We offer a variety of reproductive services for our dog owning clients.
We offer in-house, same day testing for canine progesterone. The cost is $60 per sample. We recommend also performing a vaginal cytology for $15 at the same time for maximum predictive accuracy. The progesterone test can also be used to predict when to do a C-section.
We offer surgical insemination in dogs. Progesterone level is required, either here or within 24 hours prior at another veterinary clinic. This does not include to cost to collect a male dog. If collection is required, the male must be present at the time of insemination. The cost for semen collection is $75 and includes a microscopic examination of semen quality prior to insemination. The female will not be sedated until semen quality is verified. We also check the semen of any sample provided to us. Cost for surgical insemination is $250.
Budget Vet performs over 300 c-sections annually on all breeds of dogs. We mainly do c-sections on the Bully breeds, including French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, American Bullies and Pugs. We are used to the unique anesthetic and surgical issues associated with these breeds. We tailor our anesthesia and surgical techniques to minimize danger to the mother and puppies. Dr Lassiter has performed over 1500 c-sections in her career and is very comfortable with both uncomplicated and complicated surgeries.
Successful and Safe Pregnancy
Here at Budget Vet, our goal is to deliver healthy, full term puppies with minimal stress to the female. For the best chances of success we recommend several things that need to be done at the time of breeding. You should start doing serial progesterones beginning on day 7 or 8 of your female’s heat cycle. We can do the progesterones or you may have them done elsewhere. It is very important that you note the level of progesterone and the date. If you live far away and are doing the progesterones elsewhere, please have that clinic email us the lab report and we will put it in your pet’s file. This information is not just important for breeding, but it helps us judge the best time to do the c-section as well.
We recommend that you booster your dog’s vaccinations at the first sign of heat. This will ensure that your female passes along good immunity to the puppies. DO NOT VACCINATE AFTER DAY 8 of the heat cycle. Vaccinating during pregnancy can result in the puppies catching what you vaccinate for. Also deworm your female at the same time as you vaccinate. This sets you up for having healthy puppies and a healthy mom.
Feeding During Pregnancy
Be sure your female is well fed up to and during pregnancy. We recommend a high quality puppy food starting when she is in heat.
At about day 50, start taking rectal temperatures twice daily to establish her normals. When she is within 24 hours of going into labor, her rectal temperature will drop several degrees. Usually it goes down into the 98 F range or lower. It needs to be a significant drop, not a half a degree. Sometimes, you get a low reading if they have poop in their rectum. If you get a real low temperature, we suggest taking her for a walk and retaking it after she has a bowel movement.
What to Expect When Approaching Labor
When labor is imminent, your dog may stop eating, start vomiting or having diarrhea and start nesting. It is not uncommon for females to have clear mucous discharge beginning as early as 2 weeks from the due date. Her vulva will become very loose and jiggly and may seem to enlarge. She may walk strangely, almost like she is a little drunk. Some dogs become intensely itchy 24-48 hours before labor. Giving a cool water bath can help with the itching. Do not give her anything for the itching as this may affect the puppies.
If you see any discharge that is bloody or green, you need to see a vet immediately, it means that something is wrong with the pregnancy.
Caring for Newborn Puppies
You will need a puppy box and heating pad. The ideal box is large enough to accommodate your breed of puppies with some room to move around. You want a lid on the box, but not an airtight lid. Cardboard boxes are not the best. Plastic tubs are the best. We recommend a heating pad WITHOUT an automatic shut off. We sell appropriate boxes and heating pads. The setup can be purchased at the time of delivery for $50. A box and heating pad are REQUIRED if we deliver live puppies.
******IF WE DO NOT KNOW THE BREEDING DATES AND PROGESTERONE LEVELS WHEN BRED, WE WILL REQUIRE PROGESTERONE LEVELS TO DETERMINE THE BEST TIME TO DELIVER, UNLESS SHE IS OBVIOUSLY IN LABOR(THE DOCTOR WILL DETERMINE IF THE DOG IS IN LABOR). EACH PROGESTERONE LEVEL WILL COST $60, NO EXCEPTIONS.******
It is best to establish a relationship with us before the c-section. We much prefer looking at the female before labor and getting an idea about her breeding dates, etc so we can plan for the c-section ahead of time. We only have one doctor currently. Although we do try to be available, one person can only do so much. If you do not establish a relationship with us, we may not be available when time for the c-section comes around.
C-Section Pricing Additional Costs
Cost for uncomplicated c-sections is $600 for established clients. Established clients are not charged after hours fees. If we are available after hours and we do not already have a relationship established, there will be an additional $100 after hours fee. If we do not have a relationship and we see your dog during business hours, it will be an additional $100 emergency surgery fee. If you have already established a relationship with us, we waive these fees.
Other possible costs may be: injectable and oral antibiotics, IV catheter placement, IV fluids or other medications, suction use during surgery, etc. Most often these additional charges can be completely avoided if you plan well. Almost always, we have to add these extras when a dog has been in extended labor.
Post-Surgical Care of Mother and Newborn Puppies
We may choose to keep your female for a couple of days before delivery, but once the puppies are delivered, the mother and puppies are discharged into your care. You must make arrangements for this. We do not keep the mother and puppies any longer than it takes the female to wake up. We do not want the puppies staying in the hospital any longer than needed to decrease their exposure to disease.
The female will be drunk from the pain medication we give as soon as the last puppy is removed. She will likely not be ready to care for puppies immediately. You must be sure the puppies nurse every 2 hours until the mother takes them herself. If your female does not have milk, you must find a source of colostrum for the puppies to get within the first 24 hours. If you do not get colostrum into the puppies in the first 24 hours, serum treatments can be done. Without colostrum or serum, the puppies will not have adequate immunity. Bottle feeding is not ideal. If your female does not have milk, it is best to find another female in milk that you can nurse the puppies on. If there is not other alternative, then you may have to bottle feed them formula. The best formula is formulated especially for dogs. Goat milk is OK, but not ideal. Cow milk is not OK.
******IT IS ALWAYS BEST TO START COMMUNICATING WITH US ABOUT YOUR DOG’S PREGNANCY WHEN SHE REACHES ABOUT 50 DAYS. PLANNING IS A KEY COMPONENT TO SUCCESSFUL PREGNANCY AND DELIVERY******