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  • Author or Editor: Clare L. Timothy x
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To compare maternal and fetal outcomes of dystocia managed surgically and nonsurgically at referral hospitals (RHs) versus community medicine clinics (CMCs), determine the rate of C-section, and evaluate the incidence of hypoglycemia and hypocalcemia in bitches presented with dystocia.


Bitches presented with dystocia at 2 RHs and 2 CMCs.


Information on signalment, presence of hypoglycemia and/or hypocalcemia, diagnostic imaging performed, nonsurgical and surgical interventions performed, maternal and fetal outcomes, and total cost of care was obtained from the electronic medical records of bitches presenting for dystocia between October 2015 and October 2020. Descriptive statistics were performed and outcome compared between RHs and CMCs using a Fisher exact test, with a P < .05 considered significant.


230 bitches were evaluated with 243 separate episodes of dystocia, with 183 (75%) episodes treated at an RH and 60 (25%) at a CMC. There was a low incidence of hypoglycemia (5% [9/178]) and ionized hypocalcemia (1% [2/164]). Seventy-three percent (177/243) of bitches underwent surgical intervention, 25% (61/243) received nonsurgical management, and 2% (5/243) transferred to their primary veterinarian. There was no difference in survival for bitches operated at an RH compared with a CMC. However, bitches operated at an RH were more likely (P = .04) to be discharged with at least 1 live neonate.


In bitches diagnosed with dystocia, hypoglycemia and hypocalcemia were rare. The majority of bitches underwent a C-section. The setting where the C-section was performed did not impact maternal survival.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association