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C-Section for Dogs: Everything You Should Know

C-Section for Dogs: Everything You Should Know

It can be amazing when your dog has puppies but what if she needs a c-section. In this post, our Groton vets tell you what you need to know about a c-sections for your dog. What things should you look out for and be prepared for?

What Labor Looks Like & When To See Emergency Help?

It has been approximately 64 days since your dog got pregnant and now it's time for her to give birth. A few indications that your dog is in labor are:

  • more restless than normal
  • start to nest or paw at her bed, making a nest
  • limited to no appetite starting about 24 hours before going into active labor
  • mucus discharge
  • licking her vulva
All of these things are normal for natural labor and are not signs you need to be concerned about.

Signs of Complications

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

  •  if she has been pushing for extended periods of time(more than 45-60 minutes to push out each puppy)
  • contractions should not last more than 45 minutes before the first puppy.
  • signs of extreme fatigue or pain,
  • vomiting
  • excessive bloody discharge

It may be time to seek medical attention because the puppy could be stuck in the birthing canal.

The amount of time between each puppy will vary but can last up to 4 hours. If you can see or feel more puppies but it has been more than 4 hours since the last puppy was born, it is time to go to Groton vets as soon as possible.

When Are C-Sections Recommended?

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

  • Your dog suffers from any health conditions that can affect labor,
  • 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,
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 Times Can a Dog Have a C-Sections ?

It is generally believed 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.

How to Prepare your Dog for a 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). 
  • 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 can not eat on the day of the c-section
  • Your dog should only have water before the c-section

What to Bring For the Surgery?

  • 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 for cleaning,
  • Your dog's crate,
  • A heating pad for the puppies,
  • A basket or box to carry to puppies home afterwards.

What Happens on the Day of the Surgery?

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

The vet will remove the placentas, then begin taking care of the umbilical cords, they will take notes on each puppy as they are delivered, treating any puppies that appear to have medical conditions. The puppies will be moved to an incubator or warming area. Once the puppies have all been given the all clear, you can take them home.

During the recovery period

When you take your dog and her puppies home, you will need to monitor your dog and her puppies carefully. The vet will provide you with detailed instructions on caring for and monitoring the puppies and momma dog, as well as any pain medications prescribed for your dog.

It is important to following your vet's instructions carefully. They can help you spot any issues right away and prevent any further complications.

Ready to welcome a litter of pups? Book an appointment today to go over with our vet the best course of action for the safety of your dog and her pups.

New Patients Welcome

Companion Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Groton companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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