Caesarean section aftercare advice

If you have just brought your pet home after she has had a caesarean section you’re head is probably spinning with all the things you need to do to make sure she is safe and comfortable. To help, we’ve put together a list of what to expect after your pet’s Caesarean section and a list of dos and dont’s.

Remember: If you have any concerns or questions, contact your nearest Vets Now emergency clinic or your daytime vet directly.

If you’re looking for some advice and peace of mind, our vets are available to video chat between 8am and 11pm every day. Learn more here.

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A spaniel under a bed cover for Vets Now article on Caesarean section in dogs or cats
Learn how to keep your pet safe and comfortable after a Caesarean section

What's normal after my pet's Caesarean section?

As your pet has had a general anaesthetic and major abdominal surgery, you’ll likely notice that:

  • She’s drowsy but can still walk
  • She has a wound which may be covered by a light dressing
  • She has a bandage on one or more legs,meaning she’s received medications through an intravenous drip
  • (these would usually be removed shortly after returning home unless otherwise instructed)

  • She may have shaved areas on her neck or legs
  • A small amount of bloody fluid coming from her vagina (which is normal for a pet who’s just given birth)

What to do when your pet has had a C - section

  • Let her go to the toilet
  • Settle her down in a quiet, calm area to help reduce anxiety and stress
  • Check the wound regularly and make sure your pet doesn’t interfere with the area (we’d usually apply protective collars or shirts after surgery, but we don’t always do this because collars/shirts sometimes prevent newborns from feeding properly)
  • Give her any medications that the vet has prescribed
  • Contact your daytime vet to organise a post-operative check — ideally to take place within 3 days of surgery External stitches may need to be removed after 10-14 days — the vet will let you know if this is the case
  • Make sure your pet gets their rest — this means no running, jumping or playing
  • Offer a small meal and ensure access to fresh water until an assessment with the vet or vet nurse at her final post-op check

What not to do when your cat or dog has had a C - section

  • Don’t leave the mother alone with her newborns until she’s fully awake, can stand on her own and has shown interest in caring for them

When to contact your vet

Please contact your nearest emergency vet or your daytime vets if you see any of the signs below: