Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Handle "Ring Womb" in Sheep and Goats

Had several calls the past two weeks on - What to do for "ring womb".  It is that time of year and it seems as though all these weather fronts coming through the east - tend to encourage ewes to give birth
This is one of the most difficult challenges any producer is faced with - "when ewes/does fail to dilate" before giving birth. There are several possible reasons. Possible causes include genetic predisposition, physical abnormalities, reproductive diseases (potential abortive agents such as chlamydia or others)  and iodine deficiency  are often involved. You may find that sometimes it is only the younger virgin ewes that are impacted. Older ewes may already have immunity and could be source of infection.
Where do you start? It all starts with a valid relationship with your veterinarian. If an abortive agent is suspected, flock medication may be indicated. You should contact your vet for a dosage recommendation of Tetracycline (somewhere between 300 and 1000 mg) and Rumensin plus make sure iodine levels are sufficient or other recommended protocols.
The individual ewe problem is a challenge and somewhat time sensitive. If you are checking the ewes at regular intervals you do not need to get into a mad rush, take your time - breathe and act responsibly.  Again need a valid client patient vet relationship.  Positive results can come from giving 10cc Dexamethasone. Wait 2 hrs. At that time - lubricate well (wear gloves and sleeves) and try to slowly force dilate the cervix (slowly). If that is successful and lambs are delivered. Consider immediately placing Terramycin tablets in the uterus to reduce infection.   You may need to suture as the ewe may attempt to prolapse her uterus. Consider asking your vet if you should give the ewe 10 to 15cc of penicillin subq as well.
Remember work with your vet to put a plan for your farm in place.  You need a prescription.  If this process fails cesarean section is about the only choice left.  Hope this helps anyone who may need it in the future.

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