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Vaginal Prolapse in cattle

Prolapses of the vagina are most often seen in heavily pregnant beef cows – and again, obesity increases the incidence. There may be a breed predisposition, with Hereford cows appearing to have a higher incidence of vaginal prolapse than other  breeds.

Treatment

While vaginal prolapses are easier to correct, some cows have a tendency to recurrence of the prolapse until they calve. The objective of treatment is to:

  • replace the prolapse following administration of an epidural
  • close most of the vaginal lips with either easy to remove sutures or vaginal pins to help prevent further prolapse – again, this procedure should be performed humanely and correctly by a vet
  • maintain antibiotic cover to prevent infection
  • monitor the cow closely with the aim of removing the pins or sutures when calving is imminent
  • post-calving, if the cow looks like prolapsing again, it is worthwhile replacing the vaginal pins or sutures for several weeks. Before this is done, it’s essential to ensure all membranes have passed.

Long term management

Cows with a history of vaginal prolapse should be retired from breeding. They will have a higher propensity to prolapse again. Cows that have experienced a full uterine prolapse may be difficult to breed again.