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There are times when, in spite of your best efforts, your dog has trouble giving birth to her babies. If this happens, she may need a cesarean section.
There are several reasons a dog may need a surgical delivery.
1. She may have a pup that is blocking the birth canal. This can occur if her pup is very large, or if she is tiny with a small pelvis.
2. She may have uterine inertia, which means her uterus just doesn’t contract.
3. She may be exhausted from a long labor and is too tired to deliver her last few babies.
4. Labor is taking a long time, and there is the chance that her pups are at risk.
Cesarean sections in dogs are done under general anesthesia. Modern drugs are very safe, and the risk of them affecting the puppies is very small indeed.
The expectant mom will be given intravenous fluids, and then anesthetized. Her abdomen will be shaved and scrubbed clean.
The veterinarian will make an incision in her skin straight down the middle of her tummy, between her mammary glands. He will then cut through her abdominal muscles, and gently bring her uterus out through the incision.
The next part of the procedure is to cut through the wall of the uterus and remove the puppies one at a time. The babies are passed to the veterinary nursing team, who are ready to resuscitate the pups, and dry them off.
At this point, the veterinarian will be kept busy suturing firstly the uterus, then the abdominal muscle, and finally the skin. He will put a dressing over the wound to keep it clean, and then mom is allowed to wake up.
After a cesarean delivery, your dog will need to be watched carefully while she is with her puppies. Her tummy may be sore, and she may not let her pups feed from her. You’ll need to sit with her and keep her calm so her pups can nurse.
Make sure she is eating well, and keep an eye on her incision to make sure there is no discharge or sign of infection. Her sutures can be removed in 10 days.
In Summary – If things aren’t going well with your dog’s delivery, consider the possibility of a cesarean section sooner rather than later. It may just save your puppies’ lives.
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