Dystocia in sheep. Dystocia in sheep: causes and treatment 2022-10-04
Dystocia in sheep Rating:
Dystocia, also known as difficult or abnormal labor, is a common problem in sheep that can lead to serious consequences for both the dam (mother) and the lamb. It occurs when the lamb is unable to pass through the birth canal during delivery, either because of its size or position or due to problems with the dam's reproductive anatomy.
There are several factors that can contribute to dystocia in sheep. One of the most common causes is a lamb that is too large for the dam's pelvis, which can occur if the dam has not received adequate nutrition during pregnancy or if the lamb is the result of multiple gestation. Another common cause is a lamb that is positioned abnormally in the uterus, such as a breech presentation (feet or buttocks first) or a transverse position (lying horizontally across the uterus).
Other factors that can contribute to dystocia in sheep include a narrow or malformed pelvis in the dam, uterine torsion (twisting of the uterus), and uterine prolapse (protrusion of the uterus outside the vulva). In some cases, dystocia can also be caused by uterine infections or hormonal imbalances.
If dystocia is not promptly addressed, it can lead to serious complications for both the dam and the lamb. The dam may experience prolonged labor, which can lead to exhaustion and even death. The lamb may also suffer from oxygen deprivation, which can cause brain damage or death.
To diagnose and treat dystocia in sheep, a veterinarian will need to perform a physical examination of the dam and the lamb, as well as take a detailed history of the pregnancy and labor. Depending on the specific cause of the dystocia, treatment options may include manually repositioning the lamb, administering hormones to stimulate contractions, or performing a cesarean section to deliver the lamb.
In order to prevent dystocia in sheep, it is important for farmers and ranchers to provide proper nutrition for their ewes during pregnancy, as well as monitor their body condition to ensure that they are not carrying excessively large lambs. In addition, it is important to carefully monitor the labor process and seek veterinary assistance if any problems arise. By taking these preventive measures, farmers and ranchers can help ensure the health and well-being of their sheep and their offspring.
A review of dystocia in sheep
The ewe should be placed on some straw bedding in right lateral recumbency. Because of this, ewes do not generally meet their nutritional requirements, so producers need to focus on matching their supplementation strategies with the pregnancy stage of their ewes. However, if BCS is below three, they recommend providing supplementation. Here, we take a closer look at sheep dystocia. The lamb should be rubbed dry with a towel and their breathing should be stimulated.
A BCS over four may lead to predisposed pregnancy toxemia and dystocia problems. If a ewe is in labour i. The uterus is pulled externally, to prevent the spillage of foetal fluid into the abdominal cavity, and an incision is made along the greater curvature. You can use our samples to generate new ideas, get inspiration, examine the structure of a specific article, become familiar with a citation style, or gather research resources. The correct position of a lamb is the head and front legs coming first through the birth canal, right-side up.
Considerations for winter sheep nutrition discussed
The abdominal cavity is washed out with sterile saline in case some amniotic fluid dripped in. Conclusions and take-aways In summary, MSU Extension urges producers to sort and supplement young, old and thin ewes separate from the rest of the herd, noting tubs are a good option if weather and daily labor hinders daily supplementation. Obesity and lack of exercise during late pregnancy increase the chances of dystocia in sheep. Many ewes die because of prolonged manipulation of lambs in the birth canal. If it was done on the left side, then the intestines and many other organs must be removed to get to the uterus. It should start between the hooves of the foetus, to avoid cutting the foetus. It will dilate as much as it can naturally.
If a sheep is in labour too long, the outcome is usually a dead lamb and an extremely injured ewe, or possibly even a dead ewe also. The uterus is pulled externally, to prevent the spillage of foetal fluid into the abdominal cavity, and an incision is made along the greater curvature. Most of the left side is clipped, the skin is scrubbed with some warm water and an iodine is applied, to ensure the area is as clean as possible. So it should be ensured that the lamb is positioned properly before it enters the birth canal, as it is very difficult to manipulate the position in the birth canal. Common mistakes when dealing with dystocia include allowing the ewe to be in labour too long before intervening, trying to deliver a lamb that is in an abnormal position and applying too much force.
Excessive force can result in shock, haemorrhage, infection, fertility problems, and a prolapse of the vagina and uterus is also possible. There is also evidence for stress and environmentally related dystocia. Other factors implicated include low muscle glycogen, pregnancy toxaemia, mineral imbalance causing hypocalcaemia, and a lack of antioxidant nutrients. The legs and head are tied to stop the ewe from moving. Yearling mothers are much more susceptible to problems than animals that have previously given birth. Primiparous mothers are commonly diagnosed with dystocia, so extra care should be taken with these ewes when they start lambing. When lambing takes more than one hour after rupture of the foetal membranes it is classed as dystocia D.
Over fat ewes also can have difficulties lambing. Lastly, MSU Extension concludes inadequate ewe nutrition during the second trimester can disrupt growth and development of the placenta, resulting in low oxygen transfer to the fetus. In this example, late gestation runs from Jan. If a sheep is in labour too long, the outcome is usually a dead lamb and an extremely injured ewe, or possibly even a dead ewe also. This is easily done as the muscle layers are very thin. The cervix should never be forced open! The legs and head are tied to stop the ewe from moving.
Addressing these risks requires differential nutritional management for single and multiple bearing ewes. The lamb should be rubbed dry with a towel and their breathing should be stimulated. There is clearly a genetic component to dystocia. Primiparous mothers are commonly diagnosed with dystocia, so extra care should be taken with these ewes when they start lambing. Send comments on this article to roundup wylr. Caesarean Section: A caesarean section is performed on 1 in 5 ewes L.
The incision should be made vertically down the left paralumbar fossa or low flank and at 20cm in length. The abdominal cavity is washed out with sterile saline in case some amniotic fluid dripped in. The birth canal of a sheep is very small. It should never be attempted to remove a lamb that is in an abnormal position. Causing extra unnecessary pain should be avoided. The skin is closed using non-absorbable sutures in a simple uninterrupted pattern and cleaned.
The force used when assisting with the lambing process should be minimal. The survival of both the ewe and the lamb is hugely influenced by the time delay between the start of labour and the presentation for a caesarean section. Dystocia is extremely common in sheep and causes the death of many lambs and ewes. The cervix should never be forced open! A study conducted in New Zealand showed that dystocia accounted for 50% of deaths among new-born lambs. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.
Oestrogenic plants are still widely grown in mixed pastures but should be not be grazed by pregnant ewes. Causes of Dystocia: There are many causes of dystocia. The reason behind this is that the uterus is easily accessible on the right side, it is right under the skin. Correcting the position of the lamb must be done so before trying to remove the lamb. This review provides broad interpretation of the literature, but conclusions are not definitive with widespread inconsistency in reported results. Early intervention for performing a caesarean section results in the delivery of live lambs and much healthier ewes. Commonly seen are head back, one front leg back, breech or head only positioning.