A Tiny Survivor
by Danielle Cookish
Yeich, an 18-month-old pit bull, was laboring and unable to deliver her pups. Desperate, her people rushed her to Dakin’s Community Spay/Neuter Clinic where she was hurried into surgery for an emergency Cesarean section (C-section).
The clinic staff flew into action, and a team was quickly assembled around Dr. Elizabeth Helton, who performed the surgery. In a dystocia case (when a mother is not able to deliver her babies and requires a C-section), the goal is to have as many members of the team as there are pups/kittens that are viable. Three puppies were delivered swiftly. Two of them had died, and the third looked very weak. Her prognosis wasn’t good.
Clinic technicians Amber and Jamie brought the tiny black and white puppy to life with their fast work clearing her airways, warming her up, and giving her all the medical care she needed. Her eyes were sealed shut as Jamie soothed and held her, and the pup extended her front right paw, lifting it briefly from the bright blue towel that cradled her. Meanwhile, the OR technician kept Yeich stable, as she was in distress due to the C-section.
Jamie tends to the surviving puppy
"We so rarely get puppies that survive when an emergency dystocia comes in,” said Jamie. “This little girl was the only one that made it, but she’s loud and strong. It’s so nice to see this for a change.”
Yeich’s family was grateful that the team at the Community Spay/Neuter Clinic was able to save their beloved dog and her newborn. Clinic Manager Lynn Sassi noted, “If we weren’t able to help, they would have needed to find an emergency room that actually had a surgeon available. The cost of a C-section in an emergency hospital is around $5,000-$6,000 to start, with no guarantee of survival for the mom or the babies.”
Once recovered, Yeich and her pup went home with their family for what had to be one joyous reunion.