When we were thinking of what breed to choose for our kennel, my first choice was to take on an English bulldog.
And of course, this is for obvious reasons.
Now, I cannot just choose a breed that I like based on the way it looked and buy it right?
I needed to understand what the consequences to each breed are.
Since there will always be some, and weigh things from there.
One downside to breeding an English bulldog is the constant need to have them undergo C-section or a canine caesarian section every time they will be giving birth.
Now, why do I say it is a downside to owning and breeding English bulldogs?
This I will explain in this article.
Good thing that I chose an American bulldog and the benefits of choosing one in terms of breeding them.
And these dogs giving birth will also be discussed in this article.
What is a C-section?
In this process, the operator will use general anesthesia to put the mother asleep.
Then the operator will make an opening in her uterus so that the baby can be removed from its womb.
C-section allows a faster and most often than not, safer delivery process to both the mother and her young one.
What is a C-section in Dogs and Why it is Needed?
Before that, do take a look at this video which shows a typical c section of a bulldog!
As mentioned above, the C-section in dogs is very much like the process for humans.
But there are more reasons why dogs end up undergoing this process when giving birth to their young.
Before we go to the nitty-gritty details on why a C-section is needed and what are the benefits to it.
Let us first discuss one important factor related to C-section and it will be the cost of the procedure.
Most definitely, any person in your house is not allowed to do the C-section.
Instead, you will need a professional, a veterinarian, to ensure the process is done seamlessly and correctly.
Just to avoid any further, pregnancy-related problems.
So how much does it really cost to have a C-section in dogs?
Basically, this procedure can cost between $500 to $2000.
There will be rare cases that this cost can go lower or higher.
But this is the average nowadays and the cost can be determined by different factors.
Now that you are aware of what you will be up against and if you are still ok with this,
Let’s now understand why a need is there to do a C-section in dogs.
This may be the first reason why you will ever think a C-section is required and needed for your dog.
Why do we say that it is because of the dog breed?
Well, there are breeds where the mother cannot physically have a natural delivery because it will cause complications and even death to both the mother and the puppies.
Some of these breeds are, of course, the English bulldog, French bulldog, Mastiff, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, and Scottish Terrier.
If you own any of these above-mentioned breeds, then you can bet that in most cases, they will require a C-section when giving birth.
Also called as an elective C-section.
Because, without the requirement for this procedure, the owner has opted to have C-section with their dogs.
Normally, if the mother dog has undergone a C-section previously due to an emergency, then the owner, even the veterinarian may recommend having the same procedure thereafter.
There are also instances the owner expects that the mother dog will deliver a large litter where she will have difficulty during the delivery.
If the owner sees this as a possibility then, the mother dog might undergo the C-section procedure.
One of the common reasons why a dog will undergo a C-section is due to emergency reasons.
If the mother dog is having difficulty with the delivery and her health as well as the puppies are already at risk, then C-section can be done.
Some examples of birthing emergencies that would most likely lead to a C-section are the following:
Intrauterine Fetal Death
Normally, veterinarians perform the C-sections when the mother dog, still has not given birth, several days after her due date.
When this happens, there is already a high risk that puppies might die inside the womb such as the process of “stillborn”.
When this happens, the operator removes the deceased puppy through the C-section procedure.
This is the term used when generalizing birthing difficulties.
When your mother dog gets an abnormal discharge or the duration in between births are longer than 4 hours.
Then most breeders and veterinarians would already recommend pushing through with the C-section procedure.
So that all the puppies can be removed, and you lessen the risk of death.
Similar to human, breaches can be a very difficult scenario to deal with.
Just like humans, the expectation is the puppies go out of the womb, head first but there will be instances when it is the tail that goes first which is then critical as it might not end up in a good way.
A blocked head scenario normally happens with bulldogs because the mother dog has narrow hips combined with a puppy with a large head.
So the head is too big to fit through the birth canal and without the C-section procedure, might get stuck.
Why is a C-section Commonly Done with Bulldog Breeds?
This scenario, also as stated earlier, normally happens with the bulldog breed because its head is commonly large to fit through the mother dog’s birth canal and pelvis.
In cases when the mother dog tries to give natural birth, she will eventually be stressed out because the puppies won’t come out and further problems will appear.
Owners should then opt to schedule C-sections beforehand to ensure this is prevented.
And just push through with this procedure every time a puppy delivery needs to happen.
It is one of the things to consider when we were choosing which dog to breed.
We all know that it is already not a simple task to take care of newborn babies even your pregnant dam.
Ensuring that your mother dog will not require a C-section delivery, is already one concern you can set aside.
If you already know about this about bulldogs, specifically about English and French bulldogs, yet you still love everything about them and would still want to go through this whole process,
Then, it is always a good idea that you come prepared with the basic knowledge of what your dog might need.
Which Bulldog Breed is More Prone to End up Having a C-section and How Many Times Can They Undergo One?
As mentioned several times in this article, it is the French bulldog or English bulldog that is more prone to having a C-section procedure when giving birth.
Due to the large heads and narrow birth canal of the mother dog, the birthing process would most likely require C-sections.
To ensure that the puppies will be delivered without any issues or problems.
Since I am an owner of an American Bulldogs, fortunately, this is not something that I would worry about, but I still see this possibility during Bella’s first few deliveries.
When we were unsure of how many puppies she will be having (that is why I recommend having a puppy ultrasound or x-ray to have an idea).
I seriously think of this possibility because I wanted to make sure there won’t be any puppies stuck inside her womb which can risk her life.
Now, if you want to know how many times a dog can undergo a C-section, nothing really set in stone.
When I spoke with the experts, my co-breeders, who have dog breeds that would normally undergo one, they would only have their mother dogs undergo C-section deliveries 3 times in their lifetime.
Similar to humans, a C-section delivery of 3 times is also the maximum recommendation for several reasons that may also be applicable to dogs.
The owner needs to understand that each repeat C-section procedure increases the risk of complication to your dogs.
Also, remember that after every C-section procedure, the risk of heavy bleeding also increases.
After each incision and scars, there is a high likelihood that your dog might not recover properly, thus, limiting it will definitely secure your dog’s long life.
Aside from heavy bleeding, there is also a risk related to the effects of anesthesia when having repeat C-sections.
That is why as much as possible, the use of such is being limited.
Generally speaking and as mentioned above, experts say that between 2-3 C-sections can be done in an English bulldog’s lifetime.
Any C-section done more than 3 can severely put your English Bulldog at risk.
Also, with this type of breed, it is fairly dangerous to let them have a natural birth.
And of course, it is the same reason that their heads are too big to easily make it through their mother’s birth canal.
This is one of the main reasons why English bulldogs are more expensive than the other bulldog breeds that do not require C-section when giving birth.
Aside from English bulldogs, there is another bulldog breed that ends up having a C-section when giving birth, and that is a French bulldog.
Not only that they have difficulty in giving natural birth due to the narrow hips of the mother plus the big head of the puppies,
But most of the French bulldogs are also incapable of natural bred.
The eighty (80) percent of this breed is reproduced through artificial insemination.
Which then again drives this breed to be really expensive.
Taking Care of Your Bulldog after a C-section
After your mother dog undergoes the C-section procedure, the next few steps will be the most critical.
As soon as the breeder releases the mother dog and her pups from the dog clinic or hospital.
It is now his/her full responsibility to take care of them.
And make sure that they are safe from all possible harms at home.
Just note that during this stage, it is the most critical for the breeder as now, the safety of the mother dog and the pup solely depends on them.
Soon as the mother dog goes home, anesthesia should wear off between 2 to 6 hours.
And she needs to be closely monitored for any complications or possible infections.
Within the recovery period, your mother dog should start eating and you should actually let her so can recover fast.
If there is a need to provide any medication to her, make sure to consult your veterinary prior to giving her any.
Constantly check your mother dog’s temperature as it will tend to be higher than usual during the first 3 days from the delivery but should subside afterward.
If this does not happen and her temperature continues to be above 40 degrees Celsius, then it is time to bring her to the doctor for checking.
Aside from her temperature, also check for any vaginal discharge that is out of the ordinary.
As expected, you should observe this during the first 1-3 days but should also start to subside right after.
Now, what about your dog’s stitches?
This depends on the kind of suture used during the procedure.
If the operator used absorbable material, then it will not require any removal.
If not, then these visible stitches need to be removed, usually between 10-14 days from the procedure.
During the recovery period of your mother dog, you can start introducing her puppies.
This is important because it will trigger the maternal instinct of your dog to take care of her young ones.
Now, when your mother dog will not be able to fully recognize the puppies as hers so might tend to be a little aggressive, considering the pain she just went through.
When this happens, do not fret and just remember that it is just a phase.
Eventually, your mother dog will love and care for her puppies in no time at all.
If it goes the other way around, which we definitely do not like, then it is time to bring your mother dog to the vet for checking.
So, having a dog that requires C-section during birthing is a huge task and a critical one.
It will certainly require time, effort, patience and energy of the owner to make sure their mother dog, undergoes this process easy.
And no other impact or downside observed.
In this article, we have shared our knowledge of the procedure as well as the observations and tips from the experts.
Owners and breeders of Bulldogs have given their thoughts on this topic.
Hopefully, you, our readers have learned a thing or two when dealing with bulldog breeds that require the process of C-section, what the procedure is about, how to handle your mother dog and the puppies after the procedure.
And all the important factors that you need to be aware of.