CESAREAN SECTION POST-OPERATIVE
cesarean section is major surgery to remove puppies from the uterus.
Most dogs recover quickly from this procedure; however, if your dog
was in labor for several hours before surgery was performed, her
recovery will be slower, and she will need extra attention and help
with her litter.
should I expect during the mother's recovery period?
mother has been given an anesthetic that is eliminated from her body
quickly. Most dogs have fully recovered from anesthesia by the time
they arrive home. Complete recovery from anesthetic may take 2-6
hours, depending on the mother's physical condition at the time of
surgery and her age.
During the recovery period, she must be restrained so that she does
not fall and hurt herself or roll over and crush the puppies. The
puppies should not be left alone with her until she is completely
awake and able to stand on her own.
mother should begin eating within a few hours after she is
completely awake. Encourage her to eat and drink all that she wants,
being careful that she does not overload her stomach by eating too
quickly. This can result in vomiting. Her food intake at this time
should be about 1½ times her normal food intake. By the third or
fourth week of nursing, her food intake may be 2 to 2½ times normal.
mother's temperature may rise 1º-2ºF above normal the first 1-3 days
after delivery, then it should return to the normal range. The
normal range is 100º-102ºF (37.8º-38.9ºC). Your dog should not be
given aspirin or other medications without consulting your
veterinarian. If the mother's temperature goes above 104ºF (40ºC),
she and her litter should be examined by a veterinarian for the
presence of serious complications.
should the puppies begin to nurse?
puppies should be ready to nurse as soon as you arrive home.
Although the mother may not be awake enough to nurse the puppies
alone, you can assist by making the mother lie still so the puppies
the mother does not have any milk at first, you may supplement the
puppies for the first day or two. There are many good commercial
canine milk replacers available. Nursing bottles are available, made
in the appropriate size for the puppies’ tiny mouths. The following
formula may be used for a day or two if the other products are not
cup milk + 1 tablespoon corn oil + 1 pinch of salt + 3 egg yolks (no
whites). Blend together until uniform. It should be fed at the rate
of l oz (30ml) per 1/4 lb. (1/8 kg) of puppy weight PER 24 HOURS.
That amount should be divided into 3-5 feedings. The average
newborn, small breed puppy weighs 1/4 lb. (1/8 kg) at birth.
Another alternative is canned goat's milk that is available in most
grocery stores. It should be fed at the above amounts.
Although we prefer that puppies begin nursing immediately, a
healthy newborn can survive nicely for up to 12 hours without
nursing. However, if the newborn is weak, dehydrated, or chilled,
nourishment must be given as soon as possible.
warm should we keep the room where the puppies are?
newborn puppy is not able to regulate its body temperature very
well. As long as the puppies stay near their mother, the room
temperature is not too critical. However, if they are not with their
mother, the room temperature should be between 85º-90ºF
(29.4º-32.2ºC). If the litter is kept outside, chilling or
overheating is much more likely to occur. The newborns should be
kept inside the house or garage, if possible.
Is a bloody vaginal discharge normal?
bloody vaginal discharge is normal for 3-7 days following birth. It
may be quite heavy for the first 1-3 days and then begin to
diminish. If it continues for longer than one week, the mother
should be checked for the presence of infection. If she was spayed
at the time of the surgery, there should be no vaginal discharge.
does it mean if the puppies are crying frequently?
Puppies should sleep or be nursing 90% of the time. If they are
crying or whining, something may be wrong. Uterine infections,
inadequate milk, poor-quality milk, and infected milk are the most
likely causes. The entire litter can die within 24 hours if one of
these occurs. If you are not comfortable with the way the litter is
doing, the puppies and the mother should be examined by a
are her stitches removed?
stitches may or may not need to be removed, depending on the type of
suture material used. As a general rule, if the stitches are
visible, they will have to be removed. Removal should occur at 10-14
days after surgery.
should the puppies be weaned?
should begin when the puppies are about 3½ weeks old. The first step
is to place a 50:50 mixture of water and milk replacer or milk in a
flat saucer. The puppies' noses should be dipped in this mixture 2-3
times per day until they begin to lap. Once lapping begins, a puppy
canned food should be crumbled in the water: milk mixture. As they
begin to eat the solid food, the water: milk mixture should be
reduced until they are eating only the solid food. Once they are
eating solid food (usually about 6 weeks of age), the puppies may be
placed in their new home.
are the puppies treated for worms?
Puppies can be treated for worms when they are three and six weeks
of age. It is important that accurate weights are obtained for the
puppies so that the proper dose of medication can be used.
should vaccinations begin?
vaccinations typically begin at 6-8 weeks of age. If your puppies
were not able to nurse during the first three days of life, they
will not have received proper immunity from their mother. In this
situation, vaccinations should begin about two weeks of age.