Uterine Prolapse

This is a condition that occurs after calving with a frequency of up to 0.3%. Some of the uterus inverts on itself and comes out through the cervix and vagina. You will see a big red bag with dark red lumps protruding from the cow’s vagina.

uterineThe exact cause is unclear but 90% of cases occur in the first 24 hours after calving and many cases are associated with hypocalcaemia or dystocia.

The outcome for a cow with a prolapsed uterus is dependent on the duration before treatment, any damage sustained to the uterus and what complicating factors are present at the same time (ie hypocalcaemia).

The prognosis is generally good if treated promptly and recurrence after replacement is uncommon. It is also uncommon for a cow to prolapse again at a subsequent calving. Occasionally a cow may die shortly after her uterus has been replaced and this is usually because she has ruptured a major artery while her uterus has been prolapsed.

A lot of cows will conceive again after treatment though cull rates for affected animals due to infertility is higher than their unaffected herd mates. The calving interval is also longer for affected cows.

Metritis, infection of the uterus, is a frequent consequence of this disease so cows should be appropriately treated with antibiotics.

Our veterinarians successfully treat many of these cows each season. A recently prolapsed uterus is far easier to replace than one that has prolapsed for several hours and is much less likely to get damaged, so please feel free to consult us for help as soon as you find a cow in this situation.

Sale Veterinary centre

  • Address: 262 York Street, Sale
  • Telephone: (03)5144 3100
  • Fax: (03)5144 5968
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Gippsland Equine Hospital

  • Address: 31 Beet Road, Maffra
  • Telephone: (03)5147 1008
  • Fax: (03)5141 1439
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