immediately and Bittie was examined. One of the pups was indeed on its way and out, however, it was stuck in the birth canal and the decision was made to deliver the pups via caesarean section.

All six pups resting after being checked by the vets

It is quite common for brachycephalic breeds like Pugs, Boston terriers and French bulldogs to need assistance when giving birth. British bull dogs are unable to give birth naturally at all. This is due to complications such as the small size of the mother’s pelvis and the large size of the pup’s heads.

Dr John performed the caesarean and as each pup was removed, it was handed directly to a waiting nurse. After removing the pups from the embryonic sack, nurses needed to stimulate breathing by removing any fluid from the mouth and nose and then rubbing their little bodies. Due to their flat faces, it took a little longer than normal for the pups to start breathing. Eventually all the pups took their first breaths and put into a heated box to keep them warm.

Bittie was feeling very sleepy after her anaesthetic, so the pups were not able to start suckling right away, but they were able be close to her and begin to bond. Thankfully, as soon as the pups and mum got home, they settled in and started feeding well.

And finally, we are pleased to say that the latest report from the family is that Mum and pups are all doing very well.

Janie Goodyer
Written by Janie Goodyer

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