In what cases is a cesarean section performed on Maine Coon cats?

10 July 2022

A caesarean section in Maine Coon cats is an emergency or planned surgical procedure in which fetuses with afterbirths are surgically removed from the uterus. Often, during a caesarean section, it is recommended to castrate the animal to further eliminate problems with the reproductive system.

A caesarean section is performed for animals that, as a result of malpresentation of the fetus, narrow birth canals, large fetuses, various hormonal disorders, have the likelihood of weakness of labor activity, prolonged pregnancy, the impossibility of moving the fetus along the birth canal, which can lead to stillbirth and death of the mother.

Upon admission of a giving birth cat, the doctor collects an anamnesis, conducts a general examination, additionally, a manual examination of the birth canal is performed to determine the degree of opening of the cervix, an x-ray of the abdominal cavity in two projections to determine the number and size of fetuses, an ultrasound of the uterus to assess the viability of the fetus. After that, the doctor makes a decision on the need for a caesarean section for a particular famale maine coon cat.

Before the operation, a pregnant cat must undergo a general clinical and biochemical blood tests, a blood test for electrolytes, and a screening ultrasound of the heart. This will help the anesthesiologist to choose the right preoperative infusion therapy and choose drugs for anesthesia, which will prevent the occurrence of complications during or after the operation. All manipulations with the animal are carried out only with the consent of the owner, so the owner will have to sign documents on consent to the operation, familiarization with the anesthetic risks and the cost of services.

Prior to the operation, the anesthesiologist installs an intravenous catheter for the patient, through which drugs for premedication are administered, a tube is inserted into the trachea to connect the inhalation anesthesia machine. After that, the assistant prepares the surgical field: shaves off the undercoat and treats the skin with an antiseptic. An incision 5-10 cm long is made by the surgeon along the white line of the abdomen. After penetration into the abdominal cavity, a bicornuate uterus is removed into the surgical incision. Through an incision in the wall of the uterus, the surgeon removes the fetuses and passes them to an assistant for cleansing the upper respiratory tract, separating the placenta, tying the umbilical cords, washing the skin. In parallel, the surgeon removes the uterus (if castration is necessary) or sutures it, then the sutures are placed on the abdominal wall, subcutaneous tissue and skin.

The recovery time from anesthesia is usually 1-2 hours, depending on the type of drugs used for anesthesia, the duration of the operation. At this time, the cat and newborn kittens are under the supervision of ICU doctors. Until the cat fully recovers from anesthesia, newborn kittens are placed in an oxygen box, inside which the required temperature is maintained.

Provided that the mother cat and newborns are in a stable condition, discharge from the hospital can be carried out in the first hours after the operation, but sometimes the cat needs longer medical supervision and additional treatment.

Before discharge from the hospital, the veterinarian gives recommendations on the maintenance and feeding of kittens.

Postoperative care includes irrigation of the sutures with an antiseptic, which is carried out 2 times a day until the suture is completely healed. The stitches are removed 10-14 days after the operation. Very often, self-absorbable sutures are applied that do not require removal.

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