Caesarean Sections

All staff at Kantenna Park Veterinary Clinic are well-trained and experienced in performing routine and emergency C-sections.

C-sections are indicated in some breeds of dogs that are at high risk of whelping complications (dystocia), such as French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston Terriers and British Bulldogs. C-sections can also be elective for any dog or cat, or performed in case of an emergency for any breed of dog or cat having trouble with whelping.

Our team will talk you through the days leading up to a scheduled C-section. Certain criteria will be taken into account to plan when a c-section is to be performed:

  • How far along the pregnancy is (C-sections usually performed between Days 60-63)
  • How the bitch was mated (eg natural, frozen artificial insemination etc)
  • Drop in progesterone levels
  • Foetal heart rates - assessed via an ultrasound
  • Signs of first stages of labour

A c-section is performed with the mother under a general anaesthetic. The abdomen is opened to expose the uterus, and the uterus is cut into in order to retrieve the puppies in their placental sacks. Each puppy is removed, and the placenta is separated from the puppy. The puppy is then handed to one of our expert nurses for resuscitation and recovery. The nurse will assess the newborn pup for any birth defects such as cleft palates, weigh and sex the puppy, tie off the umbilical cord, and record observations on a chart.

The puppy is then placed into a 'Humidicrib' set to a warm, comfortable temperature until the entire litter of puppies has been retrieved and the mother has recovered from anaesthetic.

Once the mother has recovered, the puppies are encouraged to feed off the mother in order to receive colostrum - the nutrient-rich milk produced within the first 24 hours of birth, containing immune and growth factors. The nurse will monitor this process and identify if there are issues with any of the puppies' ability to suckle, or issues with the mother's milk production.

Once the puppies are fed, the mother is warmed and recovered, it is time to take the newborns home!