At risk dog breeds – English bulldogs, Cocker spaniels, Dachshunds, terrier breeds (ie Scottish), Welsh Corgis and other brachycephalic (‘smush-nose’) breeds
At risk cat breeds – British Short-haired, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Persian and Siamese
Ideal pre-natal care and even pre-breeding maternal care provided by the primary care veterinarian can include ensuring the good health of the dam prior to breeding (including appropriate vaccinations), documenting the breeding date and pregnancy, and obtaining x-rays after the fetal skeletons are visible (around 45 days) to determine how many puppies or kittens are to be expected.
There are many causes of dystocia – 1) too many puppies, 2) one or two very large puppies, 3) dead or mummified fetuses, 4) uterine inertia, 5) maternal illness (fever, vomiting, diarrhea, other), 6) maternal electrolyte abnormalities (low blood sugar, low blood calcium), 7) maternal uterine/vaginal/pelvic abnormality to name a few.
A C-section can be planned with your primary care veterinarian in at-risk breeds.
When to seek veterinary emergency care- 1) if the dam is showing signs of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, collapse), 2) if the birth fluid has a foul-odor (smells infected), 3) if a puppy or kitten is stuck in the birth canal for 30 minutes or longer, 4) when more than 2-4 hours elapses between consecutive births.
Please discuss ideal pre-natal care and pre-breeding care with your primary care veterinarian.
-Dr. Jessica Diaz