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
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