scheduled c-section for french bulldog? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 01-30-2010, 11:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my french bulldog is going to have puppies, the breed is known to have difficult deliveries due to the large head size, however some do just fine.

the problem is non of the breeders i know even try a natural birth, they just schedule a c-section and "stay on the safe side".

Dont get me wrong, im very very very attached to this dog, i would be heart broken if anything was to happen to her or her pups but.......

I am a firm believer in natural birth, home birth, UC, and thats all just for humans, for animals i believe most often they are much better at things then we are. but my dog cant tell me in words if she has a feeling its time to transfer....

wwyd? try it? risk it? be with her and let her give it a go? try and get her to labor at home and then take her in to do a section?

another factor which is small and yet worth considering (besides everybodys health which is #1) is that if i schedule the c-section and do it during office hours it will be MUCH cheaper than if i need and emergency one, at any time of day or night.

and i worry about her nursing relationship with them if she has a painful scar.....
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#2 of 25 Old 01-30-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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Keep in mind that the French Bulldog like the English Bulldog which cannot give birth naturally are not natural dogs. They have been created by human interference and bred to fit a specific breed standard which is in so many cases, not in the best interest of the animal.

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#3 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 12:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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ouch! wow! there is really no faster way to upset someone/hurt their feelings than to bad mouth their beloved dog!

my dog is as natural as any other breed thank you very much! she digs, eats dog food, sleeps in bed with us, licks our hands, chases chickens,

and has a 100% clean bill of health. thats more than can be said for many goldens, labs, collies, jacks, jillls and yes, even your good old hienz 57.

also, as i mentioned many french bulldogs, and english "free whelp", its just that SOME dont, and i believe most are never given a chance so who is to really say what they can do!?

im looking for thoughts on helping my dog have the best birth possible for her and her pups.
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#4 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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It is my understanding that doing a section is to make the odds as high as possible for the puppies to survive. If she goes into labor on her own and cannot birth vaginally then not only is the puppy that is first at risk of death but everyone behind it is. The placentas of all the puppies start to detatch pretty quickly when labor starts so there is a very real risk that you would lose not only that first puppy but the ones behind it as well. So a trial of labor could mean the death of one or more puppies or she could have them all with no issues so what it comes down to is what are you most comfortable with?

I am all about natural birth as well so I asked this question to a breeder I know and she explained it to me.

 
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#5 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 02:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BaaBaa View Post
ouch! wow! there is really no faster way to upset someone/hurt their feelings than to bad mouth their beloved dog!

my dog is as natural as any other breed thank you very much! she digs, eats dog food, sleeps in bed with us, licks our hands, chases chickens,

and has a 100% clean bill of health. thats more than can be said for many goldens, labs, collies, jacks, jillls and yes, even your good old hienz 57.

also, as i mentioned many french bulldogs, and english "free whelp", its just that SOME dont, and i believe most are never given a chance so who is to really say what they can do!?

im looking for thoughts on helping my dog have the best birth possible for her and her pups.
It's not that your dog is "unnatural" in that she is un-dog-like, it's that her forebearers were bred (by humans) for specific characteristics. By breeding for specialized traits, humans have also created some significant problems for individual breeds. The history of dog breeding and how specific breeds got their specific traits is hardly a mystery--there are tons of good books detailing the evolution of dogs as we know them.

Why don't you ask your breeder (the one who produced your dog) for advice? S/he should have the best information on your dog's specific anatomy. Or ask the vet who assured you that your dog is free of genetic disorders--that vet should be able to give you a good assessment.

I know you're concerned about your dog, but think it's going to be pretty hard to get good advice from a generalized pets forum

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#6 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 02:17 AM
 
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In my understanding, dogs are not built for difficult births. We humans detach our placentas after we're earthside and breathing. Delays in birthing are therefore okay even if it's a quite complicated delivery.
Puppies usually detach the placenta, then birth the puppy. Delays are deadly. From what I've heard, learning the dog can't "free whelp" will be at the cost of the life of puppy that was trying to be born. And then you have to pay for the c-section anyway. It's a financial decision, as most have only 1-3 puppies a litter. If you have to pay $500-$1000 for a c-section, you need to get at least one puppy to sell to pay for it. If you let the one puppy die in making that decision, it's financially runious.

What about your dog's mother - did she free whelp? Her blood line and the sire's bloodline could give you clues to help you decide. You'll need a vet on standby, anyway, in case you need a c-section. Might as well arrange that and get some pitocin on hand for after the last puppy. And ask his opinion. Consider an x-ray so you'll know how many puppies inside - that's useful to make sure you've got them all earthside.

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#7 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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your breeder and/or mentor would really be the best bet for this info. I'm assuming if youre breeding youve shown, health tested, etc so should have contacts in the frenchie world. Have mothers on both sides (stud and bitch) whelped naturally before?

I think part of the problem is a dog cant tell you if something is off or doesnt feel right.

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#8 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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ouch! wow! there is really no faster way to upset someone/hurt their feelings than to bad mouth their beloved dog!
Oh no! You misunderstand me!
Of course you're dog is as natural as a wolf in behaviour, character and spirit but physiologically pure bred dogs are the product of human selection NOT natural selection. In the example of the bulldog, they have been bred to have disproportionately large skulls to the extent that it can be physically impossible to birth naturally without causing harm or even death.

It's not just bulldogs. Most purebred dogs suffer from conditions that are the result of their breeding. German Shepherds and hip dysplasia, cocker spaniels and ear infections, Great Bernese Mountain Dogs and heart disease the list goes on and on....

I'm sharing this with you as a purebred dog owner, and dog lover. Again, no harm meant.

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#9 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the advice. sorry i misunderstood bababa. i guess i was hoping there was a natural birth movement for dogs.... the breeders i know and my vet have never tried a free birth with a french bulldog, then again they seem like the type of people who would c-section themselves and thats not really my gig. so they just dont have any advice. i guess we wont try, but it just seems so sad thats the only way it can be done. better safe than sorry
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#10 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:08 AM
 
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I'm back because I feel so rotten about hurting your feelings.

This might explain my point much better than I did:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/ev...i-pooches.html


I have an Italian Greyhound which has had a terrible mouth and dental problems pretty much since birth. Generally speaking greyhound 'types' suffer much less from genetic problems because they are one of the oldest breeds, however in making the dog 'toy' size the teeth are too big and numerous for the size of the jaw.

The breeder, who is also a vet, also bred French Bulldogs. He is highly respected in doggy circles and is a prominent judge, judging at Westminster and other top dog shows.

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#11 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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I'm just here to offer this perspective-don't feel bad if you decide for her to go ahead with the c-section.

To me it sounds most practical. I love French bulldogs and wish I could have a puppy!
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#12 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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You will surely lose your bitch and possibly the puppies if you attempt a natural birth. Sorry. This is just the way it is in your chosen breed... which it sounds like you have been told by many who are "in the know" in Frenchies. If your mentor and all the breeders you know are telling you C-sections are the way to go, you should listen.

Trust me, if you have never whelped at home with any breed, Frenchies are not the breed you want to start that with.

As far as natural, as many others have pointed out, there is NOTHING natural about the anatomy of a Frenchie. Because of this, C-sections are the way to go with this breed and many other breeds like them.

Good luck with everything! They usually do really well, and nurse puppies just fine after surgery. I hope you heed the advice of those around you and schedule a C-section.

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#13 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 03:02 PM
 
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Here's somethng I thought I'd pass on to you, from a breeder's site:

◦Make sure your vet uses only the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane) and insist on a heart and blood pressure monitor. Many vets are NOT careful enough when anesthetizing short-faced breeds.
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#14 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 09:43 PM
 
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Here's somethng I thought I'd pass on to you, from a breeder's site:

◦Make sure your vet uses only the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane) and insist on a heart and blood pressure monitor. Many vets are NOT careful enough when anesthetizing short-faced breeds.
Speaking as someone who anesthestizes animals regularly....it is the recovery that is the most dangerous with brachiocephalic (short muzzle) animals.

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#15 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:09 PM
 
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FWIW.....as a child we had a pekignese that bred with a larger dog and then died during childbirth. It was a horrific experience and it went from ok, to really bad in a short amount of time. As much as I would love for your dog to be able to give birth the "natural" way....it's not worth the risk. IMHO....good luck!

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#16 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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I don't think I'd chance it. I've never known a dog to give birth during normal office hours. If something went wrong, it could be much costlier.

That said, what about backyard bred pit bulls? They are all over the place here and some have heads like you couldn't imagine. 90% of them never see the vet in their life. They'd never be taken in for a c-section. How are they different?

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#17 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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It isnt so much the head size of the puppies it is that the bulldogs have a narrow oddly shaped pelvis. Both working together means that they cannot pass through the pelivic opening if they are any size at all.

 
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#18 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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LeahBoo, I don't think there is a difference except that backyard bred pitbulls aren't being responsibly bred in the first place. Who knows how many bitches and puppies die during birth in those situations?

BaaBaa, I don't think there will ever be a all-natural birth movement for dogs or any other animal because the whole idea is based on following the mother's instincts. A human mom can voice when she needs help and when she doesn't. An animal can't. So any attempt at going against the advice of vets, experienced breeders, etc. would just be an experiment against the will of the animal. Animals don't want to have babies- they are compelled to, even when it's not in there best interest to do so.

I wouldn't experiment with the lives of the bitch or the puppies just to fulfill an idea you may have about "natural" birth. Like the others above me said, these dogs are not natural. They are engineered by humans. If they were all allowed to breed and birth naturally, they would probably die out as a breed.
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#19 of 25 Old 02-02-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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.....I wouldn't experiment with the lives of the bitch or the puppies just to fulfill an idea you may have about "natural" birth. Like the others above me said, these dogs are not natural. They are engineered by humans. If they were all allowed to breed and birth naturally, they would probably die out as a breed.
I'm all in favor of free whelping, but wouldn't try it with something like a bulldog or French bulldog; I've bred a breed known for being easy whelpers for many years; but the one time I did have a bitch get stuck whelping (birthed one pup, then 2 hours labor with no result (she usually had 1 every hour or less), an hour to the emergency vet (at around 1 AM)- the car ride jostled things loose, & she resumed producing pups shortly after getting to the vet's office, but the next 4 pups all died within their 1st week (necropsy showed they'd gotten lung infections from inhaled fluids)- the last 3 pups born lived; so, all the delayed pups that didn't come out when they were supposed to were the ones that died.

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#20 of 25 Old 02-02-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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sorry, cant help but add that if one is so sorely lacking in knowledge of a particular breed, perhaps one should not be breeding at all. perhaps along with the c-sec, a full spay is in order? (or does that mess up lactation?)

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#21 of 25 Old 02-02-2010, 10:04 AM
 
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your breeder and/or mentor would really be the best bet for this info. I'm assuming if youre breeding youve shown, health tested, etc so should have contacts in the frenchie world. Have mothers on both sides (stud and bitch) whelped naturally before?

I think part of the problem is a dog cant tell you if something is off or doesnt feel right.
I would probably step back and re-evaluate breeding again, if you haven't done any of the above.
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#22 of 25 Old 02-02-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I've never bred a dog, but my understanding from the breeders I know is that birthing is totally different in dogs than in humans.

For one thing, they know that gestation in dogs is exactly 63 days. So they know to the day when the pups are ready, unlike in human birth, when c-sections often bring a baby into the world before it is ready.

Furthermore, as Apricot said, pups placentas detach before birth. So you have a long line of pups, all waiting to be born, many or all of them no longer getting oxygen. If one pup has trouble, you can easily lose the rest of the litter.

One breeder I know just had a litter, and her bitch was playing in the snow the same day, not long after she had her section. I think if you do your research, it will ease the preconceptions you may have when you hear the term "c-section", which are understandable, since they should be avoided for humans if possible.

Best wishes to you and your dog!

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#23 of 25 Old 02-02-2010, 08:08 PM
 
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I don't know much about bulldogs, but I bred pugs for about 6 years.

Dog gestation is approximately 63 days; this is not exact and you do not know to the day when the pups will arrive. I have seen them come as many as five days early or 3 days late. Also, if the stud has had unsupervised access to the the bitch you may have missed seeing the first tie and therefore not calculate the date accurately. There is a temperature-taking technique you can use to predict dog labor, however, which is fairly (but not perfectly) reliable. You should be able to google it; basically, the mother's temperature drops 24-48 hours before labor begins.

Placentas do detach earlier in dogs than in humans. I have seen puppies die due to premature detachment. However, I think it is exaggeration to say that the placenta usually detaches before birth, or that several pups' placentas detach at the same time. It is normal to have an hour between births, and that is too long for the pup to survive with a detached placenta. Frequently the placenta does not detach until after the pup has emerged (the weight of the pup usually detaches it at this point, but not always).

I have seen a few cases where a pup got "stuck" and took a long time to birth. We were lucky, and in all of these cases the mother was eventually able to birth the pup; but it was usually stillborn. The following pup was stillborn in about half these cases, probably due to placental detachment. Subsequent pups were fine. This is hardly scientific evidence, though, just my experience.

Also, it is not true that a dog can't communicate when things don't "feel right". However, someone who has never helped a dog whelp before may have a hard time telling the difference between normal labor discomfort and a problem.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a c-section is just as traumatic for a dog as for a human. This trauma, and the post-op discomfort, does increase the likelihood that a bitch will reject her puppies. This is not very likely, but if it happens it can be a big problem - they do make formula for pupppies, but it is not nearly as close to dog-breastmilk as human formula is to human-breastmilk (not that I'm a fan of formula for humans).

I don't think attempting a natural birth would be certain death for your dog, but there would be some risk, especially to the pups. On the other hand, there are significant downsides to a c-section. I think that if I were in your situation, I would attempt a natural birth if there was a nearby 24-hour clinic you could go to if she had problems, and if you could have someone experienced with whelping come over to assist you during the labor - someone who will know how to spot the danger signs. You could do the trial of labor in the vet's office (if your vet is willing) but it would be best to do it at home - being in a strange location can panic your dog and stall or complicate labor.

If you choose to c-section, you may want to wait until she shows signs of being about to go into labor - that way you can be sure the pups are ready to be born.

One thing you should think about when deciding is what your priorities are. If your dog's comfort is your top priority, I would lean toward trying natural birth, especially if you plan to breed her again. If 100% pup survival is your top priority, I would go for the c-section. And whatever you choose, get as educated as you can about dog pregnancy, whelping and caring for newborn pups.
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#24 of 25 Old 02-03-2010, 02:39 AM
 
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sorry, cant help but add that if one is so sorely lacking in knowledge of a particular breed, perhaps one should not be breeding at all. perhaps along with the c-sec, a full spay is in order? (or does that mess up lactation?)


Are you purposely breeding your dog? If so, this shouldn't even be a question for you. All of those breeders/vets are telling you the dog needs a c-section for a reason! If you didn't want to get your dog a c-section, you shouldn't have chose to breed a bulldog.

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#25 of 25 Old 02-04-2010, 09:08 PM
 
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Issues around breeding bring out strong emotions, just as do issues surrounding human birth. We are not always going to agree, we do however need to treat each other respectfully.

Please keep the MDC User Agreement in mind when posting.

Thankyou.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.)0(
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