Anesthesia for cesarean section in the dog
The major goal in anesthesia for cesarean section (CS) is to minimize fetal effects of anesthetic drugs in order to minimize fetal respiratory, central nervous system and cardiovascular depression and deliver live, vigorous puppies. Of equal importance is to provide adequate analgesia to the dam and prevent anesthesia-related complications such as hypotension, hypoventilation, hypoxemia, hemorrhage and hypothermia, which will increase morbidity and mortality in both mother and puppies. The physiochemical properties which allow drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier also facilitate crossing of the placenta, therefore the assumption should be made (with very few exceptions) that anes- thetics, analgesics and sedatives/tranquilizers all cross the placenta. Prolonged labor prior to delivery causes maternal physiologic compromise, resulting in fetal depression due to decreased placental perfusion, hypoxemia and acidosis. Maternal and puppy mortality is significantly increased during emergent versus planned CS (1,2). Timing and preparation are extremely impor- tant for puppy survival for both elective and emergency CS, and a thorough understanding of the maternal phy- siologic changes and the potential impact of anesthetic drugs is essential to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus (Figure 1).
This article is published as Hay Kraus BL. Anesthesia For Cesarean Section in the Dog.Veterinary Focus, vol. 26(1) 2016, pp. 24-31. Posted with permission.