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Caesarian Sections in Dogs
Some of the smaller breed dogs like bulldogs, Boston terriers and pugs have large, broad heads and can be quite broad through the shoulder area. This type of conformation has already developed in the full-term puppies in a mother dog’s uterus, so a mismatch of puppy proportion and birth canal size (cephalopelvic disproportion) can lead to difficult birth or dystocia. The birth canal can only accommodate a certain size of puppy so larger puppies may be unable to fit through the pelvis portion of the birth canal.

Caesarian section may be needed in order to relieve dystocia. Ideally, you should learn about the C-section procedure from your veterinary health care team well ahead of time so if your dog requires surgical intervention at birth, you are prepared for the situation and will know when to call your veterinarian.

If your dog is not progressing with the birthing process, a full physical examination, including a vaginal examination, and X-rays or ultrasound will be needed to fully assess the situation.

Anesthesia protocols for C-sections vary according to surgeon preference, the dog’s temperament, and the health status of the bitch/puppies. Newer anesthetic regimens and modern monitoring and surgical protocols have resulted in a reduction in birthing complications. Your veterinary health care team can advise you regarding proper post-operative care of the puppies and the mother dog.
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