At Raintree Veterinary Center, our skilled veterinarians perform scheduled and emergency C-sections for Hoquiam dogs and cats.
What is a C-Section?
A C-section (or cesarean) is a major surgery involving the removal of puppies or kittens from the uterus of a dog or cat.
C-sections are often performed in emergency cases where an animal will unable to safely give birth through natural means.
Dogs and cats generally recover quickly from C-sections and without complications.
Bathing your pet in the days leading up to the surgery is a good idea if it is possible to do so safely. It may be a while until you are able to do so again once the surgery is complete. Bathing your dog or cat before the C-section also means that she will already be clean for the surgery itself and once she begins caring for her new puppies or kittens.
Your dog or cat may eat as usual the night before a C-section, but not the morning of the procedure. Water is fine right up until your appointment, as are any medications your pet has to take along with a small amount of food to encourage her to take it. Be sure to discontinue the use of any topical flea or tick products at least a week before the surgery.
Your veterinarian will provide specific instructions for pre-operation well in advance.
- Why does my pet need a C-section?
C-sections are usually done in emergency situations for cats and dogs when an animal has been laboring for too long or will otherwise be unable to give birth naturally without veterinary assistance.
- Are there any risks associated with C-sections?
Complications resulting from C-sections are rare, but there are always risks involved with surgery. Potential complications could include:
- Pyometra: Uterine infection
- Post-operative hemorrhaging
- Anesthetic death
- What can I expect during the immediate recovery period?
Anesthesia should wear off shortly after the surgery is completed. By the time most cats or dogs have returned home, they will have fully recovered from the effects of the anesthetic, however, it is possible for recovery to take up to 6 hours.
During this recovery period, keep a close eye on your pet to make sure that she does not hurt herself or her puppies/kittens by falling down or rolling over. Make sure she is fully aware and alert, has begun actively caring for her new babies, and is able to stand unassisted before leaving her alone.
New mom should begin eating within the first few hours of returning home. Make sure she is only having a small amount of food or water at a time, but offer them to her every 15 minutes to half-hour for the first 24 hours post-surgery. Eating or drinking too much or too quickly could result in vomiting.
While nursing, a dog or cat will require lots of food. For the first week post-surgery, she will need around one-and-a-half times her regular amount of food. By the time she has been nursing for about 4 weeks, she should be eating anywhere from two to three times her normal amount of food. Make sure she is being fed a higher quality food in order to give her and her new babies the nutrition they need.
After a C-section, the new mother and her babies should be closely watched for the first 24 hours to make sure the babies are safe and mother is caring for them well.
You will need to stay up overnight and place the puppies or kittens on the teats of your pet to make sure they feed. This will also help the mother's natural hormones to kick in and encourage her mothering instincts.
You should make sure the environment around the newborns and mother is warm and dry. Ideally, this involves lots of soft towels and a source of warmth that is safe for them to be around. Replace the towels regularly as they become wet.
There should always be ample food and water available, new mothers need up to 3 times their regular amounts of food and water to produce milk for their children.
Keep a close eye on the mother's incision. Monitor for signs of infection such as swelling or redness and make sure the area stays clean.
Keeping the new family's bedding clean will also reduce the risk of infection, as will checking the umbilical cords for redness or swelling.