A Caesarian at Mervander Kennels

 

Mervander theatre ready for a caesarian on a pregnant bitch.

 

After careful examination of the bitch, an intravenous drip is inserted. A short-acting anaesthetic is administered through the drip to insert an endotracheal tube into the trachea and the latter connected to the gas anaesthesia machine. She is then turned onto her back after which the ECG (electrocardiograph) monitor is attached. 

 

A mid-ventral incision is made through the skin and the various muscle layers of the stomach wall and then the two horns of the uterus are carefully retrieved from the abdomen.

 

An incision is made in the middle between the two horns of the uterus to remove the puppies. When a puppy is removed from the uterus, two artery forceps is clamped to the umbilical cord and the cord cut in between the two forceps.  Before the next puppy is removed from the uterus, the afterbirth of the previous puppy is gently removed. 

 

The puppy is immediately handed to Mr Van der Merwe who takes care of the reviving of the puppies. One by one, as each puppy is taken from the uterus, the umbilical cord is tied close the puppy's stomach,  the excessive part cut off and the puppy is rubbed gently but vigorously in a towel to remove any wetness and to stimulate breathing. 

 

Once the puppy is breathing normally, it is placed in an incubator where it receives medical oxygen for at least 30 minutes. Proper breathing directly after birth is one of the most crucial factors in the survival of the Bulldog puppy and great attention is given to this aspect. 

 

After all the puppies have been removed, the uterus is carefully inspected for any damage before the incision is closed up, washed with sterile saline and replaced in the abdomen. The muscle layers of the stomach and then the skin is closed up.

 

While closing up the incision, the bitch is gradually weaned from the anaesthesia so that she regain full consciousness shortly after the stitching of the skin has been completed. 

 

Finally the bitch is taken to the room where her puppies will be introduced to their first sip of milk. This initial portion of milk, called colostrum, contains the antibodies which is essential for the protection of the puppies  against viral and bacterial infections during their first few weeks of life.

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