At our hospital, we perform both planned and limited emergency C-sections. For some breeds, C-sections must be performed for the safety of the bitch and successful delivery of the puppies. Along with progesterone timing, ultrasounds and radiology we can determine the expected parturition date. Planned C-sections are scheduled around 64 days after the LH surge, which is determined by our in-house progesterone blood tests. The ultrasound helps us to see the maturation of the puppies by looking at heart rate (180 or above), kidney development and gut motility. These are indicators that tell our staff how close your pregnant female is to delivery. If these diagnostic tools were not used for your bitch, there are still other ways we can approximately determine the day of delivery, such as a decrease in appetite, lactation, and a drop in temperature. This tells us that your bitch could deliver within 24 hours.
Before your bitch’s C-section, a pre-anesthetic blood test is run. This tells us how her organ function, blood sugar, calcium and electrolyte levels are. We also give the mother concentrated O2 to help oxygenate her tissues and the puppies. Safe medications are administered before, during and after surgery. Oxytocin is given in order to shrink the uterus and increase lactation. After the mother has recovered from anesthesia, the puppies are taken from the incubator to the mother to nurse and be monitored.