Broadview is open 7 days a week, and there is always a reproductive services veterinarian available or on call for breedings and c-sections. The only days we are not available and closed aside from weather related emergencies, are the 7 major holidays annually: New Years Day, Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
Scheduled c-sections are planned for 65 days after estimated LH Surge. High risk breeds, such as English Bulldogs, are done at 64 days. Progesterone timing is very important when determining the best time for a c-section, however, if progesterones were not tracked and date of LH Surge or ovulation is unknown, we have ways to determine optimal time for surgery. Obvious lactation/milk production, a decrease in the bitch’s temperature, and decrease or absence of appetite are usually noted within 24 hours of labor. Having an in-house progesterone analyzer helps us confidently determine fetal viability and we can have same day results in 1 hour or less. Ultrasound examination of the fetuses also helps assess their maturity. Fetal kidney development and intestinal motility are important parameters to examine. Fetal heart rates should be above 180 beats per minute. Lower heart rates indicate stress +/or illness.
For the mother, all precautions are taken to ensure her health and recovery. Blood work is performed to check her calcium level, blood sugar, and internal organ function. She is masked with oxygen before surgery to better perfuse her tissues and the puppies’ organs. We use safe pain medications during and after surgery. We use a topical anesthetic in the incision into the abdomen. We also give a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) injection and pills to use at home. Oxytocin is given to help contract/shrink the uterus and increase lactation. Complications are very rare, and the family is sent home as soon as the pups have nursed and the bitch has recovered from anesthesia.