How Much Does a Dog C Section Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

It is known that not all dog breeds can deliver their puppies naturally, and because some of the smaller breeds have pelvic canals that are just too small to handle the size of the pups for a natural birth, a c-section can become a necessity.

Like its human counterpart, the procedure is done near to the end of the full gestation period so the puppies will have the chance to survive.  This procedure also helps the mother survive as opposed to taking the chance of dying while giving birth.

Jekku Before He Had A Name by Petteri Sulonen, on Flickr
Jekku Before He Had A Name” (CC BY 2.0) by Petteri Sulonen

How much does a dog c section cost?

According to Dogbreedinfo.com, a dog C-section will cost you between $500 and $2,000.  The exact price of the procedure may depend on the vet who will handle the procedure and where you live.  A normal easy C-section, for example, can be about $500 when done during office hours; however, the costs could increase by two to three times the amount if the c-section were either complex and/or done in an emergency situation after hours.

A forum thread on Retrievertraining.net revealed that owners, who paid for this procedure, paid around $1,200 to $2,000.  The exact costs, according to the members, would depend largely on the vet, the clinic and the location as well.

Dog C-section overview

A test, or a series of tests, may be done first in order to determine if there is really a need for a C-section.  A vet will take a look at the mother’s health, the strength of the puppies, her past history and the size of the father.  The vet may perform digital vaginal palpation to evaluate maternal pelvic abnormalities, the size of the fetus, and to attempt manual removal without surgery.  In the event that the puppies are too large or the pelvic canal is too narrow for passage, the cesarean will be done.

Abdominal radiographs and abdominal ultrasound examination may be done as well in order to check if a C-section is needed as well. Radiographs, for example, are done to evaluate the size, location, and the number of puppies in the uterus, while an ultrasound is done to evaluate the viability of the puppies.

If s dog can not deliver the puppies naturally as proved by the different tests done beforehand, a cesarean is the next best option. The procedure will start with anesthesia, and the c-section will then be performed via an incision in the dog’s abdomen.  The surviving puppies are allowed to nurse normally as soon as the mother is out of surgery. PetPlace.com and DogBreedInfo.com offer a detailed step by step guide, showing you how the procedure is done.

What are the extra costs?

As mentioned, abdominal radiographs, an ultrasound and/or other abdominal tests may be needed in order to identify if a C-section is necessary.

Like humans, dogs need to recover after the procedure.  In order to avoid complications that may threaten the health and the life of the animal, proper aftercare must be observed and is strictly needed.

If a c-section is needed when your vet’s office is closed, then be prepared to pay much more.  In emergency situations, a vet will always take an x-ray to know how many puppies are inside the uterus.  This x-ray, more than likely, will be an additional charge to consider.

General and/or local anesthesia may be used, which can increase the costs.

Post surgery, medication may be required for a few days.

Tips to know:

Most c-sections are not planned procedures as it is unusual for most dogs to have problems delivering.  The animal is usually brought to the veterinarian after prolonged straining without delivering, an extended duration between deliveries or when a puppy is visibly stuck within the vaginal canal.  Basically, it is an emergency (not an elective) surgery.

The Border Terrier, Bulldog, English Toy Spaniel, Chihuahua, Pekingese and Cocker Spaniel, among many others are breeds, are known to often require C-section deliveries.  As an owner, you should know if the breed you have is at risk for a C-section to prevent an emergency situation.

According to a vet on this Charleston Gazette-Mail article, signs that may indicate a c-section can include weak contractions for more than two hours, vomiting, pain, a fever or a bloody discharge.  If you see any of these signs, take your dog to a vet immediately.

70 to 90 percent of puppies will survive a cesarean section, while 99 percent of mothers will fully recover after the procedure.  In some rare cases, hemorrhaging may occur, which can be life-threatening.

How can I save money?

Like humans, the best way to save money on pregnancy and delivery in dogs is to be prepared for it.  It is always better and less expensive to have a scheduled C-section than an emergency one.  Talk to your vet or pet surgeon ahead of time and discuss your options.


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Average Reported Cost: $1100

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0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Margie (Clinton,  North Carolina) paid $1200 and said:

    My local vet charged this.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. S (Costa Mesa,  California) paid $1000 and said:

    My local vet was charging $1600. The clinic quoted charging $650 after a $200 discount if all pre testing done through them however, they were further away. I was able to negotiate w/my local vet for a final cost of $1000 w/more personalized care and follow up.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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