Pondering Prolapses

Carolyn Baguley explains why she enjoys replacing uterine prolapses, and the best course of action if your sheep or cow has a prolapsed uterus.

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There are many things I love about my job, and one thing I particularly enjoy is replacing uterine prolapses – a bit odd, perhaps, but there’s something very satisfying about seeing that huge red mass disappear back inside!

Epidurals Have Changed Prolapses For The Better

In times gone by, a call to a prolapse was guaranteed to make a vet’s heart sink.  The prospect of several hours of hard labour, accompanied by numerous bags of sugar, was enough to bring on sweat and tears before even arriving at the farm.  Now though, epidurals have transformed the procedure and made it far easier.

With an epidural, correct positioning, a skilled operator, plenty of lube and a gentle touch, the uterus can often be replaced relatively easily and the animal given a good chance of breeding again.

Replacing a Prolapsed Uterus

Replacing a prolapsed uterus is definitely a vet’s job, but very occasionally some farmers have a go at putting the uterus back themselves.  This usually ends badly, with an exhausted cow or sheep, a traumatised or ruptured uterus, a cross farmer and a frustrated vet.  I’d like to issue a plea to all our cattle and sheep farmers to make no attempt to replace a prolapsed uterus themselves – this is no time for heroics!

What To Do If Your Cow Or Sheep Has A Prolapsed Uterus

Instead, the best thing to do is to call the vet straightaway, and do the following things while we’re on the way:

  • Keep the animal as calm and still as possible.
  • Keep the uterus clean – consider covering it with a clean wet towel.
  • Get other animals out of the way – there’s nothing more frustrating than someone else putting their foot through the uterus.
  • Give a bottle of calcium under the skin (prolapsed uteruses are often linked to milk fever).
  • Get two buckets of warm water ready.
  • Have some long ropes handy – if it’s a cow and she’s down, it’s useful to tie the back legs out behind her.
  • Call for extra help – a few pairs of hands can make life much easier.

Always ring us if you need us or if you’re not sure of what to do for the best – we’re on call 24/7, and overnight prolapses shouldn’t be left until morning!

Out of hours emergency

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