If your dog needs a Cesarean section to deliver her pups, you may feel anxious and worried, and rightly so. Any surgical procedure does have its risks, however Cesarean sections usually result in a very positive outcome for the bitch and any pups that are still alive in her uterus.

Here is a step by step guide to what happens during a Cesarean section.

1. Your dog is given a general anesthetic and given intravenous fluids to support her circulation during the surgery.

2. Her abdomen is shaved and prepared with surgical scrub, so her skin is as sterile as possible.

3. A long incision is made through her abdominal skin and then through the abdominal muscles, and one horn of her uterus is brought out through the incision. Bitches have two uterine horns and pups are usually present in both.

4. The uterus is cut, and the pup is taken out and passed to an assistant surgeon or veterinary technician. They remove the amniotic sac, clean out the pup’s nose and mouth and stimulate it to breathe. They also clamp and cut the umbilical cord.

5. This is repeated until all pups are delivered, then the surgeon stitches the uterus closed. They then close the muscle layer, and finally the skin.

6. Depending on how “clean” the surgery was, antibiotics may be given to the bitch to prevent infection. This is more likely when there were dead pups in the uterus that had started to decompose. This is an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

7. The bitch is then allowed to recover in a warm environment. When she is awake, she is introduced to her pups under close supervision. She may be feeling a bit confused or anxious after the surgery, and her abdomen around her nipples will be uncomfortable. She needs to be watched to make sure she doesn’t show aggression towards her new babies.

In Summary – A Cesarean section doesn’t mean you can’t breed your bitch again, it just means that you need to be extra cautious when she is due to give birth. The reasons for her first Cesarean section may occur again, and your veterinarian may recommend that she have a second planned Cesarean, just to be safe.