BREEDING AND WHELPING 321
tion is apparent castor oil may be necessary. On the sixtysecond day the whelps may be expected, and everything ought to be in readiness for the event.
A coarsely constituted bitch may be trusted to look after herself on these occasions ; no help is necessary, and one may come down in the morning to find her with her litter comfortably nestling at her side. But with the Toy breeds, and the breeds that have been reared in artificial conditions, difficult or protracted parturition is frequent, and human assistance ought to be at hand in case of need. The owner of a valuable Bull bitch, for example, would never think of leaving her to her own unaided devices. All undue interference, however, should be avoided, and it is absolutely necessary that the person attending her should be one with whom she is fondly familiar.
In anticipation of a possibly numerous litter, a foster-mother should be arranged for beforehand. Comfortable quarters should be prepared in a quiet part of the house or kennels, warm, and free from draughts. Clean bedding of wheaten straw should be provided, but the bitch should be allowed to make her nest in her own instinctive fashion. Let her have easy access to drinking water. She will probable refuse food for a few hours before her time, but a little concentrated nourishment, such as Brand's Essence or a drink of warm milk, should be offered to her. In further preparation for the confinement a basin of water containing antiseptic for washing in, towels, warm milk, a flask of brandy, a bottle of ergotine, and a pair of scissors are commodities which may all be required in emergency. The ergot, which must be used with extreme caution and only when the labour pains have commenced, is invaluable when parturition is protracted, and there is difficult straining without result. Its effect is to contract the womb and expel the contents. But when the puppies are expelled with ease it is superfluous. For a bitch of io lb. in weight ten drops of the extract of ergot in a teaspoonful of water should be ample, given by the mouth. The scissors are