Whelping

Frequently asked questions and answers

How do I prepare myy dog for breeding? Questions to ask yourself first:

Are all of her vaccinations, worming and flea control needs up to date?

Do I have potential homes for the puppies/kittens? What will I do if I can’t find homes for all of them?

Have I researched the health risks and what do I do if there are whelping problems or if my dog or the pups get sick?

Am I prepared to bear the cost of an emergency after hour’s caesarean as well as the cost of micro-chipping, vaccinations and worming for the pups prior to selling?

Do I have my nearest after hours emergency vet clinic phone number on hand?

How do I know when my bitch is ready to whelp?

‘Nesting’ behaviour begins during the last week prior to whelping. Here the bitch searches for somewhere safe, quiet and cosy for her to have the pups. It is a good idea to provide a whelping box and encourage her to use this leading up to whelping time. During the 24 hours before whelping, the bitch usually becomes restless and may begin to pant. She may go off food and her temperature usually drops 1 degree a few hours prior to whelping.

What happens during labour/whelping?

Stage 1: The cervix dilates to allow passage of pups.

Stage 2: The birth of the puppies. This usually occurs within 2-6 hours.

Stage3: Afterbirth (placenta) gets passed after each puppy is born. The bitch usually removes the placental membranes and eats these; she will also chew through the umbilical cord. If all appears to be going well, it is best to observe from afar and allow the bitch to care for her puppies.

How do I know if she needs help from a veterinarian?

On and off straining for a few hours before the first pup is born is common and normal. However, if there is 20 minutes of constant intense straining without delivery of a pup the bitch requires assistance.

Normally subsequent pups should be born within an hour of the first pup being born. If 1-2 hours pass before the birth of the 2nd pup she requires help.

If there is 10 minutes of constant intense straining when a pup can be seen in the birth canal she requires assistance.

If she suddenly becomes depressed, lethargic or weak or there is a lot of fresh blood coming from her vagina she needs to be looked at by a veterinarian.

It is normal for pups to be born head first, however sometimes they can be born in the reverse, with back legs presented first. If a pups rump or back is presented without any legs this is called a breech and this can occur in a successful birth, although she may require assistance.

If a green discharge is present without the birth of any pups, she requires immediate veterinary attention because this occurs when the placenta separates.

After whelping the vaginal discharge appears dark green due to pigment for up to 12 hours. This then becomes red or reddish-brown and after a few weeks only random spotting should be seen.

How do I assist with whelping?

If a pup or placental sac can be seen and the pup is not born by 10 mins, she requires assistance. You can help by putting on some latex gloves, breaking the sac and grasping the pup. Gently pull the pup in a downwards action towards the bitches back feet with each contraction. If the puppy does not come after a few gentle attempts or the bitch becomes stressed, she requires veterinary attention.

Sometimes the bitch does not remove the placental membranes and if this occurs the puppy can suffocate. You need to quickly clear membranes and debris from around the nose, mouth and the body with a towel. You then need to stimulate breathing by rubbing it with the towel. If the pup does not appear to be breathing and it turns from a nice healthy pink and becomes blue, you can give mouth to nose resuscitation.

If the umbilical cord is not severed by the bitch, you need to cut it a few cm’s from the pup. Be sure not to put too much pressure on the cord when you do this.

While you are waiting for the rest of the litter to be born, each newborn should be placed into a clean, warm, dry box. Use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel or a heating pad to keep the pups warm, but ensure they can’t be burnt. Once all pups are born, clean out the whelping box and return the puppies to their mum as soon as possible and try to monitor from afar. Ensure that all pups can access the mums’ teats and that they get multiple feeds in the first 24hours is crucial to their development.

We recommend a vet check on your dog and her pups within the first 24hours to ensure all is going well and that Mum and pups are healthy. This also gives you a chance to ask any questions regarding worming, vaccinations and what to feed the new Mum and her newborns.

The most important point is if you are in any doubt call your vet. Vet Cross has a 24 hour emergency service on (07) 4151 5044.

Jade Switzer QVN

Jade Switzer QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse

Jade has been with Vet Cross since August 2021 but her career in the veterinary industry started 24 years ago. In that time Jade has worked as an equine nurse and has experience with all large animals. Jade has a particular interest in working with anxious dogs and loves providing physiotherapy to small animals.

Bec Nicholson

Bec Nicholson     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Bec joined the Vet Cross team in 2015. She is most happy nursing for our bovine patients, with cattle medicine and surgery being one of her passions. She also enjoys being able to provide physiotherapy for our small animal orthopaedic patients. Bec has been in the veterinary industry for 9 years, having started as a kennel hand when she was 14 years old. Bec successfully completed her Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing in 2016. Outside of work she is kept busy with her hobby farm and dogs as well as her 2 sons Charlie and Tommie.

Andrew Marland

Dr Andrew Marland     BVSc (hons)

Practice Principal

Growing up on a local cattle property Andrew developed a love of animals and desire to become a veterinarian at an early age. After graduating in 2000 he entered mixed animal practice in western Queensland before working in the United Kingdom for 2 years.

Andrew is an Australian Cattle Vets accredited Bull tester and National Pregnancy Testing accredited examiner. Although spending much of his time working with cattle and horses Andrew enjoys all challenges of mixed animal practice.

Susan Carroll

Dr Susan Carroll     BVSc (hons)

Senior Veterinary Associate

Susan joined Vet Cross in Bundaberg in 2004. After graduating in 1998 Susan started her veterinary career in a country practice in regional Queensland later travelling overseas. After the birth of her 2 children she has continued studies and has now completed a course with the Centre for Veterinary Education in animal ultrasonography.

Kate Schroeder

Dr Kate Schroeder     BVSc (hons)

Veterinarian

Kate grew up in Bundaberg and studied at the University of Queensland, Gatton. Kate loves all aspects of mixed practice, in particular equine medicine & surgery. She has a passion for horse training, which comes in handy with her more fractious equine patients.

She enjoys spending time with her gorgeous Labrador, Walter, her many horses and accidentally-adopted cat, Gizmo.

Meghan Schibrowski

Dr Meghan Schibrowski     BVSc PhD

Veterinarian

Dr Meghan graduated from the University of Queensland in 2005 and started her career working in general practice and veterinary livestock consultancy. In 2015, Meghan completed a PhD investigating the epidemiology and pathological agents involved in the bovine respiratory disease complex in feedlot cattle and returned to her family’s property in Childers. Meghan joined the Vet Cross team in early 2020 after returning to general practice.

Meghan is an Australian Cattle Vets accredited Bull tester, holds PennHip certification, is a ParaBoss WEC QA Service Provider and is an Accredited Veterinarian with Animal Health Australia for provision of Market Assurance Programs including GoatMAP, SheepMAP and AlpacaMAP.

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Dr Jacqueline Greiner     BVSc

Veterinarian

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Dr Alanah Evans     BVSc

Veterinarian

Georgia Taylor

Dr Georgia Taylor     BVSc

Veterinarian

Dr Georgia studied at JCU in Townsville and moved to Bundaberg with her sister Kate and their cavoodle Spock.

Lilli Glass

Dr Lilli Glass     BVSc

Veterinarian

Doctor Lilli is from Harvey Bay and studied at JCU in Townsville. Dr Lilli has a keen interest in cattle reproduction and pretty much all aspects of the veterinary industry. In her spare time Lilli loves going to the beach with her beautiful boy Lenny who is pictured here with her.

Amy Cox

Dr Amy Cox     BVSc (Hons)

Veterinarian

Welcome Dr Amy. Dr Amy studied at UQ Gatton and graduated in 2017. Amy started working at a clinic in Maryborough before moving here in 2022. Dr Amys special interests are surgery and cattle.

Anna Logan

Anna Logan     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Anna has been working as a veterinary nurse for the Vet Cross team since 2008 graduating as a qualified veterinary nurse in 2011. Anna is a key team member being actively involved in training junior nurses, 2013 saw Anna take time off to start a family. Anna has a dog called Moose who is a rescue dog.

Amy Jensen

Amy Jensen     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse / Practice Manager

Amy has been working at Vet Cross since July 2009 and qualified as a Cert IV veterinary nurse in January 2014. Amy is a talented nurse and is often found helping clients on the phone or at the front desk. Amy is an asset to the Vet Cross team. She has a Shih Tzu called Penny and a Labrador called Norman.

Sarah Manderson

Sarah Manderson     QVN (Cert IV)

Senior Nurse

Sarah is our resident ‘Crazy Cat Lady’. She joined the Vet Cross team in 2016, having been a qualified vet nurse since 2012. Her special interests are radiography, orthopaedic nursing and anything feline, with a special ability to calm even our most anxious kitty patients. Sarah has two extra fluffy, extra lovable cats, Felix and Cooper, and enjoys playing the cello.

Chloe Hancock

Chloe Hancock

Receptionist

Chloe joined the Vet Cross team in 2018. Chloe and her now Husband Guy were married in May 2019, they moved here from Ballarat. Chloe has a Foxxy named Maggie and a ginger cat named Milo.

Courtney Milne

Courtney Milne     QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse

2021 was a busy year for nurse Courtney, she finished her studies and became a qualified veterinary nurse (QVN) and gave birth to her and her partner Mat’s first child Hailey. Baz the cattle dog and Jax the Border Collie are very excited about their new sister.

Ashleigh Hendersen

Ashleigh Hendersen

Veterinary Nurse

Ash is one of our multi-skilled nurses, with a love for anything from horses to small animals. She enjoys the amazing variety of patients in our mixed practice clinics, and goes from anaesthetising a cat for surgery to wrangling a lame goat without skipping a beat.

She joined us in 2017 with a wealth of knowledge, having worked for Veterinary Specialist Services as an oncology nurse. Her dogs (Reeva and Ralph) and horses (Holly and Dolly) keep her busy outside of work.

Brooke Jackson

Brooke Jackson

Veterinary Nurse

Brooke is currently studying her certificate 3 in veterinary nursing is looking forward to starting her cert 4. Brooke has 2 very energetic dogs named Maloo and Maggie.

Sheridan Philips

Sheridan Philips

Veterinary Nurse

Sheridan started with Vet Cross in October 2020. Sheridan is born and bred in Bundy, her family have been living in the area for over 130 years. Growing up on a hobby farm Sheridan has had many different pets over the years and enjoys riding the family horses. Sheridan’s most treasured pet is Annabelle the 14 year old Mini Foxy.

Brooke Land

Brooke Land

Veterinary Nurse
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Sarah Boersch     QVN (Cert IV)

Veterinary Nurse
Leah White

Leah White

Nurse

Welcome Nurse Leah. Leah and her Husband Blake moved to Bundaberg from North Brisbane in 2022. Leah has been in the veterinary industry for 2 years and is currently studying her certificate 4 in Veterinary Nursing. She is the loving fur mum of Cinders the Bull Arab X.

Rachel McGregor

Rachel McGregor

Veterinary Nurse
Rachel is a Bundy girl and her family have cattle properties out at Mt Perry. Having grown up with large animals Rachel has a keen interest in them and is looking forward to starting her studies in 2022.
Amanda Polizel QVN

Amanda Polizel

Nurse

Amanda Bickmore

Amanda Bickmore

Marketing / Receptionist

Amanda started her Vet Cross journey in 2013 as a receptionist. However, she soon demonstrated her creative talents and is now primarily our marketing manager. She loves the ability to tell the stories of our furry and feathered friends, as well as being able to inform and educate clients, both old and new.

She has a Labrador named Molly.

Jo Logan

Jo Logan

Gin Gin Receptionist

Jo is the face of Vet Cross Gin Gin. She loves being able to greet our clients and is always up for a chat. She joined us in 2011 and she has become a massive part of the Gin Gin family.

Jo is kept busy by her three big dogs Ruby, Zip and Zeus.

Jackie Sergiacomi

Jackie Sergiacomi

Receptionist

Jackie Joined the Vet Cross team in 2016. Jackie has over 24 years experience and says she couldn’t imagine her life without the excitement and satisfaction that comes from being in the veterinary industry. Jackie’s experience has ranged from a nurse right through to accounts and management. Jackie has been competing in endurance racing for the past 30 years and loves that the sport takes her to beautiful parts of Australia that otherwise she may have missed.

Tim Hill

Dr Tim Hill     BVSc MACVS

Practice Principal

Tim graduated from University of Queensland in 1993 and, because of his interest in soft tissue and orthopaedic surgery, gained Membership of Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in Small Animal Surgery in 2006.

Tim completed the PennHip certification in 2009 enabling accurate assessment and evaluation of hip screening, he also has a diploma in animal ophthalmology. Tim travelled throughout Australia and the United Kingdom and gained extensive experience in mixed and dairy practices.

07 4151 5044