Do American Bullies Need C-Sections?

american bully female with her litter

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There’s nothing more special than seeing your beloved dog deliver a litter of puppies. However, like human beings, dogs may give birth naturally or through a caesarian section (C-section). Needing a C-section delivery depends on various factors, including the dog’s breed and health status.

American Bullies don’t always need C-sections, as giving birth naturally is usually preferred over giving them anesthesia. However, some birthing situations may threaten the life of the mother or the puppies to the point a C-section becomes the only option. This includes breeched births or dystocia.

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss C-section as a mode of delivery in American Bullies. Read on to know when it is necessary, how much it can cost you, and what to expect when your American Bully undergoes a C-section. Let’s dive in.

When American Bullies Need C-Sections

Generally, your bitch should be able to give birth the natural way. In this case, your fundamental role is to provide her with a comfortable and quiet environment to facilitate the process. 

However, in some instances, a C-section is inevitable; these often include emergencies.

Previous Whelping Issues

If your dog has given birth by C-section(s) before, it is best if she delivers via the same process. 

Also, if she has had dystocia (birthing difficulties) before, you can schedule a C-section to prevent fatalities. 

Moreover, if an ultrasound shows that your dog is carrying a few large puppies (1 or 2) or more than 10, a C-section may be necessary.


Medical emergencies are the most common reasons vets carry out C-sections in American Bullies. The procedures aim at saving the life of the mother and/or the pups. 

Some conditions that call for an emergency C-section include:

  • Dystocia. This refers to a complicated birthing process. Common symptoms of dystocia include body weakness, continuous vomiting, lochia (a green and black discharge), toxemia (high blood pressure), and over four hours delay between whelping puppies.
  • Blocked head. Sometimes an ultrasound may show that your American Bully is carrying a puppy with a disproportionate head. An emergency C-section should be carried out in such a case, as the head may get stuck in the birth canal.
  • Breech births. The condition in which the unborn puppy’s position in the womb will cause the bottom and the tail to come out first during birth. It also leads to a difficult delivery, necessitating an emergency C-section.
  • Hemorrhages. If there is excessive bleeding from your pregnant canine, then there is a need for an emergency C-section. The bleeding is dangerous and can cause serious complications, such as unconsciousness.
  • Uterine inertia. It is a condition in which the uterus cannot contract hard enough to enable birth through the birth canal. It happens when the uterine muscles are too weak.
  • Intrauterine fetal death. When a puppy dies while still inside the mother’s body, you will have to engage the services of your veterinarian for it to be removed.

Note: It’s not advisable to carry out a C-section on a pregnant dog if she is not in actual labor or before her due date.

What Is the Cost of Delivery by a C-Section?

american bully puppies

The average cost of delivery by a C-section is between $500 and $2000. However, prices can be as low as $350, or as high as $5000, depending on where the procedure will be done, how many puppies there are, and how complicated the birth has become.

Along with this, these factors may also determine how much a C-section will cost:

  • Your dog’s age
  • Her physical condition
  • Her weight
  • Time and place of the operation
  • Other emergency needs

If you take your pooch to a local vet clinic, then you might spend less money than in an animal hospital or ER clinic. 

In contrast, if the operation occurs during the weekend, holiday, or late at night, you will pay more than if it is done during normal working hours.

In some clinics or hospitals, you may also pay extra charges. These may include consultation and office visit fees, antibiotic use, or emergencies, such as a blocked head.

Therefore, if the surgery is not an emergency, take time to plan where to take the mother for the procedure. That way, you’ll choose a pocket-friendly clinic or hospital without compromising the safety of your dog and puppies.

What Is a Canine C-Section?

For first-time dog owners, the idea of a C-section can be daunting. So, before you make any plans, it’s essential that you know what it entails.

A C-section is an invasive surgery that involves cutting open the uterus through the dog’s abdomen to remove the puppies. The dog is usually under anesthesia as the veterinarian takes the unborn pups one by one. It can be an unplanned or a preventive procedure in some dog breeds.

Like humans, this procedure can be dangerous, and the recovery time will be longer than from natural birth.

Still, carrying out a C-section is the most suitable mode of delivery for emergency cases. Therefore, always contact your vet if your American Bully has difficulty giving birth naturally.

What Can You Expect When Your American Bully Undergoes a C-Section?

If your veterinarian carries out a C-section on time and appropriately, there should be no cause for alarm. However, some complications do arise in some instances. Unfortunately, some difficulties may lead to the mother’s death or the death of her puppies.

When your American bully undergoes a C-section, she will be given an anesthetic and maybe fluids if she’s been in labor for a while. She will then be shaved so the vet can make a clean incision in her abdomen. The uterus is lifted so another small incision can be made to pull puppies through.

The vet will count the puppies as they are removed from their sacks. The cords need to be clamped before cut, and then the vet will suture the mother closed. 

Although relatively routine, C-sections are usually performed after the mother has been in labor for some time or if there is a problem. With that in mind, here are possible outcomes of a C-section:

  • Both the mother and puppies may survive and remain stable after the procedure.
  • The mother may have allergic reactions to the anesthesia administered before the surgery.
  • Your pregnant Bully may also face other risks, including blood clots, hemorrhaging, infection to the wound, and uterus damage.
  • If your dog has had a history of dystocia, then there is a risk of the condition getting worse. 
  • The incision scar may open up after the procedure.
  • In rare cases, a mother may die due to C-section complications.
  • Newborn puppies may get injuries during the process as the strain of delivery can complicate breathing by blocking their airways. 

How Long Should Your American Bully Rest After the Procedure?

After the C-section procedure, it will take about 2 to 6 hours for your dog to completely recover from the anesthesia. After this, you should allow your dog to rest for between 7 to 10 days. She should not engage in any physical exercise during this time apart from toilet breaks. 

Taking your dog to the toilet on a lead three times a day for about 15 minutes triggers uterine involution and removal of residues in the uterus. So she must be given this opportunity. 

The recovery time from the anesthesia varies depending on the anesthetic used, your canine’s age, her physical condition, and the labor duration. So, have a well-prepared whelping box to keep your Bully and puppies comfortable once you get home.

Here’s how to take care of your dog and pups post-surgery:

  1. Monitor your dog and how she interacts with her puppies during the recovery time. Don’t leave her alone with the pups until she is fully awake. Also, be sensitive to her movements as the mother may roll on them.
  2. If the mother can’t nurse the puppies, assist her by ensuring that the puppies access the teats. If she can’t produce enough milk, you can supplement it with puppy replacer, like the Esbilac Powdered Goat Milk. This milk supplement is highly nutritious, easily digestible, and palatable.
  3. Ensure that the pups are warm as they can’t regulate their temperature for a couple of days. Also, take them to your vet for a checkup and deworming after 8-10 weeks.
  4. If no complications arise, the stitches on your dog will be ready for removal after about 10 to 14 days. However, this will depend on the type of stitches used. So, if your vets used internal absorbable sutures, they’re invisible and don’t require removal.


A natural birthing process is the best delivery method for your pregnant American Bully. 

However, in case of life-threatening complications, consider a C-section. Identify a reliable and affordable facility for the procedure, and take good care of your dog and her newborns post-surgery.

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