Our veterinary team at Paws & Claws Veterinary Hospital performs emergency and scheduled C-sections for cats and dogs in the Tracy area.
What is a C-Section?
A C-section (or cesarean) is major surgery. It involves the surgical removal of kittens or puppies from the uterus of your dog or cat.
C-sections are often performed in emergency situations where an animal won't be able to give birth through natural means.
The recovery from a C-section is usually quite quick and complications are rare.
Preparing for a C-Section
If it is possible to do so safely, consider bathing your pet in the days leading up to the surgery. It may be a while until you are able to do so again once the surgery is complete. Bathing your pet before the surgery also means that she will already be clean for the surgery itself.
Your pet may eat 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. Discontinue the use of any topical flea or tick products in the week leading up to the surgery.
Your vet will provide specific instructions for pre-operation well in advance.
For more information about C-sections at our Tracy, pet hospital read through the answers below.
- Why does my pet need a c-section?
C-sections are usually done in emergency situations for cats and dogs. Most often, this happens when an animal has been laboring for too long or won't be able to give birth naturally for some other reason.
- Are there any risks associated with c-sections?
Complications are rare as a result of C-section procedures, but there is some risk involved in any surgery. Possible 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. 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 the recovery period, make sure you keep a close eye on your pet to ensure that she doesn't hurt herself or her new babies. Make sure your pet is fully awake and alert and has begun caring for her children before leaving her alone with them.
Your 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. If she eats or drinks too much, however, she could vomit.
During their nursing period, your pet will need lots of food. For the first week after surgery, she will require about 1.5 times her regular food and after a month she should be eating anywhere from 2 - 3 times as much food as normal. Make sure she is being fed a higher quality food too in order to give her and her new babies enough nutrition.
Home Care After a C-Section
After a C-section, it is important to monitor the new mother and her babies for up to 24 hours after the procedure to make sure that the babies remain safe and the mother is well.
You will have to stay up overnight and place the kittens or puppies on the teat of your pet to ensure they feed properly. This will also ensure that their mother's natural hormones kick in and will encourage her mothering instincts.
You should make sure the environment around the newborns and mother is warm and dry. Ideally, this involves lots of towels and a source of warmth that is safe for them to be around. Replace the towels as they become wet.
Make sure that there is always plenty of food and water available, new mothers need up to 3 times their regular amounts of food and water in order to produce adequate milk for their little ones.
Keep a close eye on your pet's surgical wound. Monitor the incision site for any signs of infection such as swelling or redness, and also make sure the area remains clean.
Keeping the mother and babies' bedding clean will help to reduce the risk of infection, as will checking the umbilical cords for any signs of redness or swelling.