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zenchel

Surgery On Pregnant Bitch

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zenchel   

I'm really anxious and angry at the moment - hoping someone with knowledge and experience can allay my fears. Took one of my girls to the vet this morning (my usual vet is away, so saw another in the practice) as she was obviously unhappy - thought maybe a crook ear or a crook tooth (which she has had before). Yes, sure enough one of her molars is a real mess. I told the vet that she should be six weeks in whelp, but there was no sign of her being pregnant (except that her vulva didn't return to normal after the mating, however she didn't go on with any other signs). He said her belly felt a bit doughy and said he would ultrasound her to confirm the situation and remove the bad tooth. I guess I didn't say so in so many words, but I thought he would let me know if she was in whelp prior to doing anything else.

Well, he has just rung to say "she's fine - the tooth was hideous but all gone now - by the way she was pregnant (yes, he used the past tense) but I gave her plenty of fluids and acted as quickly as possible, so the pups should be alright." I was speechless at this stage - I couldn't believe she had more than one pup (hard to believe any at all really) and FFS why didn't he let me know before he performed surgery on her? He went on to say that the bacteria from the rotten tooth could cause issues with the unborn pups - is this valid or is he just covering his arse? Over all these yeasr I've never had experience with necessary surgery on a pregnant bitch - I'm sure it happens but was it necessary in this case and even if it was, shouldn't he have asked me first???

I need to get my brain together before I go and pick her up - at least surely he should have let me know she was pregnant before he went ahead with the surgery, yes?

Sylvia

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If the tooth was bad enough that it needed to come out, then it would have made no difference if she was pregnant or not, it had to be done. Better to get it out and not risk the health of your bitch.

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I don't know why you didn't get the ultrasound done while you where there and then decide about the surgery. :hug: You normally don't leave a bitch for one and there is no need to sedate them.

Having said that it sounds like the tooth really did have to come out and leaving it could have made matters worse. Pregnant women don't seem to have problems with surgery so I suppose a bitch and her puppies should also be ok as well.

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Jed   

Zenchel

the bacteria from the rotten tooth could cause issues with the unborn pups - is this valid

Absolutely, I wouldn't mate a bitch with bad teeth.

Bad teeth also can damage the heart.

If he is a good vet, he would have given her an appropriate and light anaesthetic which is not likely to damage the pups.

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zenchel   
I don't know why you didn't get the ultrasound done while you where there and then decide about the surgery. :) You normally don't leave a bitch for one and there is no need to sedate them.

Yes, I accept that was my mistake, however I hadn't gone there with the intention of checking for pregnancy because I assumed she wasn't. I wasn't quick enough to shift my focus from sorting out her discomfort to considering the possibility of her having pups.

I'm surprised that nobody seems to think there's a problem for a vet to perform surgery on a pregnant bitch without the owner's consent. That is at the heart of my concern. The bad teeth is a whole separate issue which I have investigated and dealt with previously.

Having her ultrasounded today at a different practice, so at least I know where she's at now - how she will go in the next few days remains to be seen.

Thx.

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I'd be leaving her home and keeping her stress levels to a minimum.

If you'd already consented to having the tooth extracted, then I don't understand what you are complaining about. You told the vet you suspected she might be 6 weeks in whelp, so I have no idea why you didn't confirm it then and there.

The vet did the right thing and established that the bitch was indeed pregnant before extracting the tooth. It would have made no difference to the final outcome, unless you were going to take the bitch home and not have the surgery performed.

If the vet had called and said " she's preganant " what would you have done differently ?

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zenchel   

OK, I'm obviously on a different planet and certainly not expressing myself clearly. I hoped there may be someone on here that was able to say, with knowledge and experience, either "she and her pups will be fine - anaesthetics these days are safe for pups in utero" or "gee, what an idiot vet, he never should have put those pups under that sort of risk".

What I would have preferred was for the vet to contact me to tell me that yes, she was in pup and her tooth was a real mess and she and her pups would be far better off if the tooth was removed immediately, with all due care taken for the pups.

I have spoken to both the vet and the practice owner this morning - we have agreed that it was best for all concerned to remove the tooth, the pups are safe (confirmed by ultrasound) and that it would have been far preferable if the vet had contacted me immediately he had found that she was pregnant. He apologised most sincerely, for which I was grateful. We are all friends again and I now need to reorganise my life for the next few weeks to accommodate a litter :laugh:

RSG, I don't understand why you regard a trip in the car and being given some treats at the vet would raise her stress levels? She loves going out and would be more stressed if I locked her away for the next twelve weeks. Anyway, it's all sorted now.

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I had a bitch that fractured her foot and tore her cruciate when she was barely 2 weeks pregnant. Rush to a local vet that was open - he said we had to operate and discussed all the options. I mentioned that she could be pregnant. He told me that I would probably lose the pups but the leg had to be fixed. But it was late and so he bandaged the leg for me so I could take her home for the night and to make a decision on which operation to go with.

Next day I took her to my own vet for 2nd opinion.......he told me that it was best I saw an orthapedic specialist.

So off I go .....explained it all to them and they splinted the leg and bandaged it and then said we would wait until the ultrasound and then make a decision after that. She had to be confined to a crate and found it hard to pee with her back leg splinted, but was otherwise happy to be inside and spoilt.

Ultrasound found puppies......so surgery was postponed (and this was on advice from the specialist, as I said I would do whatever was best for my dog). When she was about 7 weeks pregnant, I came home to find the bandage smelly and I freaked out thinking her leg was going gangrene and what not, but turns out the splint had cut her hock open from rubbing and the smell was from blood on the bandage, but thankfully not the wound. Rush to vets again and they took the splint off and stapled (not even a local anesthesic for it)....but stapled the small cut together. I couldnt beleive the dog didnt yelp....OUCH !!

Anyway they said we'll look at her again when the babies are born etc. but were happy with how she was getting around.

Thankfully when we took her back, the specialist was happy with how her leg had healed well by itself and said they wouldnt need to operate. :thumbsup:

But I do get what you are saying Zenchel - What I would have preferred was for the vet to contact me to tell me that yes, she was in pup and her tooth was a real mess and she and her pups would be far better off if the tooth was removed immediately, with all due care taken for the pups - you just would of liked to be informed and told what was needed to fix the problem and what the outcome could be.

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zenchel   

Thanks MM - interesting that two different vets decided not to risk an anaesthetic on a pregnant bitch - also spoke to another vet yesterday who wouldn't have done it that way - anyway, it's all over and we've got babies coming :rolleyes:

Your girl was very lucky!

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blackdog   

Dear Zenchel - I understand exactly what your concerns were/are.

The issue had nothing at all to do with whether or not the tooth needed to be removed.

It have everything to do with your vet keeping you reliably informed about your bitch.

It's not rocket science really.

Step 1 - determine whether the bitch is pregnant (you informed them that she might be).

Step 2 - bitch is confirmed pregnant then ring the owner.

Step 3 - discuss options, risks, urgency etc.

Step 4 - owner makes a well informed decision anf gives permission to proceed.

I use two highly regarded vets - one for day to day stuff, jabs, hip and elbow xrays etc.

The other is a specialist reproductive vet who I use for chilled / frozen AI, shipping, prog tests etc.

If at ant time I can't get to see the practice manager (my usual Vet) I will wait til I can.

There is nothing worse than having to deal with a locum or junior who knows nothing about me or my dogs history.

If it is urgent (like your tooth issue) and I can't get my usual vet immediately then the rule is always:

DO NOTHING UNTIL YOU RING ME AND SPEAK TO ME PERSONALLY.

I do hope that all goes well with your babies - fingers crossed for yet another very successful litter.

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PomsNZ   

I think like others have suggested, that the main problem is that the vet thought a) proceed with surgery, after conformation of pregnancy.

Im sure he would have realised that yes, the dog is in whelp and would therefore change his tactical surgery.

choice of anethis, time under etc.

A break-down or confusion of conversation is horrible, when it comes to your dog.

I believe that you would have gone ahead with it, after discussing the pros/cons of her in whelp, no vet will want to open themselves wide for a mispratice suit by aborting the litter, or using tactics that would result in the abortion of the litter.

regardless, you now have a happier bitch and we all look forward to your posts bout your new babies!

(p.s congrads on upcoming litter!)

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I can understand where you are coming from.

A phone call explaining it all to you would have been caring & polite regardless of the tooth having to come out.

I assume you signed the consent form for the surgery when you dropped her off ? So a phone call would have been just a courtesy.

Hope you get a nice litter of puppies & all goes smoothly :thumbsup:

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