Caesarian Operations for Dogs

Veterinary assistance at a whelping is as likely to involved a caesarian operation as not. The bitch is too small to allow very much manipulation if she has problems producing puppies. In earlier times assisted whelping involved the use of instruments inserted into her vagina, but this has largely been discontinued in favor of surgery. Caesarians are now more popular, partly for humane reasons, but mainly because of the existence of low-risk anesthetics coupled with surgical techniques that have improved so much over the years that a successful outcome of the operation can usually be anticipated.


To produce live puppies and a healthily recovering bitch, the operation must be carried out earlier rather than later. The subject should be discussed with the veterinarian well before the whelping is due, so that both parties know the other's feeling about the operation. The veterinarian must be called in before the bitch has become exhausted from straining unsuccessfully to produce her puppies.


Sadly, some breeds have such a poor reputation for natural whelping that caesarian operations are carried out routinely, without waiting for indications of failure by the bitch. Breeders in these breeds must reconsider their whole outlook on dog breeding if their breeds are to continue to be popular.


Other than in these special circumstances, caesarian operations are usually carried out as a matter of emergency. Most veterinarians will ask you to bring the bitch to the office if there are whelping difficulties, rather than visit the house, so that operating facilities are at hand.


The otherwise healthy bitch and her puppies will thrive best back in her home environment, and the veterinarian will release them as soon as possible. Once home she may need a little coaxing to accept and feed the puppies; as far as she is concerned, they just appeared while she was asleep. Careful introductions almost always work, but she may need some help initially to attach the puppies to the teats. Once they are sucking normally, the bitch will realize what she is supposed to do.


After the first day or two, a bitch who has had a caesarian may be treated the same as a bitch who has produced the puppies naturally.

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