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Panda’s Having Puppies!

, , , , , | Healthy | April 29, 2022

The veterinary clinic where I work has the most employees in the area; we often have students from the local tech school, and on any given shift, we have at least eight people working in the treatment area alone. This is well known by other clinics, and it is not uncommon for us to get referrals because someone’s regular veterinarian just doesn’t have enough staff to perform the procedure.

We get a call from a clinic with only three people on staff asking if we can do a C-section on a labrador retriever named Panda that has been in labor for hours and no puppies have been born yet. Labs generally have larger litters, and with a C-section, you need a person to stimulate each puppy until it wakes up. No way can that clinic handle more than five puppies. This will also be a great learning experience for our students.

So, our doctor agrees, and the patient is brought over and anesthetized. The procedure goes well, the dogs are recovering, and I get tasked with calling the other clinic to let them know how it went.

Me: “Hey, [Receptionist], we just got done with that C-section you sent over.”

Receptionist: “Oh, really? How’d it go?”

Me: “Great! Panda is recovering fine, 100% survival rate, nursing well.”

Receptionist: “Oh, wonderful. [Doctor] will be so glad to hear that.”

Me: “Did you guys take bets on how many pups there would be?”

Receptionist: “Given how big Panda was, we figured twelve or so. How many?”

Me: “One.”

Receptionist: “What?!”

Me: “One. There was one puppy — average-sized, too, not a giant. We had all the kids lined up ready to get puppies, the doctor handed the pup off to the head tech, and she started demonstrating how to stimulate. Then, the doctor called out, ‘That’s all, folks!’”

Receptionist: *Laughing* “Of course. You know what [Her Coworker] said when we called you?”

Me: “No.”

Receptionist: “He said, ‘I’ll bet there is only one puppy.’ We asked why, and he said, ‘Because Pandas don’t breed well in captivity.’”

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