What: C Sections ... also known as a Ceasarean Section ... is where we surgically remove babies from the uterus. Usually because the momma dog or cat is having trouble with a normal delivery.
Historical note: The name Ceasarean Operation is in honor of Julius Ceasar, commonly believed to be derived from the surgical birth. This would be extraordinary, since his mother Aurelia is reputed to have lived to hear of her son's invasion of Britain. At that time the procedure was performed only when the mother dying or right after death in an attempt to save the child.
Another possible reason the procedure is named after Julius Ceasar is that Caesar decreed all women who were dying in childbirth must be cut open in hopes of saving the child.
Until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the procedure was known as cesarean operation. About 1600, Jacques Guillimeau published a how to book about midwifery and referred to the operation as a section (meaning to cut). and the term Ceaarean Section became the popular term. Click here to go to my main web site about veterinary medicine for more historical information about C-sections, to include a very interesting story about a women who dressed like a man to get through medical school became one of the first to perform the operation on live women with the goal of having the woman survive !
When: usually at 2am. We, of course, do the surgery whenever it needs to be done in hopes of saving the lives of momma and all her pups if possible.
The Advantages: There are multiple reasons why a momma dog or cat isn't able to deliver naturally. A successful C-section will save the life of the momma and some or all of the babies. A C section is also done to prevent a delayed birth, painful and/or difficult birth.
The disadvantages: This is a high risk and expensive surgery. If we do it too early it may be that if we had just waited a few hours the delivery might have been natural. On the other hand, wait too long and both the babies and maybe the momma become too weak or toxic to survive the surgery.
How Much? The total cost varies from $250 to over $400 depending on the hour and which options are needed or wanted. Keep reading for details.
Here's what to expect and what we charge:
After Hours Emergency: $50-100
Exam to evaluate general health and to check for fever, infection, dead fetus', and hydration status. We also do a vaginal exam in those pets large enough. $20-40
Oxytocin Injection: we often try to stimulate contractions in hopes of avoiding a C Section by using combination injections of calcium and oxytocin.
This injection costs $20 and sometimes needs to be repeated. If successful, then there is no need for the surgery.
Pre-Anesthetic blood work: Highly recommended to reduce the risk of anesthetic problems in case of undetected diabetes, immune problems, kidney disease or liver disease: All the problems are associated with late pregnancy $32
Radiographs: Needed only if we need to know how many fetus' are present or if they are alive. Often done if the momma dog or cat has already delivered but we suspect that one or more babies may be left inside. $80
Hospitalization: no extra charge for the first night. $24/night afterwards
Bathing and parasite control: if your pet is filthy or covered in fleas or ticks. Up to $25
Pre-anesthetic sedation and pain medications: No extra charge
Anesthesia: $50-$200 Anesthesia for this procedure is especially tricky.
The Surgical Procedure: $200 There is no extra charge to spay at the same time.
IV Fluids: Needed or very helpful in most cases. IV FLuids speed recovery so the new babies can start nursing $45
Antibiotics, pain medications, medications for secondary GI upsets, etc: $0-30
Follow up recheck if there are any problems: No charge
Suture removal 10-14 days after the surgery: No charge