Description: A cesarean section (c-section) is a surgical procedure performed when a female dog or cat is experiencing dystocia or as a scheduled surgery for brachycephalic breeds, such as English Bulldogs or French Bulldogs, to help with delivery.
What is dystocia? Difficulty whelping/giving birth and can be influenced by a variety of factors including; genetics, size disparity (i.e. father much larger than mother), poor nutrition, exhaustion, etc.
Symptoms of dystocia: prolonged gestation (being past the due date), labor lasting more than 24 hours, puppy/kitten visible in the birth canal for more than 15 minutes without progression, green discharge without a puppy/kitten being produced within 15 minutes, more than 2 hours between puppies/kittens WITHOUT active contractions.
What questions do we ask?
How long has your pet been in labor?
Have any puppies/kittens been born?
How long in between?
How long has your pet been having active contractions?
Are they moving around?
Is there a puppy/kitten in the birth canal?
How long has it been there?
- Is your pet having any discharge?
What are the steps we take to treat your pet?
- The first step in diagnosing and treating your pet is a taking a thorough history and completing a thorough physical exam.
- We may also recommend some general blood testing (chemistry panel and complete blood count) to check organ function and for infections.
- Radiograph imaging or an ultrasound may also be helpful to improve visualization.
What are potential treatment plans?
Manipulative Intervention: may be appropriate in cases of mild dystocia with only a few puppies/kittens remaining.
Medical Therapy: may be appropriate in cases of mild dystocia where the mother has weak or infrequent contractions. Medications such as oxytocin or calcium can be used to help with stimulation.
Surgical Therapy: cesarean sections are performed when medical therapy fails, there is an obstruction or fetal distress.
What are the risks if a cesarean section is not preformed?
Dystocia is a life-threatening emergency and can be fatal to both the mother and puppies/kittens when left untreated.
Animal Doctor Provider:
Dr. Wacker has been preforming cesarean sections since 2016.