Your pet will have had a general anaesthetic to perform a caesarean section to deliver puppies or kittens.
Care for the mother
- Patients will lose body temperature after Caesars. Always supply a warm environment using safe sources of heat (being careful not to scald) either by wheaties or hot water bottles preferably wrapped in towels. (check puppies or kittens don’t become trapped under heat sources). Replace towels regularly that become wet.
- New mothers need lots of fluids to produce all the milk for the new babies. Ensure there is always water available. New mothers need up to 3 times normal dietary intake to ensure they have enough fluid and nutrition to feed the puppies/kittens.
- Monitor the surgical wound between the teats on the mother. Check for redness or swelling and any indication of infection. Keep this area clean to avoid local infection or even mastitis (infection and swelling of the breasts). Keep mother and newborn area clean to minimise infection risk.
- It is essential that you watch constantly in the first 24 hours that mothers feed the newborns and that following surgery they do not actually harm the babies. This will require even staying up overnight and to place the puppies or kittens on the teats and ensure the babies feed and the mother’s natural hormones become activated to induce natural mothering instincts. If the normal mothering instinct is not produced there is a risk the newborns will not get sufficient milk and will fade and risk of puppies or kittens dying.
Care for puppies or kittens
- Ensure there is a safe and warm environment for mum and babies. Be very careful not to scald or burn mum or babies with warming devices.
- Keep the area very clean as newborns are very prone to infections.
- Check initially every 1 to 2 hours that the newborns are feeding. Newborns will need to pass firm first faeces called meconium. This can be a little uncomfortable and if the newborns are uncomfortable or constipated they will not feed. Milk will mean they are stronger and hydrated and less likely to become constipated.
- Check the umbilical cords that they are clean and not swollen.
If you have any concerns regarding the health of mother or the puppies/ kittens please contact the surgery or the emergency service Vets if it is critical and out of hours. Albany Creek Vet Surgery Telephone 3264 1222.
By Albany Creek Veterinary Surgery
Last updated on 12 September 2019