What is a C-Section?

A caesarean section, or C-Section, is major surgery performed to remove puppies/Kittens from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth.

Most pets have fully recovered from anesthesia by the time they leave the clinic. Natural birth, where possible is advised; however with some breeds such as English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Mastiffs it is advisable to prevent any complications associated with natural delivery.

Elective or an emergency caesarean section is used for preventing or treating Dystocia (Dystocia is the medical term used to diagnose a difficult birthing experience).

At our practice, we typically schedule C-sections between 58 and 62 days after the first mating to prevent the need for emergency admittance. In most cases, 63 days from ovulation is within 24 hours of the ideal due date. However, without precise progesterone monitoring at the time of breeding, this timing may be off. Early Delivery may also be the case for bitches carrying large litters because of this, we recommend you monitor her the last 48 hours before her surgery to be sure she does not go into labor unattended.

On The Day:

Please be advised that NO food or drink is to be consumed on the day of the C-Section.

Before starting the C-section, one of our vets will first perform an ultrasound scan and reverse progesterone test to ensure the puppies are developed enough and the mom is close to natural labour.

When you come in for your pet’s caesarean, we recommend bringing the following items:

  • Towels
  • Blankets
  • Basket or box for the puppies
  • Hot water bottle or heat pad (we will provide hot gloves)



Your pet will be treated as an outpatient, meaning there is no need to hospitalize and will typically be ok to go home within 2-3 hours. It is very important not to allow your bitch to eat or drink anything post-surgery for a minimum of 5 hours.

After the C-section, a variety of medications will be sent home with you for your pet and a vet will explain in detail on how to administer these.

Guidance to caring for your bitch and pups:

  • Do not leave the pups with the bitch unattended until you are sure she will accept the puppies. When she is with the puppies, keep a close eye on her to ensure she does not stand or lay on them.
  • Be sure to keep a detailed record of the puppies daily; weight, bowel movements, feeding time. Be prepared to bottle or tube feed the pups if they are not gaining well or if they are becoming dehydrated.
  • Contact us for assistance if the pups aren’t nursing well, have dark-coloured urine or are not gaining weight.
  • Monitor the bitch’s stitches, eating/drinking habits, mammary glands; if she runs a high temperature, stops eating/drinking or does not open bowels, contact us immediately.


Noemi Vet with puppies at local Vets


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