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Dystocia Minimize

5 Reasons for Dystocia

  1. Calf too big, dam too little.
  2. Body condition-too fat.
  3. Malpresentation of fetus, or deformed fetus.
  4. Torsion of the uterus.
  5. Lack of uterine contractions as occurs with milk fever.

Rules of Thumb to Interfere

Heifers: They should deliver 60-90 minutes after they are in active labor or the feet show.

Cows: They should deliver 30-60 minutes after they are in active labor or the feet show.

Other: If the cow is uneasy, nothing is showing, she is getting up and down and straining very little. So if up and down for several hours and you don't see anything, you nee to examine the cow.

Rules to decide if you can deliver the calf?

  1. If anterior presentation, both shoulders should fit through the pelvis and you should easily fit your hand over the top of the head.
  2. If posterior presentation, both hips should fit through the pelvis.

For anterior presentation, pull straight until the head and shoulders are out, and then pull in a downward direction.

For posterior presentation, pull straight until the hips are in the pelvis and the tail is out. Then pull in a downward direction.

Restrain the cow. Put a halter on the cow and tie the head low. Use a gate to corner the cow to assist placing the halter.
Tie the tail to keep the cow clean. Routinely keep baling twine close so employees have easy access.
Use disinfectant in the water and be clean. Clean the cow with soap and water.
Use J-lube for lubrication. Put some powder in your hand and add water. Lubricate the calf really well.
Put chains on the calf. Fasten the chain above the fetlock with a half hitch below the fetlock. In this calving we used one chain on both legs.
Use the calf jack if necessary. Attach the jack after you pull both shoulders through the pelvis. Put some tension on the calf with the jack and continue to lubricate.
More tension on the calf as you dilate the cervix with your hands. Release the tension on the jack so the calf and cow can rest. You will never lose your progress, and persistent tension and release of tension with the calf jack helps to dilate the cervix
Put tension on the calf again with the calf jack. We are making progress as we can pull the calf out further than before.
Use leverage on the calf jack by pulling the end of the calf jack towards the hind legs of the cow. Release the tension on the calf jack again. This was a tight calving and it took a while to dilate the cervix before we made the final delivery. The goal is to be able to deliver the umbilicus through the pelvis without getting it stuck!
Put tension on the calf again with the calf jack. Once the head is out you must deliver the calf. Continue to put more tension on the calf with the calf jack, and using the calf jack as a lever to help deliver the calf. Pull the end of the calf jack down and towards the hind legs of the cow.
Deliver the calf quickly now. Stimulate the calf to breathe with some straw in the nose.
Put Iodine on the umbilicus. Check the cow for tears and for another calf. Five the cow 60 units of oxytocin IM.
 
If Johne's is a problem in the herd, immediately remove the calf from the cow.  

Abnormal Presentations

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