WATCH: Ruff start to 2020 for five orphaned puppies

    We visited Gables Dogs & Cats Home to see how the newly born pups are doing

    Gables Dogs & Cats Home recently took in a very heavily pregnant 5 year Labrador cross after she was neglected and given up by her owner. 

    She was named Sundae and it was clear she would give birth imminently, so Deputy Manager Ruth Rickard took her home to keep a very close eye on her.

    However with no sign of the puppies after 72 hours, Sundae was taken to Gables vets Filham Park for a check-up and scan. During the scan it was found that the puppies' heart beats had slowed down, so it was agreed that an emergency Caesarean was needed to save both the mum and puppies.

    The vets discovered she was carrying an incredible 12 puppies. Sadly three of the puppies were still born and during the operation there were complications as a large blood clot was discovered. The rest of the puppies were fighting for their lives but not doing very well.

    During the recovery from this operation Sundae suddenly went downhill. She desperately needed a blood transfusion so the vet took blood from his own dog and Gables raced to the vets with a Greyhound called Gary so he could donate blood. 

    Sadly despite everyone's best efforts two more puppies and then Sundae tragically lost their fight for life. It was a heart-breaking and devastating end for all involved.

    The seven remaining puppies were now orphans and needed one to one 24 hour care. Ruth took the puppy's home and started the difficult and tiring process of hand rearing them.

    They need to be kept warm and clean and fed a specialist veterinary milk every 2-3 hours, after which they need help to go to the toilet.

    Due to a lack of colostrum from their mother's milk, which contains antibodies to protect new born animals against disease, it was highly unlikely the puppies would survive. Sadly two puppies were not strong enough and within the first 4-5 hours they passed away.  

    The five remaining puppies have fought to stay alive everyday so far and seem to be doing well, but they are not out of the woods yet.

    Ruth said: "When I first met Sundae and heard her story I was desperate to help her. I thought she might take some time to trust people again after what happened to her; but she took everything in her stride and was such a lovable and playful young dog.

    "We were absolutely devastated to lose her along with so many of her puppies as we were sure she would prove to be a wonderful mother. Sadly that task has now fallen to me. Thankfully the puppies are doing well so far, but I have a secret favourite in the little runt of the litter.

    "She is such a real fighter and if she is as strong as I think she is, I am going to name her after her mother."  

    This story highlights the dangers of breeding pets intentionally or unintentionally as things can go wrong so quickly due to complications.

    It is not only a risk to your pets life but also very costly when veterinary intervention and or treatment is needed.

    Gables have always promoted neutering pets to prevent so many unwanted litters being born but are even more determined to spread the word on why it is so important.

    There are lots of animal charities that provide low cost and sometimes free neutering so there is no excuse not to get it done.

    It is thought that it will cost Gables around £1,200 for the cesarean and emergency care Sundae and the pups received, the specialist milk the puppies now need, the antibiotics to fight infections and their continued 24 hour care.

    If you can help by making a contribution to 'Ruff start to 2020 for 5 Orphaned Puppies' campaign please call 01752 331602 or visit to donate online.

    If Gables is lucky enough to raise more money than is needed it will go towards helping the other animals in their care.

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