Vaginal prolapse and heredity

A place to exchange ideas, stories, and to solve problems related to breeding the flock and delivering lambs.

Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby Sylvia Murray » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:39 am

I wouldn't cull her offspring either knowing that she is short docked and fat. I kept a ewe lamb from the ewe that lambed Friday wearing the harness and she has no trouble with prolapses. Yah...why is the ewe still around? She gives me twins to sell to someone for their freezer, she takes orphan lambs, she has an awesome fleece that sells for min of $50 each year and she is a great sheep to take to demos as she doesn't argue with the dogs and comes up to the fence to be petted when not doing the demo. The harness works and we are small enough where I choose to deal with it for now. Back to my8's sheep....Some antibiotics wouldn't hurt at this point. Before my Premier harness arrived I used two nylon web dog leashes, a dog collar and duct tape to create a copy cat of the premier one. Put the dog collar through the leash handles, come down a little towards the butt and wrap them flat side by side with duct tape, go a bit more and do the same then spread the leashes apart a little and tape again under the tail and spread a little more (see Premiers picture) bring the leashes up and around and fasten them with tape on top of the back. The nylon web is kinder than baling twine and doesn't get as tangled/embedded in the fleece. If it has to stay on for any length of time I have found that the velcro faux-sheepskin seatbelt wraps work really well to keep the harness from cutting in to the ewe. Two of them per side will cover her whole udder and up under the leg.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby my8kidsmom » Mon Mar 21, 2011 7:31 pm

She got a shot of nuflor last night and the infection appears to have improved. A fellow shepherd had a premier harness on hand and allowed me to borrow it. I put it on her tonight. She had prolapsed again when I got home and I noticed a bit of mucus from the cervix but I am not sure if I should assume that she is close to labor or not. She was put in with the ram in November so she is due in April so this would make her close to two weeks early.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby lovetree » Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:48 am

If it were my sheep I would:
remove the ewe from the rest of the mob and confine her in a place where you can control her feed intake. I would also reduce the hay and very slowly start to feed her some whole shelled corn or grain, no more than 1/4 pound per day for the first four days if she isnt already on grain. I would slowly increase the grain to offset the decrease in hay...no more than a 1/4 lb increase over the course of 4 days. It is too late in her pregnancy to put her on a diet to actually lose weight, by doing so you can risk ketosis, but you can reduce the bulk in her diet (hay) which is causing the pressure on her.
Short tail docking + fat sheep + lots of hay = prolapse.

When you use the twine harness just remember that the key to how it works isnt by the pressure it exerts on the vulva but rather the pressure that it applies to the top of her withers. When the pressure is applied to the top of the withers it causes her to very slightly hump up and she can not push down on the partial prolapse when slightly humped up. This is the same way that those "hot bars" work in the old cow dairies to keep cows from peeing over the milking attendant. If you gave her a shot of nuflor and washed her up good, I doubt that is an infection that you are seeing but rather vaginal secretions from the irritation of the "spoon".
If she is showing signs of swelling around the spoon, you may want to lighten up on the tension.
Also...if she is pushing it is because she feels the swelling and it greatly helps to reduce the swelling which you can do by washing the exposed area gently with warm water that has approx 1 TB of vinegar added to one quart of water (apple cider vinegar is my favorite choice ;-)

By this means you are cleaning off the debris without causing further irritation to the delicate tissues and ACV is a great sanitizer when properly diluted.

After washing, then liberally coat the swollen area with clean granulated sugar,( the sugar will help to draw out the excess edema, like sugar does to strawberries)
Once the prolapse is replaced, then use the acv water dilution to sponge off the vulva of any excess sugar. We do not have flies here at the moment, but if you do, you may not want to use the sugar....if you do have flies and use the sugar, make sure to use a fly repellent around her tail area.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby lambchop » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:05 am

Someone correct me if there is research that shows that a short dock causes vaginal prolapse. It for sure is a contributor to rectal prolapse, but I have never seen any info that indicate it contributes to vaginal prolapse. Our last vaginal prolapse was over 7 years ago, but we would never keep a ewe that had prolapsed, either rectal or vaginal, I feel there is a definite hereditary component of both.

Paul
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby lovetree » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:42 am

Hi Paul,
short docking may not "cause" the prolapse on it's own, but it does contribute to it when combined with overweight sheep and a large lamb load, unlimited feed etc...a law of physics of sorts...when you remove part of the musculature that is needed to hold things in, something has to give when the "environment gets crowded".
I posted a few links below, not to actual research, but from established authorities that acknowledge the contribution of short tail docking to vaginal prolapse. The first link gives the reader a quick rundown on why the "tail" muscles do what they do and how their removal affects prolapse.


http://www.sinosheep.com/length-of-the- ... sheep.html

http://www.extension.umn.edu/distributi ... 7.html#Ewe

http://www.vetsweb.com/small-ruminants/ ... -1632.html
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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NW Wisconsin
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby lovetree » Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:44 am

BTW, there are MANY factors that can cause vaginal prolapse,short tail docking is just one possible component.
Mary Falk / LoveTree Farmstead
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NW Wisconsin
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby Muleflock » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:24 pm

Depends on how short as well. If done short enough and the pudendal nerve, (or any of it's distal branches), is damaged or becomes entraped during the healing process, it will be a direct cause of loss of tone of many intrapelvic structures and greatly increase the potential for prolapse, vaginal or anal.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby my8kidsmom » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:45 pm

Just wanted to update everyone. I now have the premier harness and put it on her the night before last. Unfortunately it has not helped and she is still prolapsing. She is fine throughout the day but every morning check I have found her prolapsed badly. I followed the advice given and used the T of vinegar in a quart of water along with the sugar. This morning I added the retainer to the harness hoping that between the two we will be able to fix the problem. She appears to have beat the infection as of yesterday I was seeing no more drainage. I have considered have the vet stitch the vulva but I am afraid that she will push right through the stitching causing even more trouble. She is comfortable for the most part. Occasionally she grits her teeth but much of the time I check on her she is chewing her cud. Thank you so much for the help and advice.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby lonetree » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:35 pm

We had a problem with some western ewe's we brought into our flock several years ago and had good luck with the harnesses, even modifying them to allow a lamb to pass it if necessary, and the one thing we found is the first couple times we used them was we didn't have them on snug enough so make sure you get all the slack out, plus a little maybe...

Aaron
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby my8kidsmom » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:45 am

lonetree wrote:We had a problem with some western ewe's we brought into our flock several years ago and had good luck with the harnesses, even modifying them to allow a lamb to pass it if necessary, and the one thing we found is the first couple times we used them was we didn't have them on snug enough so make sure you get all the slack out, plus a little maybe...

Aaron



I was worried about it being too tight around her neck but it doesn't seem to keep her from straining like everyone suggests it should. It just "holds" everything in. That is when I can keep it from shifting. Because she doesn't have a tail it slides to the side. She hasn't been shearing so I tied the harness to the wool where her tail would be and that helps some.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby Sylvia Murray » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:50 pm

you might not have it tight enough. With a full fleece the straps should sink down the fleece and that helps it not move. Do get the fake sheepskin seat belt shoulder pads as to get it really tight you'll need them. If nothing else part the fleece to the sides of the strap so it will get closer to the skin. The ewe that I had it on has no tail and was in full fleece and it didn't move around on her.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby hammond shepherd » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:19 pm

Janet McNally wrote:Prolapse can occur for a number of reasons including:

hereditary
calcium deficiency
Se or E deficiency
as a part of an abortion storm (often the lambs are already dead)

Prolapses due to heredity occur sporadically, all the rest there will be a rash of prolapses in multiple animals. So if this is your only case, I'd be inclined to chalk it up to heredity, and she would sprout wheels if on my farm.

Janet



Janet, last year I suffered through a prolapse from hell episode in the yearlings - 30% prolapsed. :shock: My research showed the possible causes to be:
overweight
poor hay quality (resulting in too much consumption in an effort to meet nutritional needs)
heredity
straining to reach feed (the vertical effect)
and......dang, I can't remember....just wait until 3am....but it wasn't any of the ones you mentioned.
`
Can you please explain the Se/E and Ca deficiency research as it relates to prolapses? I've never heard that, and are the nutrient recommendations for ration balancing adequate?

I had other, older females sired by the same ram who have never prolapsed...but given the freakishness of genetics I culled all but 3 of the yearlings last fall. I'm still not sure I've addressed the cause. Last year's drought hay was excellent quality - I did not have to feed corn because the energy was that good and Se and Ca:P were good, the ewes weren't over conditioned, and I had feeders that minimized feed-related straining.

Farming is never boring, but at times it can be to entertaining. :lol: :roll:
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby my8kidsmom » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:34 pm

Just thought I would update. Leah had twin ewe lambs but was too weak to stand for long and didn't appear to be giving any milk. We brought the lambs in the house, warmed them up and fed them. The next morning I brought the lambs back out to mom but I wasn't sure I would actually find her alive. It has been about 3 days now and she is doing much better and although we are supplementing with the bottle she has began to give some milk and has not prolapsed again.
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby Janet McNally » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:53 pm

hammond shepherd wrote:
Janet McNally wrote:Prolapse can occur for a number of reasons including:

hereditary
calcium deficiency
Se or E deficiency
as a part of an abortion storm (often the lambs are already dead)

Prolapses due to heredity occur sporadically, all the rest there will be a rash of prolapses in multiple animals. So if this is your only case, I'd be inclined to chalk it up to heredity, and she would sprout wheels if on my farm.

Janet



Can you please explain the Se/E and Ca deficiency research as it relates to prolapses? I've never heard that, and are the nutrient recommendations for ration balancing adequate?


Unfortunately, some of my information was learned attending seminars, or direct experience working with people who experienced the problem and involved veterinary diagnosis and is not anything on the net that I can point you to. Some of it is up to 30 years old. I can only tell you these are causes that have been found to be true on more than one occasion, and verified via forage, blood, or liver samples and disappeared when these problems were corrected.

My understanding is that calcium, Selenium, and Vit E are all important to proper muscle function, something that does not require too much proof as muscle dysfunction is evident in hypocalcemia, and White muscle disease.

Janet
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Re: Vaginal prolapse and heredity

Postby montana sheep » Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:34 am

I am looking for help on the issue of prolapse in yearlings. We have had issues with prolapse and srtaining of yearlings in the past they will not diolate you have to manually diolate then they strain untill you put them down. have tried lidocane blocks alcahol blocks hanging up nothing stopes the straining. Most of the other group are just fine lamb good never had a problem. We bought ewe lambs from 3 diferent places of different breeds years back and had some of each do this so it is not to my way of thinking genetics. We are doing lab work an a continual basis but can't find the answer hope sombody might have seen this or somethig like it and has a answer.
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