Being a mom is always exciting for every being, regardless of what species they are. It’s special, and holding the baby in your arms or in your dog’s case (licking them) is always a priceless moment.
However, sometimes having a normal delivery can be risky, and the only option left to save your dog is through a cesarian birth, which brings us to today’s topic.
I’ll be giving you pointers on what to expect during a dog’s c-section, what happens as well as the dog c-section cost.
Let’s get started.
What is a C-section in Dogs?
A dog cesarean section, also known as hysterotomy, is a surgical process where a vet removes the unborn fetuses from the womb during delivery.
During a C-section, the vet will cut your dog’s uterus open and manually remove the puppies. This means that your dog will not need to put any effort into the delivery process.
A canine cesarian birth allows the doctor to have a visual field, enhancing precision and control over the procedure.
There are many reasons that may cause a veterinarian to suggest a c-section for your dog, and we will discuss them in the next section.
When is a C-section Delivery Required?
As a pet parent, your dog may need a c-section, but you might not be aware of it.
If your dog is currently pregnant and you’re wondering whether or not your female dog will need a c-section, I got you.
Here are the leading common reasons for dog c-sections.
This is when a dog breeder chooses to have their dog have a c-section without the vet’s recommendation.
One of the reasons that may influence this decision is a hysterotomy history in the past. Another reason is if the dog had a difficult birthing in the past. And lastly, if the dog is expecting a huge litter.
Some dog breeds have difficultly giving birth, and as a result, a c-section is recommended to avoid complications or possible death.
These dog breeds include Boston terrier, mastiff, bulldogs, clumber spaniel, German Wirehaired, miniature bull terrier, Scottish terrier, Pekingese, French bulldog, and Dandie dinmont terrier.
Some puppies have huge heads, and they might not be able to pass through the birth canal. And in some cases, the mother simply has narrow hips that may strain their heads.
Although a bit of bleeding is expected during canine delivery, your dog may require some intervention if they’re bleeding excessively.
Excessive bleeding can be a sign of internal bleeding, which may cause the dog to pass out.
Therefore, it may be time to consider a c-section.
A breach pregnancy is when a puppy is delivered with tail and bottom first. This indicates a difficult delivery, and a cesarean section is required.
This is when the uterus walls are too weak to contract and push the puppies.
Uterine inertia can stall the labor, so a c-section is required to get the babies out.
Intrauterine Fetal Death
This is when the puppies die in the uterus. Or what is referred to as a ‘stillbirth.’
If this happens, a c-section is required to remove the pup from the uterus.
Dog C-section Cost
Like other dog surgeries, there is no specific answer for the dog c-section cost.
It can be anywhere between $500 and $2000; some pet parents have had to part with a whopping $5000 for the procedure.
Some of the factors that affect the price include:
Well, they say timing is everything, and that couldn’t be more accurate in this scenario. For example, if your dog is operated during regular working hours, you may pay $500. However, the same procedure can cost three times more if it’s done past business hours. This includes weekends, late nights, and holidays.
Where the c-section is done
This is another factor that can significantly affect the pricing. Your dog’s c-section will be cheaper if it’s done by the local vet clinic than if it’s done in an animal ER- hospital. Unfortunately, an ER is your best shot if it’s an emergency c-section.
Other factors used to determine the cost include the dog’s health condition, weight, size, and age.
Surgical Procedure of a C-section
Once you get to the vet, they’ll do some physical tests and examine the mother to ensure she’s fit for the surgery.
The dog is then given anesthesia to block its nerves. If she wasn’t shaved in the surgical area, the technician will shave her first for easy access to the surgery site. They then make an incision where they insert the IV catheter.
Note that everything fed to the mother is passed along to the babies, so everything is administered sparingly.
For instance, some reports have shown that if a dog is given ketamine valium, it increases the puppies’ revival time by 20 times!
After administering the meds and anesthesia, the real procedure begins.
They’re two teams during the surgical process—one to take care of the puppies and another one to handle the actual procedure.
The vet makes an incision where the uterus is big enough to allow the puppies out. Next, the puppies are taken out alongside their placentas and handed over to the resuscitation team.
After all the babies are out, the vet removes anything left in the placenta and seals the cut.
The dog is then given some oxytocin to assist in milk production and the production of maternal hormones.
After the Surgical Process
Once all the puppies are out, the resuscitation team starts the process of reviving the puppies immediately.
It can take up to an hour for the puppies to start breathing on their own. This is done by rubbing down the puppies, which also helps in providing them with body heat.
In some cases, CPR may be required to bring back the pups. Later, the umbilicus is cut, and the babies are taken to their mom for bonding.
It’s important that the pups start feeding right away so the dam can start producing milk.
Risks and Complications
And although most c-section surgeries are successful, it’s only fair that you know both sides of the story.
The risks involved can happen before, during, or after the cesarian birth. For example, some dogs may have an adverse reaction to anesthesia and medication administered before surgery.
Also, the dog may acquire injuries during the procedure, or suffer from hemorrhaging and blood clots.
Complications that may occur after the surgery involve the incision scars tearing open.
The puppies can also be at risk as some can be injured during the process, reducing their survival chances. For instance, the pup’s lungs may be hurt, blocking the airways, which could cause death.
Planning and Preparation for Dog C-section Surgery
How well you prepare your dog for surgery will make the procedure easier on them.
This is obviously only possible when it’s not an emergency c-section.
Some of the things you can do to prepare your dog for a c-section include:
Applying an Adaptil collar on the mum a few days before the to enhance the release of pheromones. It helps relax the puppies, especially during the first two weeks because they’re born blind and deaf. When a pup moves away from its mom, it can suffer so much anxiety, so the pheromones help calm down once it gets close to its mom.
Shave the surgical area
This isn’t necessary, but it’s required. You may as well do it in advance because the surgical site has to be shaved for precision during the incision.
You can also bathe the mom-to-be a day before so that she will be clean and relaxed.
Don’t feed her on the surgery day
You may feed her the night before, but that’s all the food she can have before surgery. However, she can have some water unless the vet advises otherwise.
If she’s on any medication, she can still take it on the morning of the surgery.
Lastly, ensure you get to the clinic at least 1-2 hours before the scheduled time so that you have time to sort anything you might have missed.
Recovery & Homecare after C-Section
A c-section can be very draining for your dog, so they’ll need the care to recover and help with taking care of their puppies.
Some of the things you can do for your dog after a c-section include:
Feeding them quality food
Now more than ever, your dog will need proper nutrients to recover from surgery as well as take care of her litter.
Feeding them foods designed for lactating dogs is always a good idea as they have what your dog needs.
However, after the surgery, give your dog about half of the food you feed them because they might throw up if they overfeed.
Buy the mother the required medication.
Your vet will suggest some meds to ease the pain and aid the mother in lactating.
Follow the instructions and avoid giving them other meds without consulting the vet.
Keep an eye on any warning signs.
A c-section is major surgery, so your dog will have some side effects such as fluctuation in body temperature and bloody discharge from her vagina.
However, if you realize they have a fever, be sure to ring your vet immediately.
Take care of the puppies
For starters, in the first hours, your dog may still be recovering from anesthetics. This means she may unconsciously fall or rollover on the pups. Therefore, you’ll need to keep an eye on the family.
Also, since the c-section doesn’t offer the natural bonding experience for the dog and their pups, so the mother may reject the puppies at first. This means your dog will need time adjusting to motherhood. Be sure to monitor her interaction with puppies for the first few weeks.
C-section Prevention in Dogs
It’s tough to prevent c-sections, especially if they’re emergencies. However, they’re some things you can do for your pregnant dog to ensure they deliver naturally.
Some of them include:
- Feeding them with quality food during pregnancy
- Taking the dog for regular checkups
- Ensuring they’re getting enough exercise.
Another precaution that can be taken is not breeding dams that have a history of complicated births.
Also, if your dog has had a c-section before, consider stopping breeding them.
FAQs on Dog Cesarean Sections
Here are some of the common questions asked about c-section for dogs.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Cesarean?
Many insurance companies don’t cover issues revolving around pregnancy, whelping, nursing, and breeding.
However, in some cases, if your dog experiences some health complications during an emergency c-sections, the insurance may cover it.
That said, only a few plans will pay for elective c-sections. If you’re planning on breeding, find an insurance cover that includes birthing issues.
How early can a dog have a c-section?
The earliest a dog can have a c-section is on the 61st day because before then, the pups’ lungs are yet to develop, so they may only live for a few minutes.
If possible, it’s best to have the c-section on day 65 after their ovulation date.
Dog C-Section (Final Words)
It’s always a great moment as a breeder when you realize your dog is pregnant.
While dogs will have a smooth pregnancy and delivery most of the time, that’s not always the case.
If your dogs need a c-section, don’t panic, it’s okay, and the surgical procedure is straightforward with few risks.
I hope you learned everything there is about dog c-section.
If your dog is scheduled for a c-section, I’m sending lots of love. XoXo.