A 14-year-old multiparous Saddlebred broodmare was presented at 304 days of gestation for evaluation of abortion and dystocia. Manual vaginal examination on the farm revealed the fetus to be in cranial longitudinal presentation and
Dystocia is the lack of normal progression of parturition, usually involving lack of or difficulty in expulsion of fetuses through the birth canal. The incidence of dystocia differs among animal species owing to differences in anatomic and
The reported incidence of dystocia requiring mechanical extraction or cesarean section in dairy heifers and cows in the United States is 6.8% and 3.5%, respectively. 1 In comparison, fewer beef heifers and cows require such intervention (3.9% and
Dystocia is one of the true emergency situations encountered in equine practice. 1–3 In normal births, foals are born within 20 to 30 minutes after rupture of the chorioallantoic membrane. 4–6 Few foals born > 40 minutes after chorioallantioc
Objective—To determine the outcome and subsequent
fertility of sheep and goats undergoing a
cesarean section because of dystocia.
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
In the report “Survival rate and short-term fertility rate associated with the use of fetotomy for the resolution of dystocia in mares: 72 cases (1991–2005)” ( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007; 230;1502–1505), the dosage for detomidine chloridrate in the
Cesarean section is performed in approximately 15% to 25% of mares admitted to equine referral hospitals because of dystocia. 1,2 It may also be performed as an emergency procedure in mares with laminitis, endotoxemia, colic, peritonitis, or
In South American camelids, dystocia is a rare occurrence (1% to 5%). 1 Reported causes for dystocia in South American camelids are abnormal fetal position or presentation, failure of cervical dilatation, uterine torsion, uterine inertia, and
expectation of a reduction in the incidence of retained fetal membranes or metritis of 6% (95% confidence; 80% power). 14
Outcome variables and case definitions
Outcome variables were the incidence of dystocia, clinical hypocalcemia, retained fetal
events being stillbirth, dystocia, twinning, and parturient paresis. 5 In addition, RP is associated with impaired immune function in the 1 to 2 weeks before parturition. 6–8
Some routinely measured biochemical and hematologic analytes may be useful in