Tilly and her Puppies
Tilly is a 5 year old friendly pug that comes to Eureka Vet Centre for her regular check-ups.
In April, Mr.Murray brought Tilly to Eureka for a pregnancy ultrasound scan. We estimated from the scan that she had 3-4 puppies. The average sized litter for Pugs is 4 to 6 puppies, though this can vary from 1 to 9.
On 17 May Tilly began to whelp. She had unproductive straining for a few hours and unfortunately the first puppy was a stillborn. Mr.Murray then called us at Eureka Veterinary Centre and we advised him to come immediately. Pugs have large heads in comparison to their bodies so sometimes passing the pups is too difficult and a Caesarean section is needed.
After examination our vet Nicole confirmed an emergency Caesarian was necessary. The surgery and anaesthesia went well and Nicole delivered four female puppies - two black and two fawn.
Tilly recovered well from her operation and she went home that evening with her four wriggling pups.
Tilly was a good and caring mother, but unfortunately one of the black puppies passed away three days later. Fading puppy syndrome is a term used to describe puppies that are apparently normal at birth but gradually "fade" and die within the first two weeks of life. Normal pre-weaning losses in dogs, including stillborns, can be up to thirty percent (30%), with about half of these deaths occurring within the first week of life. The signs are vague and insidious and treatment is often futile. These pups often have a low birth weight or fail to gain weight at the same rate as their siblings (the "runt" of the litter), decreased activity and inability to suckle. They tend to remain separate from the mother and the rest of the litter.
On a happy note, Tilly and the remaining three puppies are doing very well. The black puppy has been called Betty - she's a little bit cheeky! Daisy is one of the fawn puppies and she's more chilled out. The third pup, Poppy, is warm and friendly like her mom Tilly. Poppy has now been adopted by Nicole our vet, who first brought her into the world!