My least favorite surgery is hands down a c-section. They are bloody, stressful messes without fail. The bigger the dog, the worse the c-section. So, at 9:00pm last night, in rolls a 140 pound South African mastiff (called a Boerboel). She had not produced any puppies in 8 hours, after pushing out 2 monstrous (2 pound+) puppies.
It was an instant headache, and I'm not exaggerating. My neck and back immediately became tense, and I felt a headache spread over my temples, neck, and down into my back.
The bright side to this was that we'd seen and dealt with this owner multiple times before. She always takes our recommendations, doesn't complain about cost, and pays here often very expensive bills in full. I knew we wouldn't have to mess around with xrays and ultrasound and oxytocin. If c-section was the way to go, the owner was on board.
As it turned out, c-section WAS the way to go. The dog's cervix was severely inflamed and swollen, and she had struggled mightily to squeeze out her last puppy - a 2+ pound male. After that, she had just stopped. I could palpate at least 2 more puppies in the uterus, which seemed a small litter (4 total, her last was 12!). We discussed options and decided that c-section was the way to go.
Despite hating this surgery, it went surprisingly well. I was also being shadowed last night by a very young, enthusiastic master's student at the local college (22 years old...it made me feel kinda old). She was absolutely DELIGHTED to get to see a c-section. It was rather fun to be on the teaching/explaining end and to see such delight in something I absolutely hate!
Mom recovered rapidly and well, and both of the enormous puppies we pulled out did great. All went within 4 hours of presenting to our ER - which is not the norm with c-sections. It always helps to have responsible owners who don't waste time!
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