Sally was a very pregnant Jack Russell Terrier. While most cats and dogs give birth to their young without any problems at all, Sally was not that lucky. She had chosen the father of her pups poorly. The father was a blue heeler several times larger than Sally. The pups unfortunately took after their dad.
I first saw sally about 1 am. She had been in labour, pushing and straining for the last few hours. Both she and her owners were exhausted. A manual examination showed that she had a pup stuck and there was no way a pup that big was going to come out naturally. Sally needed a caesarean. I was soon in surgery removing three healthy but enormous puppies. With her owners permission I also desexed Sally at the same time so as too ensure Sally canít find herself in the same scenario again. Mother and the three pups are doing fine.
While cats and dogs have puppies all year round in the NT there are definite breeding seasons. In the top end one of them is now. The most common reason I see for birthing difficulties is overly large pups. Many breeds of dogs have been bred to have large boofy heads and chests and many of these routinely have problems giving birth.
It is important not to delay if you think you have a problem. Everything happens quickly so if your dog or cat has not had babies after an hour of straining then contact your vet. Not every complication will be dealt with by surgery, if she has not been left too long, the vet may be able to manually remove the pups or kittens with the assistance of drugs but everything becomes harder the longer you leave it. Sometimes as with sally there is no choice and a caesarean is necessary to save the mother and the pups.