"My husband had
ruptured the water bag but the puppy could not come
out," the home- breeder's wife phoned me as I was
going out for my lunch appointment. "What she I do?"
I asked: "Are you sure the water bag is broken and it
is not the watery discharge before birth?"
"I am sure it was the water bag."
"Normally a Miniature Schnauzer has no problems giving
birth," I advised. "You can wait for half to one
"Will this puppy die?" the breeder's wife asked.
"I don't know. Perhaps you can wait half an hour.
However, the decision to do Caesarean is up to you.
Please note that I can't predict whether the puppy
will die or not if you don't get a Caesarean done."
This is the type of telephone diagnosis I presume
veterinarians all over the world dislike. If the
puppies die, the veterinarian gets cursed for
I got one bad experience of such telephone diagnosis.
This Singaporean caller whom I did not have veterinary
relationship with wanted free advice over the phone.
The next morning, the government vet in charge of
private veterinary matters phoned me to enquire
whether I had given advice such as whether the
"greenish vaginal discharge had come out or not?" Such
experiences harden the attitude of private
veterinarians towards free telephone diagnoses.
The breeder came to the Surgery. A puppy was pulled
out. In the midst of anaesthesia, a water bag was
seen. With some straining, I managed to take out a
second puppy. Now what?
Can I just use oxytocin and/or wait? I don't play God.
Breeders want one thing --- live puppies. No
explanation acceptable if the puppies are dead or
stillborn and worse, if a belated Caesarean is done.
Who knows whether the remaining puppies inside the dam
would be born easily? I estimated four or five in
total. Two had popped out.
The breeder decided on Caesarean. The anaesthesia was
smooth. The dam sleeps peacefully but did not strain
to pass out more puppies even though I reduced the
anaesthesia to 1% instead of 2%. It could be secondary
I inserted my right forefinger and third finger into
the 3-cm incision of the uterine body. I could cut a
bigger incision in the skin and then into the uterine
horns. However, it would be best to hook out the
The puppies played hard to get. The mother had stopped
contracting. The puppies hid deep inside the horn,
near the ovaries. Should I enlarge the skin incision?
Try again. With time, the 2 puppies could be fished
out without bigger cuts.
All were vigorous and active.
I wanted to take pictures outside the Surgery as there
was better lighting. The breeder's wife took pictures
with her handphone. She said to the two kids as we
crossed the small road to the other side where
sunlight fell onto the walls of the building, "Stay
inside the Surgery."
"Go and take the kids out," I said, taking over the
wife's basket of 4 puppies. "Let them learn about your
little daughter must have felt nauseous as you can see
from a chance picture of her. I appreciate this rare
action people and dog photo very much as it is one
that tells a thousand words.
"Why don't you dock the tails now?" the breeder's wife asked.
"Better not," I said. "The mother may be upset. The
puppies may not suckle or be stressed."
Some advices on how to care for the puppies were
The breeders seemed grateful and most happy. This was
the first time they encountered their Schnauzer giving
birth during the daytime. This Caesarean was without
The breeder's wife phoned some one hour later, "One
puppy is not suckling well. Milk comes out of his
"I don't know what's happening. Is there a hole in the
roof of the mouth. Check the mouth." It was difficult
for her to know what the roof of the mouth means.
See what I mean? I hate telephone diagnosis. I asked
her to bring the puppy for me to check. She did not
turn up. I guessed all would be all right with the
above Caesarean section was done in 2007.
I hope my photography skills have improved since then as
I read more photography magazines for tips. The picture
of the breeder's daughter
Singapore's daughters are brought up in clean
environment and the smell of birth must have overwhelmed
her. She is a very bright student and is in Primary
Images of two Emergency Caesarean Sections done by Dr
Sing in 2011 during after-office hours (one past
midnight and one on Hari Raya Haji) are shown
CONTENTS - 2 CASE STUDIES
Timely Emergency Caesarean
Section Saves the Mum and
Pups - 2 case studies.
Case No 1. Water bag has
ruptured. No pups.
Maltese, 2nd litter. An
experienced breeder knows
what to do
Case No. 2
A water bag appears. Poodle.
2nd case study
breeder waits and sees -
distressed pups, not moving
Difficulty in giving birth
>1 hour -- Get a Vet.
Know your vet options
Don't wait and see to save
money. Puppies die. Toxic
blood. Dam dies if >12 hrs.
Still need Caesarean
section. The above will be
presented in a video at the
AVA Responsible Pet
Ownership Roadshow 2011
Seminar by Dr Sing on
Saturday, Nov 12, 2011 at
the Changi Expo, 1.30 pm to
UPDATE ON NOV 10, 2011 AT
5.51 AM AS I WRITE THIS
ARTICLE AT HOME:
On Nov 9, 2011, I spoke to
the driver of the breeder 2
days after my Caesarean of
the poodle as he brought
some dogs for Dr Vanessa to
treat. "Everything is Ok,"
he said. "The poodle and the
3 pups." As for the Maltese,
I have no news and no news
is good news as far as
Caesarean sections are
As regards my 5-year-old
car, it broke down at
Basement 2 car park of the
National Library Board at
6pm yesterday Nov 9. There
was a starting sound but no
petrol went to the engine
according to a mechanic. The
diagnosis was something
wrong with the petrol pump.
So, this car was towed away.
Older cars, like older dogs
and people tend to have more
CASE NO. 2. The
When the breeder
delays in seeking
hoping that the poodle
with a water bag
hanging out will give
birth naturally, the
placentas of the 3
pups breakdown and
The pups will soon die
from toxic products.
In this case, the
separated. Another few
hours, the dam will
In this case, the pups
were distressed and
weak (no immediate
cries when taken out).
1/3 had water logged
lungs. I swung it 6
times and it was OK.
All 3 pups are
surprisingly alive and
well at Day 3 after