Puppies in Singapore. How your puppies can live longer.

Puppies may not survive past 7 days. The survival rate depends very much on the knowledge, experiences and care of the professional canine breeder.

The 99 deg F breeder

"When the rectal temperature is 99 degrees Fahrenheit, the bitch will give birth within 24 hours," Mr Lim shared his experience.  

"How do you know when the bitch would reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit if it occurs past midnight?" I queried. "You would be at home sleeping and the bitch would be in the dog farm."

Mr Lim swept his bronze-coloured hairs off his fore head, opened his big bulldog-like eyes, rubbed his past- midnight eye bags and said matter-of-factly, " I sleep inside the kennels and watch this mini-Maltese or I bring those about to give birth home, after checking that their rectal temperature are 99 deg F."

So, that was the secret of his success in producing many vigorous puppies that live past seven days. He was present when the bitch was in labour difficulty and puppies were born by Caesarean section in a timely manner, unstressed and vigorous. 

In Singapore, there is no research on dog breeding. I use the pass-seven-day  ranking as a reflection of the dog breeder's standard of puppy care.

In children, the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) used the under-five mortality ranking as a reflection of the country's standard of health care for children.  In 2002, only 4 children out of 1,000 under the age of 5 in Singapore died compared to 8 in 1,000 in the U.S. Singapore tied with Norway, Denmark and Iceland in No. 2.  Mr Lim would be ranked No. 1 amongst the Singapore canine breeders if there was such a survey.

It was 1.30 am when I received his phone call for an emergency Caesarean. He arrived promptly and the mini-Maltese delivered two extremely hungry and vigorous puppies.

"Why don't you use the digital thermometer and the Celsius reading?" I asked him.
"I find that the glass bulb thermometer and the Fahrenheit reading are most accurate."

There was no way of changing his habit and it does not matter as long as he produced vigorous neonates.

He was hard working and had been burnt by the fires of experience like all successful breeders. He knew what it takes to be successful in his profession.

For breeders like Mr Lim, I felt a warmth when performing  Caesarean sections even though it was past midnight.  I dislike and I am sure all veterinary surgeons do not look forward to, seeing dead puppies and mothers after an emergency Caesarean section.

Usually, the cause is due to the breeders' lack of knowledge of the birth process or delays in seeking veterinary help.

Mr Lim's mini-Maltese bitch did not produce many puppies. But the two   were so hungry that one suckled its own foot within 5 minutes of delivery.

"Both are females," Mr Lim complained. The traditional Chinese family wants a male to inherit the family surname but these were dogs and not human beings.

I was surprised. "All breeders want females and there is a demand for the female mini-Maltese."  Females are valuable as they can be bred. The breeder does need more females than males to be successful in the business of canine breeding.

Mr Lim explained: "I have got to give one of them to the breeder who provided the stud dog and I don't have the male to continue the line." 

He believed that the good mini-Malteses are derived from the male side, just like top race horses are sired to produce winners.  The stud dog had the traits that he wanted. However, his female produced two daughters and that caused him sorrow. Just like the traditional Chinese family - if the first two born are daughters, the disappointment will be great.  



Careful and regular observation of the bitch's behaviour could make a difference between success and failure in canine breeding.

If the bitch has difficulty labour overnight, the puppies may die. A secret of success in canine breeding is to have competent help to check out the bitch past midnight and the ability to get transportation to the vet within 1 hour for an emergency Caesarean section.  

In this case, the breeder was personally responsible and had the best results.

99 deg F = 37.2 deg C.  The rectal temperature 24 hours before birth can be lower than 37.2 deg C. As low as 36. 8 deg C was recorded in one case.

Mini-Maltese generally need Caesarean deliveries if the breeder wants puppies to be vigorous and live past seven days.

Extracts from the
Asiahomes.com Book:
Puppies in Singapore: How Your Puppy Can Live Longer
Dr Sing Kong Yuen, BVMS (Glasgow), MRCVS.

Buyers interested in this book, email to judy@asiahomes.com

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