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Emergency Case

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Pet Owner Resources

C-Section

C-Section

C-Section (Cesarean Section)

When a mother’s uterus becomes fatigued from excessive straining and pushing the puppies become trapped and can’t be pushed out.  A Cesarean Section is a surgical procedure in which unborn puppies are surgically removed from the mother’s uterus.  It is performed when an animal is having problems while delivering the newborns and is typically an emergency surgery.  Most C-Sections are not planned procedures.  The mother is usually brought to us either after prolonged straining without delivering, extended duration between deliveries or when a puppy is visibly stuck within the vaginal canal

Image result for Dog Taking Care of a C-Section

Diagnosis

Determining the need for a cesarean requires a few tests on the dog.  We may perform a digital vaginal palpation to evaluate maternal pelvic abnormalities, the size of the fetus and to attempt manual removal without surgery.  X-rays or abdominal ultrasound are frequently performed to evaluate the number and size of the remaining fetuses, the shape of the mother’s pelvis in relation to the puppies and may indicate whether the puppies are viable (still alive).  For certain breeds prone to dystocia (difficult birth), such as English Bulldogs, a cesarean may be planned.

X-rays or abdominal ultrasound are frequently performed to evaluate the number and size of the remaining fetuses, the shape of the mother’s pelvis in relation to the puppies and may indicate whether the puppies are viable (still alive).  For certain breeds prone to dystocia (difficult birth), such as English Bulldogs, a cesarean may be planned.

Image result for Dog Taking Care of a C-Section

This x-ray shows a very large single puppy that is too large to fit through the birth canal therefore a cesarean would be recommended.

This area contains graphic pictures of an actual surgical procedure performed at the hospital.

How is a C-Section performed?

Surgery is the final step after medical management has failed to assist the pregnant pet to deliver naturally.  It is performed to retrieve any remaining puppies from the mother that is unable to deliver them herself.  The mother must be carefully anesthetized in order to perform surgery safely while minimally affecting the unborn puppies.

Home care and Prevention

After your pet goes home from the hospital, she will need to be kept quiet indoors while she heals. It is important that you prevent excessive activity and rough-housing.  The incision should be monitored daily for signs of excess redness, swelling or discharge.  Do not allow your dog to lick or chew at the incision and if this is impossible, you should obtain an Elizabethan collar that is placed around the neck to put a physical barrier up to prevent access to the incision. Some vaginal discharge is expected for a few weeks after pregnancy and C-Section.

The only way to prevent the need for a C-Section is by avoiding pregnancy in your pet.  Early spaying of your pet will make it impossible for her to become pregnant.

The following photos are from a C-Section…

Image result for Dog Taking Care of a C-Section

After the incision through the skin, fat, muscle the uterus is exteriorized.

Uterus-incision

An incision is now made into the uterus

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This large puppy was removed after the placenta was separated from the uterine wall.

The uterus now has to be sutured closed after the puppy was removed.

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Here’s the little one after he was cleaned up!

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Sometimes there’s only one pup but other times there’s a whole bunch!

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