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How Much Does a Dog Cesarean Section Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Jessica Kim

How Much Does a Dog Cesarean Section Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

Dog pregnancies can be unpredictable and may sometimes require a cesarean section. Prices for dog C-sections vary, but you can expect to pay at least $1,000 for this type of surgery. Dog C-sections tend to be one of the more expensive surgeries because it requires anesthesia and monitoring of the conditions of both the mother dog and the puppies.

Because C-sections are expensive and life-saving procedures, it’s important to plan for them if you have a pregnant dog. Here are some of the costs that you can expect to encounter.

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The Importance of Dog Cesarean Sections

C-sections are potentially life-saving procedures for both pregnant dogs and their puppies. Dogs sometimes need a planned C-section if they only have one puppy because they need enough cortisol to go into labor, and one puppy may not be enough to induce labor. Dogs with very large puppies may also need a C-section rather than natural birth. If your dog has a pre-existing health condition, a C-section can be a safer way for it to give birth to her puppies.

Emergency C-sections may be necessary for dogs experiencing a difficult labor. If your dog is actively pushing for more than 30 to 60 minutes, and you can’t see a puppy, it may require an emergency C-section. Dogs that have very weak contractions or are showing signs of illness, like vomiting, may also need this procedure.

dog undergoing a ceasarean birth surgery
Image By: Margreet de Groot, Shutterstock

How Much Does a Dog Cesarean Section Cost?

Prices for C-sections will vary by geographical location and depend on your dog’s age, breed, and how complicated the procedure will be. Emergency C-sections also tend to be more expensive than planned surgeries.

This year, you can expect to pay between $1,000 to $3,000 for c-sections. Some veterinary clinics may have discounted prices for rescue dogs or stray dogs. Here are examples of prices veterinarian clinics in different parts of the US will charge for C-sections.

State Price
Illinois $2,000
California $1,000–$1,500
Florida $2,855
Georgia $1,000–$1,500

Additional Costs to Anticipate

In most cases, you’ll have vet visits leading up to the decision to perform a C-section on your dog. So, you’ll probably have to pay for diagnostic procedures, like bloodwork, biopsies, or imaging.

You might also face some additional costs with postoperative care. Mother dogs should consume premium dog food to get the proper nutrients to recover and care for their puppies. The puppies should also have a safe puppy box that can safely transport them home from the hospital.

As you monitor the dog’s condition, you may have to schedule follow-up vet visits. The stitches could become infected, or your dog may have difficulty eating. You’ll also have to watch the puppies’ health and make sure that they’re nursing well. If a puppy has difficulty nursing, you may have to resort to hand feeding and purchase additional supplies and formula to do this.

How Long Is the Recovery Period for Cesarean Sections?

Dogs may take up to 2–6 hours to recover from anesthesia after surgery. Their appetites should also return after a few hours, and they should have had something to eat and drink within 24 hours of surgery.

Some dogs may have a higher internal body temperature, but it shouldn’t last more than 3 days. They may also have bloody vaginal discharge for up to 7 days after giving birth.

Dogs will also need their C-section incision to heal completely without infection. Some stitches require removal while others don’t. Your veterinarian will instruct you to bring your dog back to the clinic if it requires stitch removal. They can usually be removed within 10–14 days.

vet checking up labrador dog
Image By: SeventyFour, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Cesarean Sections?

Not all pet insurance companies cover procedures and surgeries related to breeding and nursing. So, you may have to be prepared to pay for a C-section out-of-pocket.

Some insurance companies do offer add-ons or riders for breeding and nursing care. For example, AKC Pet Insurance has a special rider for breeding dogs. This rider will help cover some costs related to breeding, such as emergency C-sections, mastitis, and pyometra.

Because each pet insurance company has varying offerings, make sure to ask the company’s pet insurance sales representative if there are any ways to receive coverage for breeding and pregnancy care.

How to Prepare for a Dog Cesarean Section

If you have a planned C-section, it’s important to make the proper preparations for both the mother and puppies. You can bathe your dog a day or two before the surgery so that it’s clean while she recovers and nurses her new puppies. Your dog can eat a nice dinner the night before the surgery, but food isn’t recommended on the day of the surgery. Also, dogs should be off topical flea and tick medication at least one week before their surgery date.

When it comes to preparing for the puppies, make sure that you have a quiet, cozy space where your dog can rest and take care of her puppies without any disruptions. Create warm areas, like whelping nests. Avoid using heat lamps because they can be a fire hazard and also burn skin on contact.

You can also have a basket filled with neonatal care supplies:
  • Thermometer
  • Iodine for umbilical cord care
  • Scale
  • Feeding tubes and puppy formula
  • Disinfectant wipes

Lastly, make sure to prepare a carrier for transporting your dog and puppies to and from the hospital. Lay out a tarp or towels beneath your dog’s carrier and bring a separate laundry basket lined with soft towels for the puppies.

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Conclusion

C-sections are common and vital procedures for many pregnant dogs. The surgery can cost more than $1,000, and you’ll also encounter additional costs from post-operative care. So, if you’re planning to breed your dog or have a pregnant dog, make sure to budget for a potential C-section. You can also consider getting an insurance plan that covers breeding and nursing care, but make sure to purchase the plan before you decide to breed your dog.


Featured Image Credit: Fotomacher.ch, Shutterstock

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