A long long time ago, in a country far away now…
I don’t keep good memories of my nights at the emergency veterinary clinic. You know that a case can show up any minute. When you give sleeping a try, you wake up frequently, wondering if you did not hear somebody ringing at the front door. And when you finally fall asleep, those consultations start showing up also in your dreams… No doubt that the job is important, but believe me, the associated stress is real.
And it happened in the middle of one of those scattered sleeps. The doorbell rang heavily and woke me up from this weird state I was floating into. I checked the clock : 2am. A quick stretch to get myself straight, I jumped into my scrub that was hanging right next to me and in a heartbeat I was back on the clinic floor. Ready to help the couple I could see via the surveillance camera waiting at the front door. It was a cold winter night, but they were not wearing any kind of coat. They must have come in a hurry, and the answer might have been in this carrier I could see they were holding.
« It’s an emergency, our dog has a problem, they said when I spoke to them over the comm. » I could feel in their voice that they were stressed a lot.
I let them in and directed them to the consultation room. From the carrier emerged a small Yorkshire terrier bitch. I assumed it was a bitch because well, a quick glance at her belly made me suspect « she » was pregnant.
« So tell me guys, what’s happening ? »
They looked at each other briefly and the man started explaining me the situation.
« I think she has difficulties delivering her puppies. We think we saw some contractions during the afternoon but to tell you the truth, we are not really sure. This is the first time we face this… »
I nodded, telling them I understood. Always hard to know for sure what to expect when it comes to canine parturition in my opinion, and if they never experienced this situation before, well, i was not surprised that they were a bit uncertain on what was going on.
While I was looking for a glove, I took a look at the genital area of the bitch… and automatically stopped in motion. Something was terribly wrong here, from what I could guess behind the dog’s tail, the shape of the vulva was just not… right ?!?! It was looking swollen… and abnormally pink ?!?!? I blinked my eyes twice (maybe I wasn’t fully awake… or maybe I was still in one of those dreams I mentioned earlier). But no. I was wide awake. And no doubt : something was definitely wrong there !
The owners might not have noticed the change of expression on my face because they kept talking.
« We were so worried we called a friend… He gave us this… and told us to give her 1cc subcutaneously. It was supposed to help but apparently it did nothing… »