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Puppy revivial

Revival of apparently dead whelps An early experience may make so strong an impression that it remains to influence one's subsequent actions. An incident is clearly recalled that made the writer realize that though a whelp may appear to be dead it can be resurrected, and taught him never to give up hope until all possible remedies have been tried. It happened in this way.

 

Circumstances had prevented the writer, then a novice, from being present when one of his first Scottie bitches was whelping. When he could attend her the bitch was in great distress and almost unconscious. Two puppies had been born three hours previously, but the bitch had buried them in the sacking and they were dead. They looked so dead that he wrapped them in paper intending later to place them in the incinerator. On arrival of the veterinary surgeon the dead pups were mentioned and he asked to see them. The conversation took place in front of the kitchen fire and, while one whelp was being held up for the vet to examine it gave an almost imperceptible shudder, and there was the faintest movement of

a claw. This was due to the combination of warmth from a hand and from the fire. The vet said: 'You've got a live pup there—put it in the oven.' Cotton wool was quickly put in a cardboard box, both pups put in, and it was placed in an oven probably hot enough to cook a meal. After only a minute or two movements were seen from both pups; later they were actually wriggling. In the meantime the vet was dealing with the bitch (a piecemeal removal of the offending whelp with the complication of lateral deviation of the head), while the writer alternately rubbed the pups and held them close to the fire. The bitch fairly soon regained strength. Her intense pain having been relieved, she took an interest

in the pups, licked them, and within two hours they had enough strength to attach themselves to a nipple. Both lived and one was ultimately shown.

 

After that the writer has never thought a whelp dead until he knew it to be very dead.

 

The cause in the case referred to was quite simple—lack of attention from bitch or human, and exposure to cold.

 

With any of the major or minor complications already described, as for example a protracted and delayed breech, or where there has been undue compression on the lungs, a whelp when it is ultimately delivered will look lifeless. They are usually cold, long and drawn out, thin and flat, and appear so lifeless that they apparently have about as much chance of survival as the proverbial snowball in hell. Many such cases can be brought to life, though the inexperienced might reasonably have considered the whelps dead.

 

The following routine methods can be tried before the whelp is relegated to the dustbin. The thrill of seeing a movement or hearing a faint squeak in successful cases repays one for the trouble taken; it is a joy which must be experienced to be appreciated.

 

The following routine methods can be tried before the whelp is relegated to the dustbin. The thrill of seeing a movement or hearing a faint squeak in successful cases repays one for the trouble taken; it is a joy which must be experienced to be appreciated.

 

(1) Open the mouth and insert the little finger, very gently depress the tongue, blow down the mouth, or, holding the mouth close to one's own, breathe steadily in and out several times. Try to draw the tongue backwards and forwards using a clean finger. This movement being gentle and regular corresponds to normal breathing.

 

(2) Into a bowl place some hot water (obviously not so hot as to scald the whelp) and immerse the whelp right up to its neck for a minute or two.

 

(3) For at least five minutes vigorously massage over the heart and lung area, and rub quickly to induce friction on the whole of the whelp's body.

 

(4) Hold the whelp very close to a source of heat, turning it round so that the heat penetrates all parts of the body.

 

(5) Hold the whelp's head in your right hand and the body in your left. Raise it to the height of your shoulder, then with a gentle swinging motion bring it down to the level of your

knee. A violent movement is not necessary. This will often cause the heart to start beating.

 

(6) One drop of brandy or other alcohol placed on the tongue sometimes stimulates the puppy to take a breath.

 

If as a result of any or all of these measures you see signs of life continue your efforts with renewed energy; if life is present you can maintain it.

 

To sum up, many of the apparently born dead pups one hears of so frequently can be converted into live pups (and future CC winners) if some of the steps indicated are taken promptly.

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