Caesarean section Dr. Rekha Pathak Senior scientist Division of surgeryCaesarean section is also commonly termed as C-Section in which uterus is exteriorized to take out theyoung one from the pregnant dam. Its indications are as follows:-1. Uterine inertia2. Various types of obstructive dystocia (for eg: Emphysematous fetus, Oversized fetus, small pelvic analof the dam, difficulty in parturition due to pelvic fractures, position and posture dystocia etc.)3. Rupture of uterus (may be due to injection or excessive manipulation of the fetus).4. Animal in highly compromised condition like pregnancy toxemia, weak prostrated dam unable toshow labor etc.5. In the mares twin pregnancy is also an indication for C-Section.6. Uterine torsion.7. Incomplete Cervical dilatation.It is important to choose a clean and bright place for the operation. The air borne contamination shouldbe strictly avoided and utmost case should be taken to prevent the post-operative complications andsepticemia because the successful outcome of the operation is mainly dependent on the strict asepsiswhich is followed.Site of operation varies with the type of species. In dogs the site of operation is ventral and line incisionbehind the umbilicus, in the cow a vertical or oblique incision on the left lower flank is preferred (for thereason that on the left side the intestinal interference is least, although rumen is present on the higherflank,) this site is chosen. (Fig. 1) Fig. 1: left lower flank incision in cattleIn mares, a left paramedian incision (caudal) or ventral midline incision is preferred. The smallruminants like goat and ewes, the site chosen are just as n cattle. For left lower flank incisions animalsare taken on the right lateral recumbency and for ventral midline incision they are taken on the dorsalrecumbency. It is very important to note that the animals should be comfortably casted at a height forthe operator so that surgeon is not only comfortable of his posture but since this operation takes a littlelonger and cumbersome in large animals specially buffaloes. There should be a skilled team consisting ofat least two surgeons on the operative site and one assistant on the instrument table. Two skilledassistants should take care of the fluid (intravenous) and other drugs requirement of the casted animal.The animal when comes should be checked for dehydration and intravenous fluids rehydration and we
should make every attempt to stabilize such animals. Dexamethasone should be administered alongwith antibiotics prior to the surgery.Surgical Anatomy:Dog: - The gravid uterus has dilated horns in the shape of –Y which contain the fetuses and lies on theventral abdominal floor extended up to the level of stomach towards end of gestation.Cow: - The gravid uterus may lie directly up on the right abdominal floor or within the supraomentalspace with the intestine concealed on the right by superficial and deep parts of greaten omentum.After giving the incision at the left lower flank site, the uterus is usually brought outside with the help ofgrasping and feeling the fetal parts. The uterus may be exposed for caesarean section by simply drawingthe greater omentum forward. If the fetus in mummified , instead of giving a lower flank incision , upperflank incision is usually preferred whereas in full term gestation because the uterus due to its weight isfound on the ventral floor of the abdomen it is better to go for the lower flank incision.Anesthesia:1. In dogs where pups are found to be alive by ultrasonographic or Doppler examination, thiopental orxylazine is not preferred for the reason of respiratory depression of pups but a combination of epiduraland local infiltration with 2 % Lignocaine can be given.We can also give a combination of Diazepam and ketamine intravenously with the dose rate of 0.5mg/kgbody weight and 5.0 mg/kg body weight respectively. In cattle or buffalo, slight sedation may beneeded sometimes along with local infiltration on the line of incision. In mares, inhalation anesthesiawith inhalant anesthetic agents is preferred.Surgical anatomy:Midline incision behind the umbilicus includes incision on the ventral aponeurosis of the muscles (whiteline). The venterolateral oblique incision is usually used in cows and buffaloes with the animalscontrolled in lateral recumbency and hind limbs extended caudally. Incision is just in front of stifle andextends cranioventrally in a slight oblique direction. The structures invaded are skin, subcutaneousfascia, and combined aponeurosis of the two oblique muscles which forms the external sheath of therectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and peritoneum.Paramedian incision is preferred in mares and the structures include skin, fascia, external rectus sheath,rectus abdominis muscle, internal rectus sheath and peritoneum.Dogs: Premedication with atropine sulfate @ 0.04 mg/kg body weight followed by diazepam @ 0.5mg/kg body weight and ketamine @ 2-5 mg/ kg body weight of the animal intravenously. This regimen isfollowed if the fetuses are found to be alive by other examinations. But if there is a certainty thatfetuses are dead or infected then atropine sulphate is followed by thiopentone sodium @ 8- 10 mg / kgbody weight. A long incision on the linea-alba is given in medium and small sized dogs to exteriorize theuterus. But if the animal’s size is more than 25 kg we should prefer the oblique incision on flank orparamedian approach to avoid postoperative dehiscence and hernia.
The cow is controlled in standing or right lateral recumbency and al long skin incision is given by savingthe left subcutaneous abdominal vein. We can either give the local infiltration or epidural anesthesiawith 2% Lignocaine. In bitch, the bifurcation of uterine body is first visualized and incision is made over itin order to enable the milking of pups (squeezing the pups out from the horns) from both the horns iseasy. The fetuses are removed along with fetal membrane one by one. The umbilical vessels are ligatedand cut and the new born are handed over o the helper or nurse for resuscitation. They are wiped withmops and assisted for artificial respiration if fail to breathe. The head is lowered to permit drainage offluids from the upper respiratory tract.In cow the uterine incision should follow the longitudinal line of greater curvature of the uterus. (Fig 2and Fig 3) Fig 2: Uterus is packed off from the abdominal cavity Fig 3: Fetus being taken out from the uterusForelimbs or hind limbs are grasped depending upon the presentation and the fetus is taken out fromthe uterus. The calf should be care by the assistants. It should be cleaned, dried, cleared off the mucusfrom the nostrils. The umbilical cord is ligated far enough from the navel and cut so that it contracts.Antiseptic solution like povidone iodine or Tr. Iodine is then applied over it to present the infective theremoval of after births or placenta is also important. (Fig 4) Fig 4: Removal of after births or placenta If it is easily removed by gentle traction it should be removed or otherwise, it should not be pulled withforce since chances of caruncular bleeding is strong which may be fatal to the dam.If such bleeding is encountered in the dam, then we can counteract it by giving oxytocin which largelyshrinks the uterus and stops the bleeding. Antibiotics can be instilled into the uterus as commonprocedure for all the species before closure. The uterine incision is cleaned with gauze and closed by a
double row of Lamberts sutures using chromic catgut size 2-0 or 3-0 in bitch and size 2 in cattle andbuffaloes. (Fig 5) Fig 5: closure of uterine incision Fig 6: closure of abdominal incisionAbdominal incisions are sutured in the usual manner, closing the peritoneum, muscle and skinrespectively. (Fig 6)Note: utmost care should be taken to avoid the spillage of uterine contents into the peritoneal /abdominal cavity for the successful outcome of surgery. In case such spillage occurs, it should be lavagedwith sterile normal saline containing non- irritant antibiotics to counteract the infection, reduce thechances of postoperative adhesions and infection.The uterine torsion in case of cattle and buffaloes should be then corrected. 50-60 units of oxytocinhasten the uterine involution. A 5% solution of dextrose and normal saline solution should be invariablyincluded in the schedule as most deaths have hypoglycemia and hypochloraemia.Postoperative care:The mother and the new born should be returned to clean and comfortable environment. If thehemorrhage is excessive, pituitrin and calcium gluconate may be given intravenously in bitches.Penicillin or some other antibiotics should be given. If the condition of patient is poor administration ofblood or plasma expanders and corticosteroids is considered.Puppies should be given to the mother as soon as she is ready to take care of them. Similarly the newborn calf should also be allowed to suckle and stand on its legs. It not only provides the nourishment tothe puppies but will also stimulate the uterine contractions thereby reducing any risk of placentalretention or endometritis. The skin sutures should be removed in 10- 12 days after surgery or after thehealing is complete.