If your dog is about to have puppies, it is undoubtedly an exciting time. If they have trouble giving birth, our Torrance vets are here to tell you all about c-sections and how they can help.
Natural Labor & When To Seek Emergency Care
So it's been about 64 days since your dog got pregnant and now it's time for her to deliver her litter of puppies. There are a few things you need to look out for as indications that your dog is in labor.
When your dog goes into labor, you may notice her acting more restless than she normally is, and she may start to nest or paw at her bed, making a nest.
She will have minimal to no appetite starting about 24 hours before active labor begins. Your dog may start to get sick and vomit and she will have mucus discharge. Your dog may start licking her vulva. All of these things are normal for natural labor and are not signs you need to be concerned about.
Signs of Labor Complications in Dogs
More often than not, your dog can safely give birth at home with little to no help, but sometimes complications arise and your will need to bring your dog to the Torrance 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.
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 emerges.
If your dog is showing signs of extreme fatigue or pain, vomiting, and excess bloody discharge then it is a good idea to seek veterinary care 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 Torrance vets as soon as possible.
When We Recommend Elective C-Sections
While healthy pregnancies in dogs are very common and are generally completed unaided, in some cases an elective c-section may be recommended. Your dog may need a scheduled c-section if:
- Puppies are larger than your dog can push through the birth canal
- 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 how labor progresses
- 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 Is Too Many C-Sections?
When it comes to how many c-sections a dog can have, there is no set answer but many breeds believe that a dog should not have more than 2-3 c-sections. Having more than 3 could affect the health of your dog and their future puppies.
Preparing Your Pet For A C-Section
There are a few things that you should do leading up to your dog’s C-section;
- Stop using flea and tick medications at least 1 week before your dog’s C-section
- Apply an Adaptil (DAP) to her collar 3 days before the C-section
- Bathe your dog 2 - 3 days before the c-section. It is better to have your dog as clean as possible before 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 you must 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 To Bring With You To The Vet
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
What Happens 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.
After the puppies are resuscitated, 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, 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.
How Much Can A C-section Cost?
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 You Should Expect During Your Dogs Recovery
When you take your dog and the new puppies home, you will need to monitor your dog and her puppies closely for a number of days. The vet will provide you with caring instructions for monitoring the puppies and mom, as well as any pain medications prescribed for your dog.
It is important to follow your vet's instructions carefully! They can help you spot any issues right away and prevent any further complications.