Tips and tricks for managing bovine dystocia
Acquisition of skills in bovine obstetrics is essential for every food animal practitioner, especially those engaged in dairy or cow-calf practice. A dystocia is often the first call a veterinarian makes to a cattle producer’s facility and demonstrating competence, confidence, and professionalism many times leads to the development of a long-term relationship with that producer. A conversation with the producer describing the practitioner’s requirements for patient restraint is paramount to avoiding frustration and a poor outcome. Planning and the willingness to modify the dystocia management plan “on the fly” requires thoughtful consideration when the initial procedures do not result in relief of a dystocia. Purchase of a full array of high quality obstetrical equipment and learning their proper application greatly facilitates dystocia management. Knowledge and skill in handling complications of dystocia such as uterine rupture, uterine prolapse, and perivaginal hemorrhage are required to preserve the reproductive potential of the patient.