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Dystocia: All in a Day’s Work Shelby Hayden Jen Sullivan Meredyth Jones Sarah Burkindine.

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Presentation on theme: "Dystocia: All in a Day’s Work Shelby Hayden Jen Sullivan Meredyth Jones Sarah Burkindine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dystocia: All in a Day’s Work Shelby Hayden Jen Sullivan Meredyth Jones Sarah Burkindine

2 Stage 1: initiation of myometrial contractions

3 Stage 1: Visible signs Seeks out isolation Thick clear mucoid vaginal discharge Signs of abdominal colic Restlessness Can last 2-6 hours

4 Stage 2: expulsion of the fetus Entrance of the fetus into the birth canal Stimulation of oxytocin release Rupture of amniotic and allantoic sacs

5 Stage 2: expulsion of the fetus Increasing uterine and abdominal contractions Stage 2 should last no longer than 1 hour

6 Stage 2: Visible signs Rupture of the “water sacs” Amniotic sac and feet are visible at the vulva Increasing frequency of abdominal contractions Expulsion of the fetus

7 Stage 3: expulsion of the placenta Detachment of chorionic villi from the crypts on the maternal side of the placenta Due to vasoconstriction Usually occurs within 3-8 hours of parturition

8 Fetal positioning Presentation Position Posture

9 Fetal Presentation Anterior, longitudinal Posterior, longitudinal Transverse ventral Transverse dorsal

10 Fetal Position Dorso-sacral Dorso-pubic Right and left dorso-ilial

11 Fetal Posture Relation of the calf’s head, neck and limbs to the body of the cow

12 Normal fetal positioning

13 Transverse Position

14 Causes of dystocia Basic Immediate

15 Causes of Dystocia Hereditary Nutritional (fat heifers, excessive fat in pelvis) Management (breeding large bulls to small cows, breeding too soon after partrition)

16 Causes of Dystocia Infectious (Brucella, Campylobacter, BVD, Bluetongue, leptospirosis, corynebacterium, Trichomonas, Listeria, IBR) Traumatic (rupture of prepubic tendon, uterine torsion) Miscellaneous (hydrops, uterine inertia)

17 Immediate causes of dystocia Fetal causes Maternal causes

18 Fetal Causes Size: breed, age of the dam, sire, sex Abnormal: presentation, position, posture Fetal Monsters: schistosomas reflexus, perosomus elumbis

19 Schistosomus reflexus


21 Maternal Causes Pelvic fractures Breeding heifers too young Hereditary or congenital hypoplasia of the birth canal

22 Parturition Intervention Guidelines Stage I of labor > 6 hours and cow/heifer has not begun to abdominally press. Stage 2 of labor > 2-3 hours and progress is very slow or absent Amniotic sac has been visible for 2 hours and the calf has not hit the ground

23 Dystocia Watch Intervals < 3 hours intervals is required to determine length of duration of the stages of parturition.

24 Equipment required for obstetrical exam Twine or robe Novasan or betadine scrub Bucket or bottle of warm water Sterile lube Palpation sleeves

25 Obstetrical Equipment for Pulling a Calf Same equipment required for obstetrical exam plus:


27 Calf Jack (Puller)

28 Cont. of obstetrical equipment for calf pulling Head snare Epidural Equipment – 2 % lidocaine – 6 cc syringe – 18 gauge 1.5 inch needle

29 Obstetrical Exam 1. Fill clean bucket with betadine or novasan solution diluted with warm water to either a “weak tea” solution or a light blue solution respectively.

30 2. Place obstetrical chains and handles, tube of sterile lube and head snare into the bucket.

31 3. Clean the perineal region with a betadine or novasan scrub followed by a clean warm water rinse. Minimum of 2- 3 separate scrub/rinse cycles

32 4. Put on 2 clean plastic OB sleeves. 5. Lubricate both arms with sterile OB lube

33 6) Examine the birth canal for dilation and size of the pelvic opening. Manually dilate the birth canal if needed

34 7. Examine cervical dilation and structures in the birth canal

35 8. Examine uterus and birth canal for prior damage.

36 9. Evaluate position, presentation and posture of the calf and/or calves.

37 10. Evaluate calf or calves viability Withdrawal reflex Corneal/palpebral reflex Suckle and tongue withdrawal reflexes Anal sphincter reflex Heartbeat felt through chest wall or umbilical artery pulse

38 Methods of Correcting Dystocia Live Fetus Options : – Mutation – Forced Extraction – Cesarean Section Dead Fetus Options : – Mutation – Forced Extraction – Fetotomy – Cesarean Section

39 Mutation Repulsion: Rotation: – Moving from dorso-pubic or dorso-ilial to dorso-sacral position Version: – Turning the fetus end-for end (i.e. on a transverse axis) Reposition of Extremities

40 Minimum Goal of Mutation Reposition the calf into a dorso-sacral position Calf’s front legs extended cranially and hind legs extended caudally in perspective to the calf’s body.

41 Guidelines for Mutation 1. Abnormalities in presentation, position, posture should be diagnosed and corrected prior to attempting traction.

42 2. When the fetus is dead and repositioning is difficult or dangerous, other options should be considered Partial or complete fetotomy Cesarean Section

43 3. Maximum of 30 minutes of mutation without progress warrants c-section or fetotomy.

44 Types of Mutation Dystocias Retention of Front Limb Retention of Rear Limb Retention of the Head Irregular Presentation or Position – “Dog-sitter” – Uterine Torsion – Transverse Presentations

45 Types of Limb Mutation Dystocias Front limb – Flexed shoulder posture – Flexed carpal posture – Elbow lock posture – Foot-nape posture Hind Limb – Hock flexion posture – Hip flexion posture

46 Flexed Carpus manipulation 1. Convert flexed leg to flexed carpus posture by traction on the upper foreleg if the shoulder is flexed. 2. Apply simultaneous repulsion to the carpus in an anterior-dorsolateral direction and traction on the hoof in a medial and posterior direction

47 Elbow Lock Posture Occur when forelimbs are not fully extended as they come into the pelvic inlet Presentation: – Tips of toes are even with the end of the calf’s nose Correction: – Repulsion on the fetal trunk and simultaneous alternating traction on the limbs

48 Flexed Hock Manipulation 1. Convert the flexed hip to a flexed hock posture Apply hand traction high on the leg working your way distally until the hock is reached

49 2. Place 1 hand on the hock while simultaneously placing a second hand over the hoof. 3. Move the hoof posteriorly and medially into the birth canal as repulsion is applied in an anterior-lateral direction on the hock.

50 Caudal view Lateral view

51 Dystocia due to Retention of the Head Lateral deviation – Most common Ventral deviation Dorsal deviation Vertex posture – bride of nose is impacted against the brim of the pelvis causing the poll to be presented – Fetus is often dead

52 Head-Breast Posture Correction of ventral deviation of the head Procedure 1. Repel 1 forelimb to the flexed shoulder posture 2. Bring the head up from beneath the body of the fetus 3. Flexed shoulder is converted to normal posture using the flexed carpal manipulation

53 Lateral Deviation of the Head

54 Correction of Lateral Deviation of the Head Repulsion of the shoulder, thorax, or brisket with concurrent traction on the head Sources for Traction on the Head: – 2 nd hand – Jaw snare: beware of jaw fractures – -head, jaw or orbital hooks

55 Irregular Presentation or Position “Dog-Sitter” Uterine Torsion Transverse Presentations

56 “Dog-Sitter” Rear legs are extended along the abdomen of the otherwise normally presented fetus

57 Correction of the “Dog-Sitter” Only attempt mutation if the fetus is small enough to allow palpation both hind limbs during extraction. – Allows for the hind legs to be repelled and allows the uterus to be protected from the hooves as the rear legs straighten out during delivery. – Otherwise, rear hooves may tear the uterus as they extend behind the fetus.

58 Cont. Correction of “Dog-Sitter” 180 degree version to posterior presentation and rotation to dorso-sacral position Cesarean section – Especially with oversized fetus Fetotomy – Impacted fetus in the birth canal

59 Uterine Torsion Always examine uterus for torsion if fetus appears to be presented in a dorso-ilial OR dorso-pubic position.

60 Uterine Torsion Findings Spiral folding of the birth canal – Simulates incomplete dilatation of the cervix Broad ligaments of the uterus are rotated and stretches across the birth canal – 1 on the upper and 1 on the lower surface – Felt via Rectal Palpation.

61 Methods to Correct Uterine Torsion Shaffer method (plank in the flank) Rotate fetus in utero Cesarean Section

62 Transverse Presentations

63 Correction of Transverse Presentations Mutation is usually not attempted especially if presenting transverse dorsal. – Rear legs sometimes perforate the uterus as they straighten if delivery is attempted by anterior presentation Convert to posterior presentation, dorso- sacral position Cesarean Section


65 Forced Extraction of a Fetus Which one has already prepared for prior to the initial obstetrical examination – i.e. obstetrical chains and hooks should already be in the bucket of dilute betadine or novasan solution.

66 Do not give an epidural anesthetic unless it is absolutely necessary. – Prevents dam from assisting delivery of the calf

67 Forced Extraction in Anterior Presentation 1) Placement of obstetrical chains Eyelets on the dorsal surface of the forefeet

68 2)Traction on Fetus

69 Traction Procedure especially if fetus is oversized Unilateral traction is applied to the bottom (most anteriorly located) forelimb until its shoulder and elbow are past the pelvic inlet – It can usually be felt when the shoulder passes the ilium. – Otherwise, assume that when the fetlock is ~10 cm (15 cm in larger breeds) outside of the vulva, the shoulder has passed through the pelvic inlet.

70 Cont. Traction of oversized fetus (anterior presentation) Full-force unilateral traction is than applied to the top forelimb (hopefully by a 2 nd person) – Extraction is usually is possible if the 2 nd shoulder also passes the ilium into the birth canal – If not, C-SECTION IS PROBABLY REQUIRED. Traction can be attempted with a calf jack but do not exceed force of 2-3 strong men.

71 3)Rotation of the Fetus

72 How to rotate the calf to avoid hiplock

73 Completion of Rotation

74 Rotation of the fetus takes advantage of the widest diameter of the pelvic inletRotation of the fetus takes advantage of the widest diameter of the pelvic inlet

75 If Hiplock... If Hiplock occurs... 1. Discontinue traction 2. Clean the mucus and membranes from the calf’s nostrils 3. Stimulate breathing – Tickle the nostrils – Pour cold water over the head of the calf

76 4.With hiplock apply traction only when the cow presses Continuous traction is generally unproductive Pelvic inlet becomes functionally larger

77 5.Apply traction caudally and somewhat dorsally This direction of pull is more perpendicular to the pelvic inlet

78 6.Maintain rotation of the calf’s pelvis in a dorso-ilial position. Palpation along the back of the calf is required to ensure that the calf’s pelvis is rotated 60 to 90 degrees.

79 Forced Extraction in Posterior Presentation Rotate the calf into the dorso-ilial position Apply OB chains to the hind legs in a similar manner as the front legs Apply traction in a caudal, slightly dorsal direction to bring the calf’s hips through the pelvic inlet.

80 Cont. Forced Extraction in Posterior Presentation Rotate the calf back into a dorso-sacral position once the rear quarters have passed the pelvic inlet Apply slightly caudal, ventral traction

81 Calf Jack Can be used with either posterior or anterior presentation NEVER APPLY MORE FORCE THAN WHAT 2-3 STRONG MEN CAN APPLY

82 Cesarean Section Approaches: – High left flank – Low left flank – Left paramedian – High right flank – Low right flank – Right paramedian – Ventral Midline

83 Fetotomy Should only be performed in the dead fetus

84 Fetotomy Equipment Fetotome Wire Threader Wire saw handles Wire introducer Krey Hook OB chain Lubicant Epidural equipment





89 Injury to the Calf

90 Asphyxiation and Anoxia Rupture or impaction of the umbilicus during manipulation necessitates rapid extraction to prevent anoxia and potential brain damage Complications more frequently associated with posterior presentation

91 Femoral Nerve Paralysis Often associated with prolonged hiplock during extraction

92 Nerve Damage

93 Fractures Fracture of the mandible due to inappropriate use of obstetrical chains

94 Fractures Placement of obstetrical chains with one loop over the fetlock and a half-hitch around the pastern will better distribute traction and prevent injury to fetal limbs

95 Fractures Excessive traction may also result in fractures of the pelvis or ribs, as well as injury to the joints and spine

96 Complications Associated with Posterior Presentation Pulmonary hemorrhage, diaphragmatic hernia, and liver rupture may be caused by excessive traction on the fetus in posterior presentation

97 Injury to the Dam

98 Calving Paralysis Paresis or paralysis of the cow Damage to peroneal and obturator nerves May be caused by prolonged hiplock or excessive force used in its resolve

99 Retained Placenta Direct association with abortion, twinning, dystocia, cesarean-section, and fetotomy.

100 Uterine Prolapse Associated with dystocia and irritation of the external birth canal Complicated by environmental insult— freezing, drying, severe laceration

101 Trauma to the Birth Canal Tears and lacerations: – Vulvar, vaginal and cervical tears, recto-vaginal fistula or perineal laceration – Forelimbs may be forced through the dorsum of the birth canal Hematoma Vaginal necrosis

102 Uterine Ruptures or Tears Associated with prolonged dystocia, uterine torsion, and excessive repulsion or rough manipulation Tears most commonly occur in the ventral uterine wall

103 @#$*%&!!

104 Saturday, April 6: calf presents breech, calving difficulty 5 and 8, calf does not survive extraction Monday, April 8: dam found dead, presented for necropsy Dam number 1025

105 Peritonitis Examination of the abdominal cavity reveals a considerable volume of bloody fluid and fibrin

106 Petechiation of the Heart Indicative of an acute/agonal incident or a septic insult

107 Dorsal Uterine Tear Full thickness, approximately six inches long

108 Ventral Uterine Tear Partial thickness, approximately three inches long with associate mucosal/ sub-mucosal hemorrhage

109 Fetal Lungs Appearance of the lungs indicated the calf had taken a breath

110 @#$*%&!!

111 Economic Implications of Dystocia Things to consider: -Dam Value -Live Calf Value -Cost of Veterinary Intervention

112 Dam Value Dam Value Dairy cows (Holstein) - Replacement of Mature Milking Cow: $1200-1500 - Replacement of Springing Heifer: $1800-2500 - Lactation and Genetic Potential

113 Dam Value Dam Value Beef Cows Purchase of Replacement Heifer: $850-900 Rearing of Replacement Heifer: $750-800 Seedstock Genetics

114 Live Calf Value Dairy Calves - 1 day old heifer calf: $500-700 - 1 day old bull calf: $100-150

115 Live Calf Value Live Calf Value Beef Calves - Feeder Futures for January, 2003 - $79/cwt x 700# = $553

116 Even if you can’t save baby… Dairy Cow value post-calving - Lactation: 18,000# x $0.87/# = $15,666 - This does not include cost of lactation - Salvage: $54.00/cwt x 1000# = $540 - Rebreed

117 Even if you can’t save baby… Beef cow value post-calving: - Raise orphaned or twin calf; Rebreed - Salvage: $60/cwt x 900# = $540

118 Producer Cost for Caesarean Section Survey of veterinarians - Average charge for on-farm dystocia ending in Caesarean section - $258.92

119 What is the bottom line? Dairy Producer: -Heifer + Calf Alive = $2300 Plus Lactation ($15,000) and Genetics -Heifer Alive = $1800 Plus Lactation ($15,000) and Genetics -Cost of Caesarean: $260 11% of value of both at that time

120 What is the bottom line? Commercial Beef Producer: - Heifer and Calf Alive: $1403 - Heifer Alive: $850 - Cost of Caesarean: $260 -18% value of both

121 Conclusion Conclusion Producers should make dystocia management decisions before breeding occurs When a dystocia presents itself, make your decisions based on what is best for the herd’s production goals If you need to intervene, do so with caution and think ahead about the effects of your actions on the pair’s future production

122 Thank you to all the faculty and staff of GPVEC for contributing to our education.

123 The End Any questions?

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