What a Boston Terrier Female (and her breeder) Must Go Through To Whelp a Litter Of Puppies
(Videos Below Pictures)

Photos Vicki Kennedy, Kennedy Bostons

Boston Terriers must have a C-Section if their puppies are to be delivered alive and healthy. There are many reasons Boston Terriers cannot free-whelp their puppies. One is that the heads of Boston Terrier puppies are disproportionately larger than the pelvis of the mother. Another reason for a C-Section is Uterine Inertia. Sometimes the contractions just are not hard enough to deliver the puppies. Sometimes a puppy gets stuck sideways and causes a "logjam".

Timing is crucial when planning a C-Section - take the puppies too soon and the mother can bleed to death and/or the puppies may not be fully developed in which case they cannot survive. Wait too long and the puppies can be "overly ripe", beginning to eliminate in their sacks which can cause infection and death. Waiting too long can cause the puppies to grow too large and die; waiting too long can also result in puppies getting stuck in the birth canal where they will die.

In any case, C-Sections are routine and a good breeder does not wait to try and let the bitch free-whelp her puppies. Doing so can endanger the life of the mother as well as the puppies. Boston Terriers are a man-made breed, and cannot survive without a large amount of human intervention. If this bothers you, then the Boston Terrier would not be a good breed for you to try and raise/show. They simply cannot survive or reproduce without extra efforts on the part of the breeder and the Veterinarian. It is also very important to have a Veterinarian who is experienced at doing C-Sections on Boston Terriers or Bulldogs, as an extra level of expertise is needed in the knowledge of administering anesthesia to short-nosed breeds. Not "just any vet" can do a successful C-Section on a Boston or Bulldog.

A Boston Terrier C-Section Photoessay

The bitch is masked down with Isoflurane gas & intubated. No other drugs are administered. Her legs are tied down to keep her stable while being operated on.

All 4 legs are tied down and the heated pad
underneath begins to warm her for the operation.

The technician cleans her belly off before the surgery begins.

Fully anesthetised, the bitch is draped and the instruments
are readied for the doctor.

The Veterinarian begins the surgery, making the incision.

The line has been cut, and the Vet prepares to remove the uterus.

The uterus containing the puppies is removed from the abdomen.

The doctor prepares to cut into the uterus so the puppies may be removed.

The doctor begins to remove the first puppy.

Removed form it's sack, the doctor hands the first puppy to the
breeder who will stimulate it so it will begin to breathe.
It's a beautifully marked boy!

The second puppy is removed and is handed to another breeder so she can get it breathing. Another boy!

The breeder continues to rub her puppy so it will cry
and pink up.

One of the breeders continues to work on her puppy.

This puppy is getting pink and breathing well.

The other puppy is still being worked on.

The umbilical cord is being cut on a puppy.

One puppy says it's first hello to the world!

This puppy (rt) still is not pink and needs more stimulation.

Sarah's puppy

NOTE: This puppy would not stay pink. After working with him for 3 days, he was unfortunately no longer able to survive.

Both boys all cleaned up.

Tired and sore after her ordeal, the dam rests with her two new babies. A C-Section is a lot to go through for both the dam AND the breeder. As noted above, the puppy on the right did not survive past 3 days.

Trying to nurse, but no milk is present yet. If no milk comes in (which is common), the puppy must be tube-fed every 3 hours for 3 weeks.

If you are considering breeding your Boston Terrier, please consider what your dog must go through to produce a litter of puppies, not to mention the heartbreak you may have if you lose a puppy. Many people also do not realize the costs involved with breeding the litter from start to finish.


Stud fee for a top producing male $400-$500, ovulation testing $45 each test (you can need from 2-6 of these done), shipping the bitch to be bred $350 (health certificate & Brucellosis test is about $80), C-Section $800-$2000 (depending on the area, many vets charge depending on how many puppies there are), aftercare/dewclaws if the vet does it $40 per puppy, misc supplies (formula for when the bitch has no milk, towels, vitamins, antibiotics etc. $100 min.) Vaccines $40 (minimum) per puppy if the vet does them multiplied by 4 since they need a series of 4. In the case of this litter, we ended up with one puppy. Expenses totalled approximately $2,070. This is a minimum, as other vet visits come up when a puppy is sick/dies or if the mother is sick. Think you can make money or even break even? You do the math. Unless you can sell one puppy for $2,070, you cannot break even. If you have more puppies in the litter, you just have more expenses, so it is never possible to break even and it is not possible to make any money. It is a very expensive endeavor and can be very heartbreaking. All of this doesn't include the fact that you are up almost around the clock for 3 weeks making sure the mother is caring for the puppies properly (many times they do not and the breeder has to tube feed the puppies every 3 hours around the clock).

~ Please think twice about breeding your Boston ~

Family pets should not be bred "just so she can have the experience" or "just so the kids will see the miracle of birth". It is unfair to make your dog go through this for those reasons.

See some videos of one of my females having a c-section (actual surgical procedures are seen up-close - not for kids or squeamish people!):

HD version of above video with no annotations is here

Back to the Brindle Hill Main Welcome Page.
Go to to the Brindle Hill Chronological History Page.
Go to the Brindle Hill Complete Dog List.