The process of giving birth for canines (whelping) and felines (queening) is instinctual, but some pet owners prefer to have a veterinarian assist with the birthing process, especially for breeds that are known to have troubles. Some common reasons for assistance with whelping or queening a littler include:
- Certain breeds (e.g. Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and Persian Cats) tend to have difficulties delivering their offspring, and a Cesarean section might be necessary. Having a veterinarian present and prepared makes the transition from a live birth to surgical extraction of the newborns easy and risk-free.
- If newborns are premature, a veterinarian can nurture them to adequate health and help prevent loss of multiple newborns.
- Occasionally a litter has one or multiple still borns (non-living babies). These can hinder the birth of live offspring. A veterinarian is properly trained to handle a stillborn so birthing the rest of the litter isn’t disrupted.
- Mammary glands can become infected or blocked. As a result, the offspring cannot feed. Under close veterinary care this issue can promptly be addressed before it results in infant death.