|One of our fertility services
provides "peace of mind" to the owner of a dam at the culmination of all
of our earlier work, the moment of birth. This attendance assures
immediate attention to any complication that might arise, allows prompt
disinfection of the umbilical stump to prevent 'navel-ill', any
"imprinting" work desired by the owner (no extra charge), and monitoring
of both dam and newborn post-delivery to insure that the placenta is
passed intact, and that the offspring is able to stand and nurse
properly. We can provide this service for any species, not just
While the attending veterinarian is on-premises at all times, monitoring of the dam is done 'remotely' to minimize any sense of intrusion and nervousness on her part. Video cameras and tiny, radio-transmitter alarm systems secured to the vulva long before delivery allow immediate notification that delivery has begun, without the dam being aware of our presence. With a typical foal delivery, for example, which is most likely to occur in the wee hours of the morning, early dilation will set off the radio transmitter, sounding an alarm which awakens the veterinarian in attendance. The progress of the delivery can then be monitored through the video cameras, eliminating the need for disturbance of the mare unless absolutely necessary. Once the foal has been delivered, assessment of both mare and foal can be done quietly while the mare is resting.
We recommend that mares and cows be brought to us at least three weeks prior to their due date, if not a bit more. Since dogs have a much shorter pregnancy, bitches may arrive much closer to parturition without concern. This advance time allows the dam time to become accustomed to their new surroundings, thus avoiding the increased possibility of delivery complications associated with nervousness and stress. In addition, they have time to become familiar with those who might be required to attend to them at the time of any complications, greatly lessening stress at that time.
From personal experience, this can be very beneficial to all concerned. In December of 1996 we were responsible for monitoring the first delivery of a Brahma cow, a breed noted for its wariness of strangers, as well as extra belligerence in warning away perceived intruders. Because she was with us for some time prior to delivery, Dr. Mennick was able to gain her trust and confidence. Following delivery, he was the only one allowed in the stall to set up heat lamps and work with the calf unthreatened. In fact, the cow required treatment for a retained placenta, and allowed Dr. Mennick to put on a halter, lead her outside the stall and tie her to a post with the calf beneath her, and stand still for a uterine infusion, without any other handlers or assistance. Anyone else, however, was not allowed to approach, and other visitors received a business-like threat warning that further approach entailed a flight over the fence.
We can additionally provide owners with a "wake up call" that delivery has begun, and can set up video cameras to record the event upon request.