Vaginal prolapse

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Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:14 pm

I've got a ewe that has prolapsed (vaginal) twice, last night we sewed her up because neither the spoon nor harness was holding it in. The vet said she wasn't anywhere near lambing last night, no lambs near birth canal. Tonight she's squating a lot but she's also very swollen so I wonder if she's just having difficulty urinating, not much pee comes out when she squats. She's also pushing strongly when she lays down, not so much when she's standing and I think I see some of the prolapse coming thru the laces. I've tried to keep her up on her feet because I know there is more pressure on it when she lays down but she just wants to lay down.

Question is, how do I know if she is actually in labor?? If she wasn't anywhere near lambing last night, is it possible she is now? My lambing should start on the 16th just to give you an idea of how close they are. I'm just terrified if I cut the sutures, she'll just prolapse again and isn't ready to lamb. I can't imagine having to sew her up again.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby lovetree » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:41 pm

Did you try trussing her with a harness? There is a sort of harness that you can make using simple baling twine, it applies pressure over her withers and by doing so it causes her to slightly hump her back up and then she wont push on the prolapse. Has her tail raised up into her rump yet? When a ewe gets close to lambing the ligaments around the tail area soften up and the tail will actually appear to be quite a bit shorter a few days before she is ready to lamb.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
home of the dual purpose Trade Lake Sheep and the nationally celebrated Trade Lake Cedar Cheese
NW Wisconsin
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:07 am

Mary,

I've had several harnesses on her, homemade (pretty crudely homemade), the premier one and a marking harness. THe premeir wouldn't stay on because she has very little tail to hold it in place, it just kept sliding off to the side. I called premier and they said if she doesn't have enough tail, it won't stay in place. The marking harness actually seemed to work the best to hold the spoon in but she is so loose that the spoon just kept flipping out (and I had everything pretty tight). I'm not familiar with the harness you describe but it sounds like it might help, is there a diagram anywhere that you know of? I did give her 5 asprin about 2 hrs ago and that seems to have helped, she's not straining anymore and isn't laying down, looks less swollen.

As for her tail, its been raised up into her rump ever since she prolapsed, what tail she has anyway. Her rectum is very swollen too so she just looks like she has a cantalope back there. I'm sitting in the shed tonight because I have another one that is getting ready to lamb, so I'm able to keep an eye on the prolapse girl too. After watching her for a couple hrs, I don't think she's in labor, just miserable. I just wish she would have the blasted things so I could stop worrying about her.

Well, back to the shed. Had to come in for more coffee and another layer. Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it.

Jen
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Peg Haese » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:34 am

Jen, many people recommend the homemade baler twine prolapse harness described in Ron Parker's online book The Sheep Book http://hem.bredband.net/ronpar/Parker.05.pdf. See chapter 5 and go to page 136 for directions. I haven't tried this myself.

I tried sending you a PM with the details but the system gave me a fatal error BTW.

Peg
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Sylvia Murray » Sat Mar 14, 2009 6:42 am

I might be inclined to put the Premier harness back on her and tie baling twines on each side of the clips in the back....send those twines down under a frontleg and up to that collar. Maybe that would stabilize it from side to side a bit more? It this a hair sheep or one freshly shorn? I had two ewes with not enough tail to hold the harness and once I got it tight enough and adjusted right it settled in to the fleece and that helped. Anything that will help keep those stitches from ripping out is better than letting them rip out.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:38 am

Peg,

Thank you so much, I'd actually printed that book off last year and totally forgot about it! I'll check that out because if this ewe doesn't lamb before I have to go back to work in a week, I'll have to cut the sutures and go back to the spoon and harness.

Sylvia,

She was shorn a month ago so that was another problem. I just had a time getting the harness tight enough to hold everything in place yet loose enough so she could actually swallow and move. I also had a problem with it cutting into the back of her bag. I'm sure if she still had her fleece it would have worked much better. I did have the spoon in with the premier harness on, tied with twine to the back leg straps. Problem with that is that the part that went down the butt, pushed the spoon down so that it was pointing upwards. I tried loosening the harness to stop that but that made the leg straps too loose and thats when the spoon apparently flipped out.

On a postitive note, the other ewe I was watching last night gave birth to a set of twins at 12:40am. She's a seasoned pro so I was able to sit there with my cuppa coffee and watch it all take place. First time I've been there thru the whole thing, what an experience. Just when I think this is all way too much stress, somebody throws me a bone :wink:

Jen
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:01 am

Peg,

I just read the chapter on prolapse in Ron Parker's book. The harness he describes sounds like it works similar to the premier but I can custom fit it better if I make my own plus there won't be the bit that cuts into the bag to worry about. I'm going to go buy some of the soft rope/twine today to make one because she already has too many sore marks from the previous baling twine harness.

Thanks again, I can't believe I forgot about that book!

Jen
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Richard Ehrhardt » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:59 am

Hi

I have used both harnesses you are considering. The homemade design can provide more pressure on the spine to prevent straining but both work pretty well if you can get them to fit as you are finding. I find you will need to adjust them a few times before they are tight enough to prevent straining yet not so tight as to prevent the ewe from standing and walking. I would also suggest tying another string to the small hole in the middle of the spoon and securing it above the tail to the harness which will act to position the spoon so it pointing forward and not as vertical. This position is more comfortable for the ewe and more effective in retaining the prolapse. Placing sutures through the vulva should be the last resort practice. Vaginal prolapses also tend to reoccur so you might consider culling the ewe.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Muleflock » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:53 pm

We've used Joe Rooks twine truss as depicted in Rons book for many years. Over time, we've made some modifications. We place a retainer loop around the X on the front of the brisket so the X doesn't migrate down below and create adjustment problems. Also, we place loops in the neck string. This makes it much easier to adjust the tension when needed. Otherwise the twine gets knotted up with fleece and it's hard to untie and retie. Also, we place additional restraint pieces across the rear for better retention over the strain areas. If you follow the link below you will see a crude drawing of these modifications.

I agree with Richard, stiching is a last resort.

http://mulesheep.googlegroups.com/web/p ... uss002.pdf
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Bill Fosher » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:06 pm

Mark, you should be an artist! That's a great BFL ewe you've drawn.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:18 pm

Thanks for the diagram Mark, I've printed that off so I'll have it handy when making the harness. I'll probably leave her stitched up for now but go ahead and put the harness on her to see how that works. I have the week off but if she hasn't lambed by the time I have to go back to work, I"ll probably cut the stitches and put the spoon back in.

Richard, at one point I did have the spoon tied in the middle and then up to a strap on her back and that worked well. I removed that when I put the premier harness on and thats really when she started having problems again because the vertical straps were pushing it down. I should have put that center string back on...but I didn't.

Thanks for all the advice everyone, it is much appreciated!

Jen
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Justin-PA » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:55 pm

Wow Mark, great diagram. I hope you don't mind, but I printed that off and will put it in the medicine cabinet in the barn for future reference. So far I've not had a ewe with vaginal prolapse, but this will help should I ever have one.

Thanks,
Justin
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby newf » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:48 am

Mark,
When the ends go up from the back to meet the two loops at the base of the neck, do you pass them under the cross at the back first, or pass over them.

Great pic,
Jon
People, like sheep, tend to follow a leader - occasionally in the right direction.

Jon
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby Muleflock » Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:03 am

Hi Jon

We place them under the cross. That seems to keep them from getting snagged on things.

By the way :oops: that drawing was done by dear wife Brenda, who can package up a straining ewe good enough to be sent by UPS.

Mark
who figured he better fess up before DW got wind of this :mrgreen: .
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Re: Vaginal prolapse

Postby thornhill » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:00 am

Thought I'd send an update on this ewe. Last Thursday morning (19th), I went out to check on everyone and she was up with her water ballon poking thru. So I grabbed the scissors, snipped the sutures and about 30 seconds later the water ballon came out and burst. She didn't appear all that distressed nor was she pushing that much, just stood there chewing her cud. At the advice of my vet and another sheep friend, I went since it had been at least 15-20 mins since her water broke. This was my first time pulling a lamb btw.

She was dialated, fully or not I don't know but the lambs head was stuck behind the cervix, both hooves and the nose were thru. I worked the head thru and had to pull pretty hard to get him all out. Only time she would push is when my hand was inside. In the end I had to pull all 3 lambs, first was a little over 9.5 lbs, then 8 and the little guy she has now formally rejected weighed around 6.5, all ram lambs. Took a long time for her milk to drop but when it finally did, it was very very thick, like lemon curd thick. I ended up diluting some of it in milk replacer for the rejected lamb, either that or I'dve had to spoon feed it to him.

Wish I could say there was a happy ending but we woke up to find her prolapsed again this morning. How is this possible 4 days after lambing?? I know, anything is possible but man I thought we were over the worst part with her. So she's trussed up like a blasted turkey again and happily sucking asprin and molasses out of a syringe. I can't wait til she's done raising her lambs cause her butts on the first truck outta here.

Jen
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