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What Is the Cost of a Dog Cesarean Section? (Updated in 2023)

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

vet carrying boston terrier dog

As with human pregnancy, a dog pregnancy can be unpredictable. If the mother has a problem delivering her litter of puppies, it could require a dog cesarean section to be performed by a reputable vet.

While the prices for a dog cesarean section will vary according to where you live, the vet you choose, and whether there are any complications, you can expect to pay, on average, at least $1,000 for this surgery to be performed.

This isn’t an elective procedure; it can be a matter of life and death for your dog and her puppies. In the guide below, we’ll cover the cost of a dog cesarean section and discuss other aspects of the procedure.

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How Much Does a Cesarean Section for a Dog Cost?

The price of a Cesarean section will vary according to a few factors. The biggest factors are the state you are in and what the vet decides to charge. It will also depend on the health your dog is in, the age of your dog, and if the procedure has complications.

The average price for a dog C-section in 2023 is $1,000 to $3,000. Below, you can find some average prices for different states.

  • California: $1,000 to $1,500
  • Florida: $2,855
  • Georgia: $1,000 to $1,500
  • Illinois: $2,000

These prices are subject to change, just as any other fees can, so make sure you check with your vet ahead of time.

veterinarian examining miniature schnauzer dog with stethoscope
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

What Other Costs Are Involved?

Regarding other costs involved in your dog having a C-section, in most cases, you will be visiting the vet before the C-section is scheduled. There will, of course, be fees associated with those visits. You’ll also have to pay for biopsies, imaging, bloodwork, and any other diagnostic procedures that need to be completed.

There could be postoperative care costs, such as specific dog foods for the mother and any medications your vet may prescribe. There will be a follow-up visit or two as well for the mother and the puppies to make sure they are doing okay and have no health issues.

The Importance of Dog Cesarean Sections

It’s also possible that your canine friend might need a C-section if it only has one puppy. This is because the dog needs enough cortisol to go into labor, and one puppy might not be enough to produce that and make it happen.

If your dog has very large puppies, a C-section could be required, as well as if your dog has pre-existing health conditions that could put her and her litter of puppies at risk. While most of these things don’t usually happen, it’s something you should be prepared for and save for if your dog is pregnant or you’re considering breeding her.

Suppose your dog is having a hard time having her puppies, and she’s been in labor and actively pushing for over 30 to 60 minutes, and you’ve seen no results. In that case, your dog might need an emergency C-section, and you must take your dog to the emergency vet right away.

vet examining havanese dog
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Does Pet Insurance Cover a Dog Cesarean Section?

Sadly, most pet insurance companies do not reimburse you for breeding or C-section costs. While some insurance providers offer add-ons for such procedures, you should probably expect to pay for your dog’s C-section out of your pocket. Standard accident and illness plans exclude breeding costs, but it’s a good idea to check with your provider if you’re interested in paying more for an add-on that may cover some of the C-section costs.

How Long Is the Recovery Period for a Dog Cesarean Section?

The recovery period for a dog who has had a dog C-section will depend on the dog and if there were any complications during the surgery. In most cases, it takes the dog 2 to 6 hours to recover and get the anesthesia out of her system. Your dog’s appetite should also recover in that period. Most dogs have a higher internal temperature after the procedure, but it should not last for longer than 3 days.

If you think the incision is becoming infected, you need to contact your vet immediately for an appointment and treatment. If everything looks okay, the veterinarian can remove the stitches from the procedure within 10 to 14 days after the surgery. Therefore, a full recovery from a Cesarean section typically takes around 2 weeks or more.

Golden Retriever wearing the cone of shame after surgery
Image Credit: Kyla Metzker, Shutterstock

How to Prepare Your Dog for a Cesarean Section

If you know that your dog will have to have a cesarean section to have her puppies, there are a few things you can do to prepare. Bath your dog a day or so before the scheduled procedure so she is clean and able to nurse her puppies as she recovers from her surgery.

It’s best not to feed your dog the day of the surgery, but you can feed her the night before. If your dog is on a topical flea and tick medication, you should stop giving it to her a week before the scheduled surgery.

As for the puppies, make sure you have a cozy, safe, warm spot to keep them when you bring the mother and the litter home. You want a warm area and one that is away from foot traffic and noise. It’s not recommended to use a heat lamp to warm the area you’re keeping the mother and the puppies in because it can cause burns to newborn pups.

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Not every dog ends up having a C-section when they are pregnant. However, it is something that you need to be prepared for. A C-section will run you between $1,000 and $3,000, depending on your veterinarian, location, and dog’s health status. Most pet insurance providers do not cover the cost of the procedure, and it’s best to start saving if you plan on breeding your dog.

Featured Image Credit: Zakharova_Elena, Shutterstock

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