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C-Section for Dogs: Everything You Should Know

It's always exciting when your dog is expecting puppies, but dog owners should be aware of the signs that there are complications. In this event, your dog may require a c-section. In this post, our Olive Branch vets discuss everything you should know about c-sections for dogs and what you can expect if your dog needs one.

Signs of Complications During Labour

Most times your dog can give birth at home with little to no help from you but sometimes complications arise and you will need to bring your dog to the vet. There are signs to look out for when your dog is in labor, to determine if she needs emergency care from you and the vet.

Normal labor has two stages for dogs. Stage one will typically last between six and twelve hours and is mostly observed by the dog’s behavior than anything else. Your dog will begin exhibiting restless nesting behavior and may pant as contractions start.

Her temperature will drop around two to three hours before as second stage begins. If this stage does not begin by the 70th day of pregnancy, or if does not progress to the second stage within 12-24 hours, you should contact a veterinarian.

During stage two of labor, puppies should begin to appear within a fairly short amount of time. If your dog has been actively straining for longer than thirty minutes with no puppy emerging, or if there is more than a two-hour resting period between puppies, you should consult with your veterinarian.

Elective C-Sections

While healthy pregnancies in dogs are very common, in some cases, an elective c-section may be recommended. Your dog may need a scheduled c-section if:

  • Puppies are larger than average
  • She is only having one puppy. If there is only one puppy, your dog may not produce enough cortisol to induce natural labor
  • Your dog suffers from any health conditions that can affect labor
  • If your dog needs a c-section it should be scheduled 63 days from her ovulation which would put the procedure about 24 hours before your dog's due date

How Many C-Sections Can a Dog Have?

When it comes to how many c-sections a dog can have, there is no set answer. However, many breeds believe that a dog should not have more than 2-3 c-sections in a lifetime. Having more than 3 could affect the health of your dog and their future puppies.

Preparing for Your Dog's C-Section

There are a few things that you should do leading up to your dog’s c-section;

  • Stop using flea/ tick medications 1 week before your dog’s c-section
  • Apply an Adaptil (DAP) to her collar 3 days before the c-section
  • You're going to want to bathe your dog a few days before the c-section (2-3 days). It is better to have your dog as clean as possible for the surgery. Also, it could be a while before you can bath her after the surgery
  • Your dog can not eat on the day of the c-section
  • If your dog is taking any medications it is important that you speak with your veterinarian before the c-section for instructions on how to proceed with them
  • Your dog should only have water before the c-section

What You Should Bring to the Surgery 

You will need to prepare a doggy "go-bag" before you take your dog for her c-section. This bag should include;

  • Your cellphone and cellphone charger
  • A tarp to put down on your car seat for the drive to the vet's office
  • Blankets and towels, both for comfort and cleaning
  • Your dog's crate
  • A heating pad for the puppies
  • A basket or box to carry to the puppies home in

Day of the Surgery

When you take your dog to the vet’s office the staff will be ready to start and your dog will be taken in for surgery. Once in the surgical suite, your dog will be given general anesthesia. Then the vets will start your dog’s c-section.

After the puppies are resuscitated, the vet will remove the placentas, and then begin taking care of the umbilical cords, they will take notes on each puppy as they are delivered, and treat any puppies that appear to have medical conditions. The puppies will be moved to an incubator or warming area for a short time. Once the puppies have all been cleared, you can take them home.

Dog C-Section Cost

The cost of your dog's c-section can vary based on a few factors. These variables include your dog's size and breed, your dog's age, and if they have any health issues that could lead to complications.

Your Dog's Recovery

When you take your dog and the new puppies home, you should carefully monitor them for the next few days to ensure there are no complications after your dog's c-section. Your vet will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for and monitoring the puppies and mom, as well as any pain medications prescribed for your dog. 

Is your dog expecting puppies? Contact our Olive Branch vets to confirm that she and her puppies are happy and healthy.

New Patients Welcome

Cat and Cow Vet Clinic is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Olive Branch companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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