How Many C-Sections Can an American Bully Have?

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American Bullies are known to produce larger-than-normal litters, making c-sections a standard procedure for this powerful breed. With any large litter, labor may last longer, so the female may become exhausted and weak which reduces her ability to push.

If your American Bully has already had one c-section, you might wonder if she’s physically capable of withstanding another.

Most healthy American Bullies can safely have up to three c-sections. With that said, every dog is different, and each has their own unique health requirements. As such,  consult with your vet to confirm whether your American Bully is capable of having another c-section delivery.

In this article, we’ll discuss what a canine c-section is, the situations where one is needed, and how many times an American Bully can have the procedure.

Read on to inform yourself about American Bullies and cesarean sections, so that you’re better prepared when your dog is ready to give birth.

What Is a Canine C-Section?

Before determining how many c-sections an American Bully can have, we need to gain a deeper insight into canine c-sections.

A canine c-section (also called a caesarian section) is a major surgical procedure to remove puppies from a female dog’s uterus. The vet first makes an incision in the abdomen and then the uterus. Each puppy is then quickly removed, after which the incision is stitched up. 

American Bullies typically have large heads, even as newborn puppies. They also have narrow birth canals, which can make the whelping process difficult. This is one of the main reasons American Bullies often need c-sections. 

Recovery from a canine c-section is typically fast. It takes around six hours for the anesthetic to leave the dam’s body, and she can begin caring for her puppies as soon as she shows interest. 

In the first 24 hours after the c-section, you should monitor your American Bully to ensure that she doesn’t fall, eats and drinks enough, and doesn’t inadvertently crush the puppies. 

Situations Where a C-Section Is Needed for an American Bully

american bully female pregnant

Now that we understand what a canine c-section is, we can discuss the instances where an American Bully would need one. 

Although c-sections are common in American Bullies, natural birth is still possible if she has never had a c-section. 

However, your dog may need a c-section in one of the following instances:

  • If your American Bully has previously given birth via c-section. Most vets recommend that your American Bully has a c-section if she has previously had the procedure. If she needed one before, chances are, the same qualifying criteria for a c-section will be valid for this litter.
  • When delivering a large litter. When your American Bully is pregnant, your vet will perform a scan of her belly to check if the puppies appear healthy and how many there are in the litter. When giving birth to a large litter, your American Bully is likely to feel exhausted and unable to continue the birthing process before the last puppy is born. If your vet thinks that this is a possibility, they may recommend a c-section.
  • If one or more puppies have deformities. Some puppies are born with deformities, including enlargement of particular body parts, which can make whelping difficult or impossible for the mother. In this case, a c-section can help, and your vet will pick up any deformities on a routine scan.
  • There is only one puppy in the litter. If there is only one puppy in the litter, your vet might also recommend a c-section. The reason is that your dog may not produce enough cortisol to induce labor, putting the dam and puppy’s lives at risk. In a single-puppy litter, the puppy is often large and well-nourished, making the whelping process tricky.
  • Your American Bully has an underlying health condition. Vets sometimes recommend a c-section if your dog has an underlying health condition.
  • If there are signs of fetal distress. Fetal distress means that the unborn puppies’ lives are in danger. Signs of fetal distress include red, green, or black discharge. This could mean that the placenta has detached, resulting in the puppies not receiving enough oxygen and their heart rates falling. Fetal distress may also delay the natural birthing process, putting your dog’s life in danger as well. 
  • Your American Bully is past her due date. A standard gestation period for a dog is 63 days. Your vet can run tests to determine your dog’s accurate due date. If your dog has overshot her due date, she might need a c-section. The longer puppies remain in the womb, the larger they get, making a natural birth more difficult.
  • If a puppy has died in utero. Sadly, it’s common for some puppies not to live to term. When a puppy has died in the mother’s uterus, it might not proceed naturally through the birth canal and could get stuck.
  • The mother dog has an infection or is bleeding. If your American Bully dam has a lot of vaginal discharge during or just before whelping, she may have an infection or internal bleeding. The puppies will need to be removed by c-section as soon as possible to ensure their survival. 
  • In an emergency. When your American Bully is whelping, it’s important to monitor her to ensure that everything is proceeding healthily. If she shows signs of distress, call your vet immediately as she may need a c-section. Signs of distress include being in labor for over 24 hours without birthing a puppy, resting for over four hours between birthing puppies, and appearing lethargic or vomiting. 
  • If the puppies’ heads are too large for the mother dog’s birth canal. One of the main reasons for your American Bully receiving adequate veterinary care during pregnancy is to ensure that she can give birth safely naturally. Since American Bullies typically have large heads and narrow pelvic bones, your vet will take some vital measurements to determine if a c-section would be safer.
  • When the puppies are in a breech position. Your vet will be able to confirm if the puppies are in a problematic condition in your American Bully’s uterus. A breech birth (i.e., the puppies are in a sideways or bottom-first position) often requires a c-section as the puppies may become stuck in the birth canal.   

The Maximum Number of C-Sections for American Bullies

There are many similarities between American Bully dams, but the number of c-sections an American Bully can have may vary from individual to individual. 

Vets typically state that the maximum number of times an American Bully can have a c-section is up to three. Each subsequent c-section increases the risk of complications, including bleeding, infection, and the wound failing to heal. 

Also, the older your American Bully is, the more likely she will be to have complications from the anesthesia and the healing process.

To find out how many times your American Bully can safely have a c-section should be confirmed by your vet. 

Your vet will be able to make a personalized recommendation for your American Bully. They may suggest sterilization if she already had three c-sections, and a natural birth would not be possible. 

Conclusion

A canine c-section involves making an incision in the abdomen and uterus to remove the puppies. It is often indicated in brachycephalic, who have large heads and narrow birth canals. 

An American Bully can generally have up to three c-sections safely, but it’s best to confirm with your vet as they know your dog’s veterinary history. 

Suppose your vet has advised that your American Bully can whelp naturally, but she is past her due date, has been laboring for over 24 hours, or resting for over four hours between delivering puppies. In that case, she may need an emergency c-section. 

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