Had an unusual case last night. I went over to hold a neonate puppy that the vet had placed on oxygen. She muttered something about heat bag and auxiliary which l translated as one was coming.
When the beanie arrived l popped the semi comatose pup onto it. After a few minutes he started to make l feel a lot more alive movements (his legs moved). It was obvious he was very poorly but with his slight improvement he stood a chance of being a "goer". He had been hand fed since birth as he had been very weak and his chest did not sound good.
The vet came back and l updated her on the slight improvement in movement.. ie not totally flat but moving legs. While she was standing there l decided to take the pups temperature and see what it was as he had been on the heat beanie for a few minutes. I was chatting and realised l couldn't insert the thermometer, my heart sunk.
The vet saw my face and looked down, the same expression forming. She pulled out a catheter and had a gentle prod around but it was obvious there was no anus. It was covered by a membrane if it was there at all. It explained the collapsed puppy. Food in for 3 days nothing out but urine.
She went to speak to the owner who asked for a quote to repair it. One of the certificate holder vets was just on the phone so we waited for him to decide. He had a look and made a few comments but given the age and state of the puppy the decision was there was no chance.
While the owners signed the paperwork in the consult room, l anaesthetised him deeply so that he would not feel the needle when he was injected.
All puppies and kittens we deliver by caesarian or born naturally at the surgery are checked for cleft pallets and to see that they have an anus. This was a home birth and obviously the owners did not realise. In all my time nursing l have not seen a puppy or kitten without an anus. Cleft pallets are fairly common though.