IntroductionObstetrics is the branch of veterinary medicine and surgery covering pregnancy, parturition (labour) and the puerperium (the return of the body to normal after birth).
Paediatrics is the branch of medicine dealing with the care and development of the young and the treatment of diseases that affect them.
In practice we tend only to see problem births. The vast majority of queens and bitches kitten or whelp at home with relatively few problems.
This chapter covers all aspects of the pregnancy from breeding to the aftercare of the dam and litter. The veterinary nurse needs not only to be competent in emergency procedures such as assisting with a Caesarean, but must also be able to offer concise advice regarding all aspects of obstetrical and paediatric nursing. Many clients, particularly if they have not bred from an animal before, will telephone the surgery for advice beforehand.
Learning ObjectivesThe learning objectives of this chapter are:
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