If the female dog can't give birth
naturally, give an injection of
oxytocin and see what happens.
This is fine in theory and in
In private practice, the owner
wants a good outcome when he
brings in a barrel-shaped
Miniature Schnauzer that had
difficulty in giving birth to the
vet for Caesarean section. With a
fully distended abdomen, the
Schnauzer is likely to have 5 or 6
puppies. In this case, an X-ray by
a vet said 4 puppies but the owner
did not bring the X-ray.
Now, what the owner wants is that
he gets all puppies alive and
ensure that the dam is safe.
Oxytocin may or may not work.
If it does not work, there is a
long delay which may result in a
dead pup or two. If it works, the
first pup may be delivered but not
every of the 5 pups. A Caesarean
section will still be needed and
one of the pups may have died in
the interim period.
Therefore, in theory, your
lecturer advises oxytocin
injection to wait and see.
Oxytocin does work in some cases
but you have to wait. Assuming
that the first pup is born 30
minutes after the oxytocin
injection, it does not mean that
the second pup will follow. If the
second pup is born naturally, the
3rd pup may be too big to follow
or the dam may be too weak to
contract. A few hours will have
passed by. The remaining pups go
into distress as the dam stops
contracting due to uterine
When an elective Caesarean section
is performed by then, one pup may
have died. So what? As a vet, you
have nothing to lose but your
reputation. Some vets don't care
about their reputation because
deaths are part and parcel of
In this particular case, at the
6lst day of pregnancy and rectal
temperature of 37.1 deg C, I would
do an elective Caesarean section.
No mucking around with oxytocin to
wait and see. It was obvious from
the barrel-shaped abdomen that the
dam had large pups (X-ray by the
owner's first vet said 4 pups).
This case was not my case and
therefore the judgment to wait
after oxytocin injection or do a
Caesarean section would be the
other vet's judgment. I was an
observer. It was Chinese New
Year's Eve and my day off as it
was also a Saturday. A blue sky,
white clouds sunny day that meant
doing other things to give myself
a break from the daily work.
I did not have a car and taxis
would be hard to flag down since
most people in Singapore seemed to
have closed in the afternoon. The
vet in charge decided on a
Caesarean section. It was such a
bright sunshine afternoon and the
lighting would be excellent for
beautiful puppy photography. So, I
hitched a motor bike ride from Mr
Goose to transport me to the other
vet practice so that I could take
some good pictures of new born
puppies. I love taking pictures of
neonate puppies. They represent
For the past 20 years, I had never
had to ride a bike. I may be a
senior citizen but I am still
kicking and alive. So I rode
pillion behind Mr Goose who is a
careful man. His small red bike
chugged along as if groaning under
my weight. His bike is similar to
the ones I show in the picture
below. Nothing fanciful as a BMW
or Harley Davidson motorcycle.
I put my hands on his shoulders in
case I fell off. I hoped for the
best. Bike accidents are common in
Singapore as motorcycles collide
into other vehicles or vice versa.
Here I was taking a calculated
risk that no other cars would bang
me from the side or behind.
Mr Goose had one or two minor
accidents in the past 10 years and
that was considered an excellent
safety record. So, I trusted him.
So, I had to strain my right hip
to get onto the back seat. My
backpack with my camera took up
some space and so we went down the
expressway. Cars whizzed by. I
kept my fingers crossed and onto
the shoulders of Mr Goose. I tried
to maintain an upright posture as
he swerved and turn to reach the
The wind from Mr Groove's helmet
whistled into my helmeted ears.
The afternoon sky was blue. White
cotton clouds dotted the sky and
bright sunshine radiated downwards
as I enjoyed the fresh breeze.
Fortunately, it was not a rainy
day and we arrived safely.
All 5 puppies were delivered by
Caesarean section by the vet. I
took a few pictures. This was a
day full of happy memories for of
a Chinese New Year's Eve on a very
rare instance when I got onto a
Births of new pups are always
wonderful. New born pups are hard
to photograph. The evening
sunshine was what I wanted to get
a good picture. Now it was up to
my expertise to produce some for
readers. I did not have to use
Photoshop to touch up. There were
some of my favourite pictures. I
hope the readers enjoy them and
wish all a Happy Chinese New Year
I am quite sure that the family of
5 Miniature Schnauzer pups must be
having a very happy New Year too.
I don't know them nor did I meet
them as this was not my case.
Senior citizens do not need to
behave and walk as if they have
one foot in the grave. Be alive.
Think alive. Old age does not mean
impending death. Live life as if
every day is our last day on
earth. We are not youthful but we
should feel brand new and share
our experiences with the young
ones. Today is Chinese New
Year and Valentine's Day. I hope
you have a good holiday.