Dealing with dystocia (Proceedings)
Many of the reproductive abnormalities that present as emergencies are straight-forward and relatively easy to resolve. Treatment of these diseases, however, requires knowledge of the underlying pathophysiology as well as the options available for dealing with such emergencies. Many breeders are well informed about the latest developments and expect their veterinarians to be as well. This chapter will discuss the most common reproductive diseases that present to the emergency veterinarian and provide treatment options and recommendations for each.
Appropriate management of dystocia requires that the client be well educated and able to recognize signs of impending problems. Once dystocia does occur, there is typically a small window of opportunity in order to save the unborn puppies and kittens.The first question you need to be able to answer is "What is the bitches expected whelping date". Ninety-nine percent of dogs whelp 63 days after ovulation (the day progesterone rises above 5 ng/dl). By establishing this date, the owner can be appropriately prepared for whelping and the timing of an elective C-section, if desired, can be established. As the expected whelping date nears, the owner should take the bitch's temperature once to twice daily. A fall in temperature below 99°F indicates that the bitch will begin labor in within 24 hours. Owners, particularly first time breeders, should be instructed how to properly prepare a whelping area and how to deal with a normal uncomplicated whelping.
Signs of Fetal Distress