Until recently the lack of technology, methods, protocols and support systems made whelping a "stand back, cross your fingers and hope every thing comes out OK" experience. Many old wives tales exist about when a whelping should occur and how a normal whelping should progress. Whelping management and interventions by yesterday’s standards were frequently based on subjective symptoms such as panting or nesting rather than accurate objective information on uterine contractions and fetal heart rates, placing the breeder and veterinarian in a passive rather than active role in the whelping process.
In almost every whelping there is a period of time when the breeder will wonder what is actually occurring either with the labor process itself, or concern about whether the pups are alive and well. The WhelpWise service was developed specifically to address the puzzling times surrounding a whelping by providing the breeder with accurate information on presence or absence of labor, and assessments of fetal well being as detected by the monitoring equipment. Uterine contraction and fetal heart rate monitoring equipment provided through the WhelpWise service will allow the breeder to know when labor has begun, and directly monitor the heart rates of the puppies. The service is always offered in conjunction with licensed veterinarians. This equipment, designed for use in the home setting, contains a built in modem that links the breeder, via phone, with specially trained obstetrical staff and protocols for whelping management.
Advantages of the WhelpWise Service
Monitoring uterine contractions and fetal heart rates allows the breeder to positively identify the onset of labor and accurately estimate the time that whelping should begin. Uterine contractions and puppies are followed throughout the whelping process confirming that all is going well, or identifying problems in a timely manner should they occur. Common problems such as inertia can be identified and treated in the home setting using low-dose medication protocols, adjusting medications to support but not over stimulate the uterus. All medication doses are determined by the uterine contraction pattern. Conversely, instances such as a stuck pup where strong contractions exist and medication should not be given can also be identified, helping to prevent problems such as uterine rupture.
Monitoring the heart rates of the pups allows the breeder to know that puppies are doing well during the last few days of gestation and during the whelping. Stressed pups, identifiable by specific heart rate patterns, allows the breeder and veterinarian to make timely informed decisions about interventions, and make the interventions more likely to result in healthy pups.
How does the service work?
WhelpWise begins 4-5 days before the expected due date and continues until whelping is complete. Information on uterine contractions is gathered twice daily for one hour, and fetal heart rates are checked at least once daily. This information is transferred over the phone line to the monitor center for interpretation. A baseline value for uterine contractions and fetal heart rates is determined in the days prior to whelping. When labor begins, monitoring frequency increases, and the equipment is used as often as needed during whelping.
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Meet the Staff at Whelp Wise
Veterinary Perinatal Specialties Inc.
9111 W. 38th Ave
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033
within Colorado: 303-423-3429