Oxytocin For Dogs During Labor

This article details the use of oxytocin for dogs, the correct dosage, safety guidelines and side effects.

Oxytocin is a substance used during labor to bring on contractions, or strengthen contractions. It is FDA approved for veterinary use, and is given as an injection with various different methods of administration. Either into the vein, into the muscle or under the skin. It’s important that you only use the drug when directed to do so.

Oxytocin dosage for dogs

Never use this substance without a vet guiding you to do so. Oxytocin is usually used at a dosage of 0.1 cc per 10 lbs (0.01 cc per pound), and many vets advise to never exceed a dosage of 0.5 ml no matter how big the dog is. If the first injection fails, a second may be used after 20 minutes have elapsed. A C-section may be needed if the second attempt fails.

Using too much oxytocin may have the opposite effect of making birth more difficult.

Is oxytocin safe for dogs?

Oxytocin can be safely used in dogs during the birthing period, so long as a vet provides guidance and approval. It may be unsuitable if your dog’s cervix is dilated or if the puppies are incorrectly positioned for birth.

Safety precautions:

  • Understand the injection process thoroughly before proceeding
  • Have a trained professional administer the injections if possible
  • C-section may be required if the oxytocin fails to work

There is a risk of a rupture to the uterus if oxytocin is used incorrectly, and an overdose could increase the difficulty of the birthing process.

Uses of oxytocin for dogs

Oxytocin is used in dogs to:

  • Aid with birthing

Most vets will try only two times to induce birth using oxytocin before switching to other methods.

Side effects when giving oxytocin to your dog

Oxytocin will cause your dog to experience contractions, or stronger contractions. When used incorrectly, it may cause uterine rupture and death/injury to the unborn puppy.

Oxytocin Wikipedia overview