Another new experience - non-dilating cervix? advice?

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DavisBeefmasters

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Okay, so I searched the boards and couldn't find this specific issue and have never had to deal with this until last night... actually hubby got to deal with it while I drove home from work...

Details:

- 5 year old cow, due to calve 1/9/08,

- yesterday morning at 7 a.m. had the circling thing down with the water pump handle position for her tail but no water bag showing.

- As of noon, our neighbor who also runs cattle noticed that he saw the water bag and perhaps 1 hoof peeking out.

- As of 3:00 my husband comes home and my neighbor comes over because of his concern for the cow/calf

- cervix never dilated, extremely hard pull for them all even after two epidural shots in the tailhead, head turned backwards and they broke the jaw trying to reposition it

- 70# dark red heifer calf :(


My questions:

1. What is the name of an epidural so I can replace whatever our neighbor used on our animal? The neighbor last nite said "don't worry about it" and wouldn't share the info

2. The only info I've found so far is that it could have been either a hormonal imbalance or damaged cervix from last year (could be since we bought her with a new calf at the side last year -- don't know if it was a hard birth or not)

3. Obviously the cow gets sold -- no use in keeping, correct?

4. Our neighbor had Frank's calf puller which I obviously should now have one (we've never needed to pull a calf) -- so with the Frank's puller do you order the OB chains seperately or do the straps wrap on the calf -- wish I could have helped last nite so I could have seen the process.

Any/all advice welcome.
 

KNERSIE

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2. The only info I've found so far is that it could have been either a hormonal imbalance or damaged cervix from last year (could be since we bought her with a new calf at the side last year -- don't know if it was a hard birth or not)

The pressure from the water bag on the cervix help the dilation process. That is the reason why premature interfering can do more harm than good, because a finger can easily rupture the water bag and setting the dilation process back significantly.

In this cow's case, where I assume there wasn't premature interference, I suspect because of the head turned back the hooves ruptured the amniotic bag while repositioning before birth and therefore the cervix didn't dilate fully.

A malpresentation in a mature cow is unusual, in fact the only time I have seen it is in the case of twins. Unless this cow is very small and seriously lack capacity which would limit the room in which the calf has to manoeuvre I would mark this as bad luck and give her another chance if feasible. If your herd is already the desired number and she would cost you too much to keep her another year, rather cull her and replace with better quality.
 

rockridgecattle

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what Kernsie said but i would add, talk to your vet about a possible drug for dialation(if there is one) or what she/he would do in a situation like that.
Chains you can get separately. The local co-op, tractor supply store what ever you have that carries cattle stuff should have them.
We also purchased these triangles. 2 one for each chain. Some times just the chains are enough and you need something to hold on to. the triangles work well. as does a sawed off broom handle. You get more pressure while assisting but not all the pressure of a puller.

Sorry about what happened.
 

Keren

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KNERSIE":22ncb1x8 said:
2. The only info I've found so far is that it could have been either a hormonal imbalance or damaged cervix from last year (could be since we bought her with a new calf at the side last year -- don't know if it was a hard birth or not)

The pressure from the water bag on the cervix help the dilation process. That is the reason why premature interfering can do more harm than good, because a finger can easily rupture the water bag and setting the dilation process back significantly.

In this cow's case, where I assume there wasn't premature interference, I suspect because of the head turned back the hooves ruptured the amniotic bag while repositioning before birth and therefore the cervix didn't dilate fully.

A malpresentation in a mature cow is unusual, in fact the only time I have seen it is in the case of twins. Unless this cow is very small and seriously lack capacity which would limit the room in which the calf has to manoeuvre I would mark this as bad luck and give her another chance if feasible. If your herd is already the desired number and she would cost you too much to keep her another year, rather cull her and replace with better quality.

To add to what Knersie said, the cone shape of the head also aids in dilation, as it slowly wedges its way through the cervix. So, because it was turned back, this effect wasnt present.

We give a shot of oxytocin for goats that dont dilate. Only have the occasional one.

Incidently, we have had a lot of heads turned to the side this season, in the cattle and goats.
 

milkmaid

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Epidural most likely used was a shot of lidocaine in the tail head as a spinal block; makes repositioning the calf easier. Estrogen will help dialate the cervix, oxytocin only causes uterine contractions - IMO don't use if the cervix is not dialated. So I'm told, at least in dogs, indiscriminant oxytocin use can cause uterine rupture.
 

hillsdown

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Epidural most likely used was a shot of lidocaine in the tail head as a spinal block
MM wrote.

That is what I thought it might be or something in that family; however I don't think a Vet here would prescribe it to just anyone.That most likely would have to be given by the vet themselves.

Sorry about your loss Davis sometime stuff just happens and it is not necessarily the cows fault.
 

mtncows

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You may be in a selenium defecency area.Your vet can tell you.This will sometimes happen in sheep which do not get enough selenium.Do not go out and start slinging the stuff around.Too much can be poisonous
 

Keren

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milkmaid":vty3yivb said:
Epidural most likely used was a shot of lidocaine in the tail head as a spinal block; makes repositioning the calf easier. Estrogen will help dialate the cervix, oxytocin only causes uterine contractions - IMO don't use if the cervix is not dialated. So I'm told, at least in dogs, indiscriminant oxytocin use can cause uterine rupture.

Thanks MM, I'll keep that in mind. We also use the oxytocin for retained afterbirth - but seems to have worked in the cases of non-dilation as well. But then again, that probably only occurs once every two years or so.
 

fourstates

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I agree that the malpresentation is what caused the lack of cervical dialation. Not the cow's fault. Have you priced a replacement beefmaster lately?

Broken jaws can heal. How is the calf??
 

2/B or not 2/B

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I've read that a non-dilated cervix can be manually stretched by inserting both hands/arms and applying steady outward pressure, and that it can take a while to work at it and actually get the cervix to expand. Does anyone know if this is true? It seems like it would only be possible if caught early before the calf actually began passing through, but as someone else mentioned, interfering too early can cause other problems.
 

angie2

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milkmaid":1d1es4wh said:
, oxytocin only causes uterine contractions - IMO don't use if the cervix is not dialated. So I'm told, at least in dogs, indiscriminant oxytocin use can cause uterine rupture.
That is so ~ don;t use oxytocin if the cervix is not dialated. The purpose is to force contractions, it does not dialate the cervix. So ~ Causes uterine rupture because the muscles are pushing, somethings got to give.
 

shortyjock89

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We have had once case of what you are describing. We re bred the cow, and her next calf came as easy as anything, in fact, there is a picture of the calf on the Show Board, it's one of the newer posts. I would give the cow another shot if she's one of the better ones. If she was on the short list to be culled, then do what you think is best for your herd.

When we had this problem, the vet came out and we didn't give her anything except lidocane for the pain, and we pulled the calf. The calf was dead, and had been for the last 2 days, says the vet. The only thing he can think of is that the bag may have broken inside of her, thus the lack of dilation. (we saw the bag as it was partially out of her, and it was broken, we just thought it had recently broke).
 

randiliana

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I have only ever seen on case in the years I have been around cattle. It was an old cow, one that we had been giving a little extra TLC to, just to get the calf. In the end we had to do a C-section as she never dialated enough to get more than your wrist throug. In this case, I believe the cow died on us in the end, but we did get a live and healthy calf.
 

fourstates

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Think of it like a turtleneck sweater. If you pull it over the narrowest part of your head, you still have pull and stretch it, but eventually your head pops thru. If you get you head hung in the shoulder of the sweater, no matter how much you pull and push, you will never get your head through!

Prostaglandins will soften the cervix, but they can't correct a malpresentation.
 
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DavisBeefmasters

DavisBeefmasters

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Thanks all.

Calf was dead :(

Vet said he would have shot her with oxytocin rather than the lidocaine epidural in the tail head. The guys had one stretching the cervix while pulling; however, to no avail -- torn cervix. He says that there are 3 possibilities:
1. Hormonal imbalance or mineral deficiency (he rules this out for us -- knowing our program - feeding & vaccinations)
2. Twins and the hoof of twin #1 punctured the amnion sac prior to the water bag starting the cervix to dilate (no twins, gloved up and confirmed)
3. She had a damaged cervix from either a hard birth or malpresentation the previous year and didn't heal properly.

We are in a selenium deficient area; however, have that taken care of in our mineral program.

Just a bummer -- she is still shedding all the goodies as of today --> she and another one are off to the sale on Wednesday morning... this was her second strike.
 
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