Veterinary Perinatal Specialtes Inc.
Case Study
English Setter
Age: 3 Years

Prior History: History of prior premature labor. Delivered first litter at day 56 from first day of breeding; 7 pups in litter, 7 surviving. Current litter was of extreme importance to this breeder because this bitch was one of the few from an old bloodline with very clean genetic profile. Additionally this bitch was part of a color mapping study.

Reason For Using WhelpWise™: Bitch began bleeding at day 49 from 1st breeding. Ovulation timing was done by vaginal cytology. X-ray at that time showed 7-8 fetuses, with ultrasound revealing the presence of a heart rate on 3 puppies. Lab work showed a mildly elevated WBC count of 19,300. The bitch was currently afebrile and showed no signs of distress. Standard Clavamox and Baytril dosing was initiated by the veterinarian. The WhelpWise™ service was used in this case to document continued fetal survival and monitor uterine contractions, controlling premature labor.

Course on Service: Equipment was overnighted to client. Prophylactic tocolytics were initiated to control what appeared to be labor symptoms. Terbutaline 1.25mg PO was administered every 4 hours. While awaiting equipment delivery, 3-4 macerated pups were delivered. It was estimated by the veterinarian that the pups had been dead over 1 week. While the bloody discharge had no odor, cultures on the dead pups initially revealed Hemolytic Staph.

Upon receiving the monitoring equipment three fetal heart rates were still detectable and had reassuring baseline rates and accelerations. Uterine monitoring revealed strong uterine contractions in a fairly regular pattern. The terbutaline dose was increased to 2.5 mg every 4 hours. Maternal pulse was evaluated for tachycardia prior to and 1 hour after each terbutaline dose.

Throughout the next 6 days, uterine contractions and fetal heart rates were monitored every 1 1/2 to 4 hours. Terbutaline doses were adjusted to control increased uterine contractions. One more dead fetus was expelled. Fetal heart rates were assessed for both baseline rate, and response to stimulus. Daily lab work was monitored for signs of a worsening infection. Ultrasounds were performed every other day to compare fetal heart rate data from the hand held doppler.

Uterine contractions became very difficult to control on day 58 from the first breeding. Terbutaline doses were titrated to control the uterine contractions. The bitch was scheduled for a cesarean section the next morning, with a back up plan in case the medication would not control the labor throughout the night.

Outcome: Cesarean delivery of 3 pups, 2 females, 1 male. All alive and healthy. Bitch tolerated the surgery without difficulty. All survived and thrived. Minimal feeding problems associated with prematurity were present for the first few days of life.

Comments: The WhelpWise™ service provided this breeder and veterinarian with very valuable information on the safety and efficacy of maintaining this pregnancy to day 59 from first breeding. Without the WhelpWise™ service to document continued fetal survival and manage the premature labor most likely the entire litter would have been lost.

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Veterinary Perinatal Specialties Inc.
9111 W. 38th Ave
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033

within Colorado: 303-423-3429
toll free:1-888-281-4867