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“When Rhythm was in labour and one of her puppies suddenly got stuck, we had an emergency situation that nearly cost both of them their lives.”
– Dion, Guide Dogs Queensland breeding and veterinary care manager

Guide Dogs Queensland’s current facilities and equipment allow veterinarian Dion and his team to undertake simple health assessments and perform basic procedures. But, when it comes to anything more complex or in emergencies, our dogs and pups must travel to an off-site veterinary clinic.

We urgently need to raise $150,000 to complete our new Vet Clinic so we can provide on-site emergency care for our dogs and pups.

Can you help with a Christmas gift today?

Button linking to make a donation, with a yellow puppy in a Santa hat

Rhythm’s story

Guide Dogs Nursery Coordinator, Fiona, remembers the moment a regular pregnancy turned into an emergency situation.

“I had been there with her through two previous births, which had gone very smoothly, and this was to be her third and final litter.”

Guide Dogs nursery corrdinator Fiona holding a three-week-old yellow labrador puppyRhythm, like all of our dogs, was under 24-hour monitoring before birth. She went into labour right on schedule, her contractions were well spaced, and we waited expectantly for the first pup to be born. But, it didn’t come.

“Rhythm’s eyes became a little wider and she tilted her head towards me. I could see that she was worried.”

Our veterinarian Dion did an ultrasound – one of many he had performed that day to make sure everything was okay. This time, the heart rate of one of the pups was dropping. We knew right then that Rhythm would probably need an emergency caesarian. It was 10pm at night and we called a local emergency vet hospital. This trip was our only option, but it did mean added stress.

“Rhythm was already distressed about her pup not coming out… This only worsened as soon as we picked her up and put her in the car.”

“I could tell she was confused… and all I could do was just keep trying to reassure her.”

Unfortunately, between the time we left Guide Dogs and arriving at the vet hospital, another emergency had occurred at the clinic. We were now third in line.

“All we could do was wait. It was a heart-wrenching 60 minutes.”

“We did out best to reassure Rhythm, but in reality, her life and the lives of her unborn pups were in the balance.”

More than 60 minutes passed before Rhythm was able to go into theatre. We weren’t sure how many of her pups, if any, would make it. A quick check by the vets revealed all of the pups’ hearts were beating, but it was slower than normal.

Yellow Guide Dog Rhythm with her litter of puppies on a blue background.

We were probably only minutes from losing them. The vets acted swiftly, as soon as they could, and all five pups were delivered within a few minutes.

Fortunately, they were all okay, and we were able to take them home to the Guide Dogs nursery later that night. Thankfully, Rhythm returned to good health and all the pups did very well.

“Even though Rhythm was restricted following the caesarian, she was an awesome mum.”

We only narrowly avoided a tragedy with Rhythm and her pups. With your support, we will never be in that position again.

Can you help ensure we are never in this situation again?

Button linking to make a donation, with a yellow puppy in a Santa hat

Why we need an on-site vet clinic

“It’s my job to ensure our dogs and pups have the best possible health so they can become life-changing companions for Queenslanders in need,” vet Dion explained.

“But we’re limited in our ability to achieve this by our current facilities.”

Having to take a pregnant or sick dog off-site during a complex health or emergency situation is potentially very risky.

“In emergency situations every second and minute can matter. So, a 20-minute trip to get to a commercial vet clinic that has the right facilities can sometimes mean life or death.”

It’s moments like these that I have always wished for a proper veterinary facility on site,” Dion said.

Thanks to a significant grant from a charitable foundation, Hand Heart Pocket, a new on-site veterinary clinic is now being built at our breeding and training centre.

Construction will be completed by the end of this year, but the final step is fitting it out with all the equipment and facilities it needs to become operational.

“This is where I really need your help. Please, can you help complete the vet clinic and provide the best possible care to our dogs and pups?”

Button linking to make a donation to the vet clinic

Your support truly makes a world of difference

You are the reason miracles happen at Guide Dogs

You are the reason miracles happen at Guide Dogs

Your generous support makes up more than 90% of our funding.

With limited Government funding, we rely heavily on community donations to help Queenslanders who are blind or vision impaired.

We are asking for your help today to help complete our vet clinic, so our dogs receive the best possible care.

Can you please help us, today?

Donate now

Want to find out more?

We are on hand to help you with any questions you may have. 

Call 1800 810 122
[email protected]