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Outcome and subsequent fertility of sheep and goats undergoing cesarean section because of dystocia: 110 cases (1981–2001)

Sabrina H. Brounts DVM1, Jan F. Hawkins DVM, DACVS2, A. N. Baird DVM, MS, DACVS3, and Lawrence T. Glickman VMD, DrPH4
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.
  • | 4 Department Veterinary Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1248.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the outcome and subsequent fertility of sheep and goats undergoing a cesarean section because of dystocia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—85 sheep and 25 goats.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information was obtained on signalment, history, physical examination findings, anesthesia protocol, surgical technique, number of lambs or kids delivered, pre- and postoperative treatments, duration of hospitalization, and postoperative complications. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners.

Results—The proportion of sheep admitted to the veterinary teaching hospital during the study period that underwent a cesarean section (4.4%) was significantly higher than the proportion of goats that did (2.2%). Pygmy goats were overrepresented, compared with the hospital population. The most common reason for cesarean section was inadequate dilatation of the cervix. The most common surgical approach was via the left paralumbar fossa. Two hundred one lambs and kids were delivered, of which 116 were dead at delivery or died shortly afterward. Forty-two of the 65 dams with 1 or more dead fetuses had been in stage-2 labor for > 6 hours, and fetal death was significantly associated with a prolonged duration of dystocia. The most common complication following surgery was retained placenta (n = 49). Use of antimicrobials was associated with a lower rate of complications. All 16 dams that were rebred became pregnant and had no problems with dystocia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cesarean section is an effective method of resolving dystocia in sheep and goats and does not adversely affect subsequent fertility. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:275–279)

Abstract

Objective—To determine the outcome and subsequent fertility of sheep and goats undergoing a cesarean section because of dystocia.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—85 sheep and 25 goats.

Procedure—Medical records were reviewed, and information was obtained on signalment, history, physical examination findings, anesthesia protocol, surgical technique, number of lambs or kids delivered, pre- and postoperative treatments, duration of hospitalization, and postoperative complications. Follow-up information was obtained through telephone conversations with owners.

Results—The proportion of sheep admitted to the veterinary teaching hospital during the study period that underwent a cesarean section (4.4%) was significantly higher than the proportion of goats that did (2.2%). Pygmy goats were overrepresented, compared with the hospital population. The most common reason for cesarean section was inadequate dilatation of the cervix. The most common surgical approach was via the left paralumbar fossa. Two hundred one lambs and kids were delivered, of which 116 were dead at delivery or died shortly afterward. Forty-two of the 65 dams with 1 or more dead fetuses had been in stage-2 labor for > 6 hours, and fetal death was significantly associated with a prolonged duration of dystocia. The most common complication following surgery was retained placenta (n = 49). Use of antimicrobials was associated with a lower rate of complications. All 16 dams that were rebred became pregnant and had no problems with dystocia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that cesarean section is an effective method of resolving dystocia in sheep and goats and does not adversely affect subsequent fertility. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;224:275–279)