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Asia USA Realty (Singapore) Pte Ltd  - Real Estate Department
15 Jan 2004 finds affordable Singapore
homes for expats - rental or sales.

"Be Kind to Pets" - Tips for a longer life for pets. A Community Education supported by Asiahomes Internet.

Would the Yorkshire survive the explosion?

You are too fast for me," Mr Formicelli, the dog breeder lamented as he picked up the fourth Yorkshire Terrier puppy in less than 60 seconds and rushed out to the other room to clean it.  The four puppies were all jammed at the junction of the two uterine horns. Any delay in getting them out would have distressed them.

The first pup was intertwined with the second pup at the junction. I could not separate them with my fingers for a few seconds.  "Make a bigger incision," Mr Formicelli advised. His image of a competent vet was small incision and that incision was sufficient normally. At the university some decades ago, I was taught to take out the whole womb and then make incisions to take out the pups.  This would mean a longer incision and a bigger skin defect and that was not what the breeder wanted in practice. 

The first pup was jammed. I opened the incision 4 mm more. I put my forefinger into the junction to dig it out.  Was it possible?  Where was the head?  Finally, the first pup's head presented at the incision and was pulled out. The second pup was large and came out with the whole amniotic sac. After that the third and fourth pup rushed out.

This was too fast for Mr Formicelli. I could not slow down as time was of the essence in Caesarean sections. The third pup was wrapped round by the green placenta and would have died if not for the elective Caesarean. 

All the pups were breathing within seconds of delivery and therefore Mr Formicelli just needed to dry them up, using a hair dryer.

The fifth pup was hidden at the corner of the right uterine horn. A very small one usually known as a runt. It refused to be born and would have been missed if the veterinarian was not checking out for any remaining pup carefully. I massaged the uterine horn to get the pup out.  That gave the breeder some breathing space.

Where was this 5th pup?  I put my forefinger to feel for it. Wet slippery amniotic fluid and bright red blood flowed freely out of the uterine horn.  The bitch did not contract as she was sleeping well under the maintenance anaesthesia.

"At least, there was not much of a struggle from the bitch," Mr Formicelli said, remembering a case of the Shih Tzu with 7 pups. The Shih Tzu mother seemed to be immune to the anaesthetic gas and was in labour pains as well as trying to get up from the operating table. Increasing the dose of the gas did not work on this Shih Tzu and the only solution was to get the pups out very fast.

Now, this Yorkshire bitch was in excellent surgical anaesthesia and I had to feel for the fifth pup.  Finally, it was there and I pulled it out.

A loud boom thundered outside the surgery. It sounded like an explosion.  What terrorist in his right mind would bomb an ageing industrial park like Toa Payoh Lor 8?  This definitely sounded like a bomb and I was alert to bombings after September 11 and the Bali bomb blast.

Jan 13 04 Toa Payoh Industrial shop explosionI should rush out of the ground floor surgery as the whole industrial building might collapse. The New World Hotel had collapsed after some warning and trapped people on the ground floor. This boom was danger personified.

"Go and check out," I asked Mr Formicelli as he took the fifth pup.

"A bright orange fire sending thick black smoke upwards," Mr Formicelli reported. "The second floor shop some 9 shops away is burning."

Would the building collapse like a domino?  I don't know. Some tenants are known to have installed heavier than permitted load in the upper floors. This was an industrial park and there were printers, welders, mechanics and all sorts of dirty industrial activity of small timer subcontractors.   

How much time would I have to complete the surgery before the intense fire spread to the side shops?  It was only 9 shops away on the second floor. I was on the ground floor. But the fire was ten times brighter than the Mandarin oranges now sold for the Chinese New Year 9 days away, Mr Formicelli had said.  And burning fiercely.
Elective Caesarean YorkshireI needed time to stitch up the womb which was weakened by the first Caesarean.  Then to stitch up the muscle layer and the skin.  How fast could I stitch and would the electrical supply be cut off since the burning shop was above the transformer and the fire might have destroyed the main electrical input.

This surgery could not be postponed now. The five pups depended on the bitch. Orphan pups are notoriously difficult to rear. I needed the time and the focus. 

It was fortunate that the shop above me had not exploded. The bitch and the five pups were all right. 

"My partner wanted me to wait till the afternoon to perform the Caesarean," Mr Formicelli said. He did not want to wait as  I would be deprived of my lunchtime. In any case, the 60th day pregnant Yorkshire Terrier's rectal temperature was 37.8 degrees and she had loose stools.  These signs and symptoms, coupled with his experience meant that the Yorkshire was ready for an elective Caesarean.

Mr Formicelli had learnt from experience of puppy losses due to delays. He was the top canine breeder well respected by his peers for producing good quality puppies.

This time, his judgment was excellent as the Yorkshire Terrier showed a bulge in the vagina when she was on the operating table. That meant the water bag of the first puppy was about to come out of the birth canal. A timely planned Caesarean that would give the breeder five stress-free vigorous pups and a bitch that would have the strength to nurse all five. 

Or at least some of the five as Mr Formicelli would not want this small Yorkshire to suckle all five pups. He had other nursing bitches and he knew which surrogate mother would accept a Yorskhire puppy without killing it.   Knowing when the bitch needed a Caesarean section was a secret of success.  But ensuring that all puppies grow up to 8 weeks had more secrets if the breeder was to be successful in the business of canine breeding.

The blast originated from a shop which produced advertising sign boards. It probably had paint, inflammable solvents and a liquefied petroleum gas cylinder for welding works.  The cause was still being investigated. Four people died inside the shop. Two employees were injured, one of whom was a lady who had to jump down from the window onto mattresses provided by the mattress repair proprietor on the ground floor.  The whole area including Toa Payoh Vets were cordoned for the whole afternoon. All electrical supply was cut in the afternoon and the next morning.   


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.1 "Be Kind to Pets" - Tips for a longer life for pets. A Community Education supported by Asiahomes Internet.

2.2  Innovative Novelty Gifts for Sale as corporate gifts

3. Asia USA Realty

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