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C-Section for Dogs: Everything You Should Know

If your dog is going to be having puppies you might be wondering if she needs a C-section. In this post, our Memphis vets explain everything you need about C-sections for your dog. 

Natural Labor

After about 64 days since your dog got pregnant, it will be time for her to give birth. There are a few things you need to look out for as indications that your dog is in labor. When it comes time for your dog to give birth, you may notice:

  • Restless
  • Starting to nest or paw at her bed
  • Limited to no appetite starting about 24 hours before going into active labor 
  • Vomiting
  • 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 they will need little to no help from you, but sometimes complications arise and your 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 extra help from you and the vet.

The first thing you should be aware of is if she has been pushing for extended periods. Pushing can take time but it should not take your dog more than 45-60 minutes to push out each puppy and contractions should not last more than 45 minutes before the first puppy.

If your dog is showing signs of extreme fatigue or pain, vomiting, and access bloody discharge then it may be time to seek medical attention because the puppy could be stuck in the birthing canal blocking all other puppies from coming out as well.

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

When Are Elective 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:

  • Puppies are larger than average
  • She is only having one puppy
  • 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. Many breeders believe that a dog should not have more than 2-3 C-sections in a lifetime, since having more than 3 could affect the health of your dog and their future puppies.

Preparing Your Dog for a 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
  • Bathe your dog a few days before their C-section (2-3 days)
  • Your dog can not eat on the day of the C-section,
  • If your dog is taking any medications you must speak with your veterinarian before the c-section for instructions on how to proceed with them

Checklist of Items to 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 afterward

On the 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.

The vet 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. Once the puppies have all been cleared, you can take them home.

Cost of a C-Section 

The cost of your dog's C-section can change due to several factors including the dog pet's size and breed, your dog's age, and if they have any health issues that could cause complications.

What Should you Expect During the Recovery Period?

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

If you notice anything unusual about your dog and her puppies contact your vet.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.

      Is your dog expecting puppies? Contact our PetVax Complete Care Centers vets today to book an examination for your canine companion to help monitor the mom-to-be's health.

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