The Phone Rings… …It’s time to take the puppies to the vet to dock their tails and remove their dewclaws. How do we know whether the vet knows exactly what to do? Part V

Rottweil Xpress / January 1990

An incident happened when a female bred to our male had puppies. The owners took their puppies to their local vet to remove the dewclaws and dock the tails. When they got the puppies home they noticed the veterinarian had removed both front and back dewclaws, when they only wanted the back ones removed. They also noticed that the tails were much longer than they should be. They brought the puppies over for us to look at. I was astonished at the length of the tails. This was a veterinarian that was so sure of herself that she felt she knew what she was doing. The puppies again had to go through the stress of having their tails docked closer – finally, the correct way.
When you take the puppies in to the vet, it is advisable to bring pictures of how you would like the tails done. If possible bring in an adult so the vet can feel how close the tail was docked.
We prefer our tails to be docked very close, with almost no stump to show. Our veterinarian not only sews the tail but also uses skin glue to prevent it from reopening and becoming infected. Some mothers will clean the tails often. You must watch this to make sure she doesn’t remove the suture, or it becomes infected.

The size of the puppies – if they gain weight daily and are strong and nursing regularly – will determine on what day they should have their tails removed. We do it between 4 and 6 days. Do remember that puppies undergo a lot of stress having this done to them. Only strong, healthy puppies can be subjected to the procedure.
Put them in a clean box, with a heating pad on LOW on the bottom. Have the pad warm when you take the puppies to the vet, and make sure the vet plugs it in when you leave the puppies. We all know people are fascinated with puppies and when walking into the vet’s office – God forbid do not let anyone touch the puppies. I get over-cautious and write on the box for no one to touch the puppies except for the veterinarian. Many diseases lurk in your vet’s clinic – take as little chance as possible to contract any.
Make sure you arrange the timing for the procedure so as to return the pups to their mother as quickly as possible. But what do you do with the mother while the pups are at the vet?
The maternal instinct is so strong in some bitches that you must be careful where you keep them while the puppies are gone. I had one female we put outside in a run while the puppies were gone. She was so determined to get back to her pups that she broke the door on the kennel and proceeded to look for them. Another female I put in a flight kennel, knowing putting them outside in a run did not work. She bit and tore at that flight kennel until she broke open the door. So now we take the mothers for long, long, long walks and watch them every minute until the puppies arrive home from the veterinarian!
When you get the puppies home, you must be attentive, too. First, put the puppies in the whelping box, but NOT with the mother around. Then bring the mother into the room. She will check out the puppies – make sure she starts nursing them. It is advisable to be with her this day because the puppies will be making more noise than usual. Be there to calm her and reassure her that all is well.
She is now a content mother again, having her babies home now looking like real little Rottweilers.
Until next month, rrrrrrrring!

Article written by Evie Lynn