It can be an exciting time when your dog is expecting puppies but sometimes they may need a little help when it comes to delivering. In this post, our Eastham vets share some important information about c-sections for dogs and when one might be needed.
What should you expect during your dog's labor?
Your dog will be pregnant for approximately 64 days. At this point, it will be time for them to have their puppies! But how will you know when your dog is in labor? Luckily, there are a few telltale signs to watch for.
When it comes time for your dog to give birth, you may notice that she is far more restless than normal and she may start to nest or paw at her bed, making a nest.
She will have limited to no appetite starting about 24 hours before going into active labor. 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.
What are some of the main signs of complications during labor?
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 Eastham vets. You can watch for certain signs throughout labor which can indicate whether or not you should have the assistance of a vet for delivery.
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 excess 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 your nearest emergency vet in Eastham as soon as possible.
When might your vet recommend an elective c-section?
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. 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.
Is there a limit on the number of c-sections that my dog can have?
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 in a lifetime. Having more than 3 could affect the health of your dog and their future puppies.
What can you do to prepare 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,
- 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 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 should you bring to your dog's c-section 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.
What can you expect to happen on the day of the procedure?
Once you arrive at the vet clinic, the staff should already be prepared for your visit and will take your dog back to the surgical suite. Once there, 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.
What are the costs associated with c-sections for dogs?
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 does recovery look like for dogs after they've had a c-section?
Once you are allowed to head home with your dog and her new puppies you will be to continue to watch them closely to ensure there are no concerns. The 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.
It is important to follow your vet's instructions carefully! They can help you spot any issues right away and prevent any further complications.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.