Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Fetotomy

Contributor(s): Paul Wood , Adam Dunstan-Martin

Introduction

  • Can be used to deliver part(s) of a dead fetus per vaginum in cases of dystocia.

Uses

Must only be used when the fetus is dead.
  • Used in conjunction with traction and manual manipulation to deliver calves in cases of abnormal presentation, position and posture.
  • Presence of fetal abnormalities (joint ankylosis ie Schmallenberg virus Schmallenberg virus), hydrocephalus or fetal monsters.
  • In cases of fetomaternal disproportion.
  • In cases of complete uterine inertia (where cesarean section Cesarean section is not an option).

Advantages

  • Avoids major abdominal surgery.
  • Potentially better long term effects on fertility and production.
  • Likely lower cost than cesarean section.

Disadvantages

  • Only to be used when he fetus can be confirmed dead.
    • Lack of fetal reflexes (withdrawal, blink, anal sphincter).
    • Lack of heart beat on palpation of fetal throax.
    • Lack of pulse in umbilicus.
  • If unsuitable equipment is used then can be traumatic to reproductive tract.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Dependent on condition of fetus and dam at time of presentation.
  • Generally good.
  • Can be guarded prognosis for future fertility.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Mee J F (2008) Prevalence and risk factors for dystocia in dairy cattle: A review. The Veterinary Journal 176, 93–101 PubMed.
  • Mortimer R G & Toombs R E (1993) Abnormal Bovine Parturition: Obstetrics and Fetotomy. Vet Clinics of North America: Food Animal Practice 9 (2), 323–341 PubMed.
  • Mortimer R G, Ball L & Olson J D (1984) A modified method for complete bovine fetotomy. JAVMA 185 (5), 524-526 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Noakes D E, Parkinson T J & England G C W (2001) Dystocia and other disorders associated with parturition. In: Arthur’s Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics. 8th edn. Saunders. pp. 179, 205–217.
  • Bierschwal C & de Bois C (1972) The Technique of Fetotomy in Large Animals. Bonner springs.


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