If you are thinking of breeding your own pet it's important to make sure you are fully aware of the complications, costs and work involved. It's no small task having a litter of puppies or kittens and involves a considerably large amount of work. We always advice clients to make sure they plan and save for the worst and hopefully they have a smooth pregnancy and delivery.
The main cause of veterinary surgeons preforming emergency caesareans is dystocia of the pup: Dystocia is defined as the inability to expel the fetus through the birth canal without assistance. Signs of dystocia are a abdominal straining for more than 30 minutes without delivery of a puppy, Intermittent abdominal straining for more than 1 hour without delivery of a puppy, Green discharge (beginning of placental separation)Indicators of dystocia after delivery of the first puppy are: More than an hour passes between the birth of two puppies, green discharge or a foul smelling discharge.
The caesarean procedure: An incision is made from the bellybutton to the pubis of the dog. Once the abdomen is open, the uterus is brought to the surface. One horn may be pulled up and carefully incised. The hole must be large enough for the pups to be pulled through. The placentas should be gently detached with each pup if possible. The first uterine horn can be placed back in the body, and the process will then repeat with the second uterine horn. Once all puppies are out, the placentas should be counted to ensure none remain in the uterus, as this can lead to infection. Each pup will need to be removed from its sack, and each cord will need to cut. The surgical site will then be sutured shut, with subcuticular stitching so as to not interfere with nursing of the pups.
Here is a picture of emergency caesareans we preformed this week.